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Writing at St Marys

At St Mary's, we implement The Power of Reading created by CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education), which is proven professional development programme that supports our staff to evolve a high-quality English curriculum which develops reading comprehension and writing composition, and fosters a whole school love of reading and writing.

The Power of Reading puts quality children’s literature at the heart of English learning and enables all the teaching and learning, in English, to be centred around one text per half term. This allows the children to enjoy reading and be fully immersed into a text. This enables the children to have a deeper understanding of the variety of texts, author’s language, the impact of illustrations and opens the discussion of life experiences. It also supports us in raising engagement and attainment in language, vocabulary, reading and writing.

The Power of Reading, at St Mary's, allows us to emphasise the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers, with all the benefits this brings.  This has meant they we have a thorough curriculum map for English, with a focus on not only fiction texts, but we ensure each class has at least one non-fiction focus text and at least one poetry focus text.

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