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Reading and Phonics


At St Mary Queen of Martyrs we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and we implement the following strategies:

  • Children take part in daily Guided Reading lessons within which they are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
  • We have a wide range of reading books in our school. All children from Nursery to Year 6 take a reading book home to read. Children currently on the phonics programme will take home books linked to their phonics lessons.
  • Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our home reading scheme from which they take home levelled books. These books will match the their current reading ability at an independent level. We expect all pupils to read at home daily and be supported by parents and family members in doing so.

By the time children leave our school, we aspire for them to be competent readers and we aim that they can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.


All children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 receive daily phonics teaching through the Read, Write Inc. programme. Children in Key Stage 2 in need off further support also access the programme. Through the Read, Write Inc. programme our children are taught to:

  • Learn to read and write letter-sounds quickly
  • Decode effortlessly, spell and handwrite easily
  • Comprehend what they read
  • Read with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • Work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning at every step.