Our approach at St Mary’s is to provide all our pupils with a rich and varied reading journey by linking high quality texts to the wider curriculum topics. We place a strong emphasis on the development of vocabulary and understanding language through daily guided comprehension. Handwriting and spelling are taught separately and through homework. In phonics we use the Sounds Write programme.

St Mary’s Reading Strategy 2020:


Key Stage One Reading Schemes

In Key Stage one we use a variety of reading schemes.

We learn to read using Oxford Reading Tree, Read Write Inc and Big Cat (Collins).



  • At St Mary’s we use the Sounds-Write programme to teach phonics and spelling. The skills below are taught explicitly:
  • Blending
  • Segmenting
  • Phoneme Manipulation (sound swapping).


The children are taught to decode and encode by understanding 4 clear concepts:

  • letters are symbols that represent sounds that they say
  • sounds can be spelt using 1,2,3 or 4 letters – f, oa, air, eigh
  • the same sound can be spelt in different ways – bone, coat, toe, window, shoulder
  • the same spelling can represent different sounds – bread, eat, great

All adults in school use the same consistent, concise language about sounds and spelling when teaching. We say that the letters spell sounds, they do not say sounds.


We use phrases such as:

  • In this word…
  • If this was…. this would be a…
  • This can spell …. What else can it spell?
  • Say the sounds and read the word.