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Reading night

I am sure you are already aware of our enthusiasm for reading. We believe that developing expertise in this area underpins the aims and objectives of our school curriculum and we would like you to know more about our plans.

We hope you will enjoy the presentation by Mr Curzon and take full advantage of this chance to discuss your questions with your child’s teacher.

  • EYFS staff will be giving a talk about phonics and then you can explore some phonics games.
  • Key Stage 1 staff will be discussing how to use phonics to support early reading and the KS1 SATs.
  • Lower Key Stage 2 staff will be recommending books and advise on quizzing and Ren reading.
  • Upper Key Stage 2 will be modelling a reading lesson and giving parents the opportunity to take a Key Stage 2 SATs paper.

We are very much looking forward to exchanging ideas about the breadth of reading opportunities available to your child at St Mary’s.


A great big thank you to all our parents, carers and friends who purchased books at our recent Book Fair. We raised a spectacular £997 which will go towards new books for the school. 

Our new reading role models will help spend the money on a selection of book choices they have gathered from their classes. 

Our role models for Autumn term are:
KS1 - Lydia, Rebekah and Chase
LKS2 - Michael, Aras and Honor
UKS2 - Zach, Jacob and Bea

Did you know that you can help continue to raise money for books for our children by purchasing through the Scholastic Website? 
Visit https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/
Don’t forget to enter the school’s name or postcode (CM24 8FE) when you check out and the school will accrue credit to go towards new books.

Reading at St Mary's

At St Mary's Primary School we use Bug Club and Renaissance Learn to teach reading. Pearson's Bug Club is our structured reading scheme. The children follow the structured colour banded system from EYFS until they are fluent, confident readers when they select books to read at their level with guidance from their teacher. Whole Class Reading is a daily lesson where the teacher works with the children to focus on comprehension skills and discussing the texts.

Individual children’s reading progress and attainment are rigorously monitored through termly assessment tests and teachers continuous assessments. We also use Renaissance Learn Star Test to monitor children’s reading age in relation to chronological age and gaps are quickly addressed. Attainment levels are reported to parents at our  parent’s consultations where progress is discussed. Children are encouraged to read at home as often as possible. We work closely with our parents, using the children’s planners to as a two-way communication to record reading success. 

Good reasons to read out loud to your child...

After two consecutive years of interrupted education due to the pandemic, research shows that our nation’s children have gaps in their learning. At St Mary’s, we are doing our very best to help the children overcome this. One easy way you can help your child is to read to them regularly. Here are some important reasons why…

Children understand at a higher level than they can read. 
Learners can typically comprehend text that is far above   their independent reading level.

Build vocabulary.
The more words you use, the more words a child knows and can use. New words encountered in context are easier to define and understand.

Improved achievement.
Numerous studies show a direct correlation between reading to a child and  academic success. Students who are read to have a higher aptitude for learning and more positive attitude about school.

Develop a love of reading.
Research shows that motivation, interest, and engagement are enhanced when reading aloud. This can improve  children's attitudes about books and foster a love of reading.

Help them be better writers.
Children who listen to books being read over many years are more likely to develop competence in written and verbal communication skills.

Help us talk about tough issues.
When you have to talk to your child about a difficult topic, books (both fiction and nonfiction) can be useful. For  parents, a book can help lessen anxiety; for the child, a book can provide context and make it easier to ask questions.

Broadens their horizons.
When children pick their own books, they tend to pick the same type of texts (over and over). Children tend to be  more open to new genres and themes when read aloud.

Improve decision-making.
When reading with your child, you have the opportunity to discuss topics and ideas that might not come up in the normal course of events. Children's author Katherine Patterson said, "Books are a dress rehearsal for life."

Bonding time.
Spending time reading with your child is an opportunity to get closer, both physically and emotionally. Even if you p don't snuggle up, just being close to your child to share a book can foster deep bonding.

Your child wants you to.
83% of children across all age groups say they love to be read to.


Handwriting at St Mary's Primary School focuses on the process of joined-up cursive letter formation. We use an online resource called Letter-join. This is a resource for teaching cursive handwriting at school and at home. It uses interactive animations to demonstrate joined-up letter formation. There is also an app version available for use on tablets. This is an example of the cursive alphabet.


You can support your child at home by encouraging them to trace over the handwriting sheets provided on a regular basis. Reluctant writers are often more willing to try if you give them different colour pens to trace over. You can even enlarge the letters and trace over using paint, chalk, using a bottle of water with a sports cap, or even tracing over the letters with a toy car.

Constant repetition is the key, emphasising the correct entry and exit strokes every time. It is essential that your child gets into good habits early on and this includes having the correct pencil grip.

One of the advantages of the cursive style is that you can quickly identify when a child is forming letters incorrectly. For example trying to start a at the bottom and moving clockwise, rather than starting with the entry stroke and then moving anticlockwise from the top of the letter to the bottom.

Here are some resources to help you at home!


At St Mary's Primary School we firmly believe that good spelling is an essential skill which allows the children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies, we equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking for adult help.

We particularly want the children to develop a love of language and the confidence to spell more challenging and ambitious words. In allowing them opportunities to develop a rich and exciting vocabulary, we are enabling them to become effective communicators.

By adopting a consistent approach to the teaching of spelling we aim for the children to develop confidence and accuracy when spelling across the curriculum. In doing so we aim to:

  • Develop and teach the children to use a range of effective spelling strategies
  • Encourage creativity and the use of more ambitious vocabulary in their writing
  • Enable children to write independently
  • Enhance proof reading and editing skills
  • Encourage children to identify patterns in words and spellings.
  • Promote a positive and confident attitude towards spelling
  • Help children to use a range of dictionaries and spell checks effectively.
  •  Help children recognise that spelling is a lifelong skill
  • Provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in spelling

We use Spelling Shed to practise spelling games

spelling shed