Reading & Phonics at St Mary's

  • Read Write Inc

    At St Mary’s we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

    Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

    Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

    When using RWI to read the children will:

    • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
    • learn to read words using Fred Talk
    • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
    • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

    When using RWI to write the children will:

    • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
    • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
    • write simple sentences

    Please click on the link below to view a parent tutorial on RWI:

    Parent Tutorial

    Please click on the link below to view a video showing why phonics is important to reading development:

    Understanding Phonics Tutorial

    Please click on the link below to view a video showing the correct pronunciations of Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds:

    Pronunciation Guide


    St Mary’s Reading Scheme


    St Mary’s uses the  Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme.  Children are regularly assessed, to ensure that they are reading the correct stage book. This enables staff to ensure that the  pace of reading is correct and that there is sufficient challenge to help progress pupil’s reading fluency.  Children in Key Stage One are given a reading book to take home regularly and have a reading diary which is a home /school link to allow parents to support their child at home. As children progress later in the school and their reading ability develops, they ay are able to access a range of texts within the school library to continue their reading development.

    Oxford Reading Tree is a Character led sequence of books which follow the lives and adventures of the central characters Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy. The initial levels are phonetically structured.  The controlled vocabulary increasingly introduces more complex vocabulary as the scheme progresses. The adventures and predicaments that the central characters find themselves in allow the reader to think about and engage with the characters and ask questions about the stories.

    If you require any further information about Phonics or Oxford Reading Tree please contact your class teacher.


    Reading Events

    At St Mary’s we regularly hold reading events for all children to enjoy. In 2014 we became involved in the Berwick Literacy Festival, with our Yr 3/4 children participating in workshops, and the whole school enjoying a visit form an Author and illustrator.  

    We also have a range of activities organised each year for World Book Day.  Children love to dress up as their favourite book character and take part in lots of fun book activities. During 2015-2016 the school is arranging a variety of events to support parent involvement in their child’s reading development. events will be advertised in the school newsletters.