St Mary's

Developing literate citizens of the future.

English enables pupils to develop a love of literature which is shared and encouraged. Children will develop and understanding of how our language works and be able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them, whilst engaging with quality texts. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading will enable pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know, enabling them to participate fully as a member of society.


Phonics Bug Club

We use Phonics Bug club to ensure:

  • A solid foundation in reading for all: Bug Club Phonics uses the systematic synthetic phonics approach. This heavily influenced current government policy as it was shown to give the best foundation in reading for all children regardless of social and economic background.
  • With fiction and non-fiction titles from Phases 1 to 5 this ensures children read from books with the sounds they know as they are learning to read.  
  • Accessible and inclusive phonics teaching.
  • Comfortable and confident learners: Videos of well-known CBeebies characters are weaved into lessons and characters, such as the Alphablocks, appear in the books helping to link the children’s home environment with the school.
  • A rich and varied reading experience: As part of the Bug Club other books are woven in that aren’t fully decodable to ensure enthusiasm for reading is nurtured.
  • Frequent and detailed assessment: In addition to the end of unit and phase summative assessments, appropriate and informal assessment opportunities are offered in the daily lessons and through fun games in the online world.

 Please click on the link below for a video to support saying the pure phonic sounds.

Saying the pure phonics sounds

Using Bug Club

Click on a letter to hear the sounds

At CVSF we want to develop all children’s ability to decode but also to be able to understand the texts which they read. We aim to provide opportunities for children to read for a purpose but also to read for enjoyment too by valuing and introducing a wide variety of reading material.

Our English curriculum is based on carefully chosen texts for each class which link to the topics they are studying. These texts are used to inspire writing of all genres. There is a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry within each term and texts have been chosen to reflect the diverse world in which we live with a mix of authors old and new. During the year we have a focus book which the whole school studies and enjoys. An example of this was The Barnabus Project which also had a whole school focus on emotional health and wellbeing.

All teachers read aloud to their class each day and once a week devote a session to ‘Book Talk’ and give children a chance to express their opinions about the books they enjoy. All classes have a book area where children can choose to read for pleasure through the day.

Children are strongly encouraged to take part in reading competitions such as the Yearly Library Holiday Challenge and Year 6 take part in the Calderdale Book of the Year. Each year we use Book Week (usually around World Book Day) to celebrate books and authors and to engage everyone, staff and students into reading for pleasure. During that week we have had Book Fairs, and reading competitions such as ‘extreme reading challenges’ and of course lots of dressing up.

Guided Reading

All classes plan a daily year group/whole class guided reading session where the reading skills of decoding and comprehension are taught in a progressive way. In Class 1 and 2 (or as needed), a phonics based approach is the main focus but as word-reading and fluency develops the comprehension skills below are taught and practised—







Class 1 (and Class 2 as needed) also have group reading and 1:1 with an adult sessions to practise reading. These books are carefully matched to the phonic phase the children are working on.  Any children who need additional support in reading will also benefit from additional 1:1 or small group sessions.

Home Reading

All children can take books to share at home. Lower down the school the books are carefully matched to the phonic phase or phonemes the child is working on. After phase 6, children move through the colour bands and then become free readers, choosing their own book to take home. Parents are also encouraged to read to their children or share other books at home too. All books shared can be recorded on our digital reading record (GoRead) so staff can ensure children are reading a range of texts and reading regularly as well as being able to talk to the children about their interests in reading and respond to these in the classroom. All children also have an online page on Bug Club where books,  phonics games and phoneme games can be allocated for work at home.