Phonics and Early Reading


Launch of Bug Club Reading Programme

As a school, we teach reading and phonics from Reception Class and we use Bug Club programme and books to embed phonics. We also have online Bug Club for children to enjoy using and applying their phonics skills at home.



We teach rigorous and systematic teaching of synthetic phonics from the beginning of Reception, starting with the easiest sounds, and progressing to the most complex, reading and writing simple words and tricky words along the way.  The sequence of reading books follows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge, with frequent and detailed assessment used to identify any child falling behind the pace of our school’s phonics programme, so that they can be offered targeted support to address any gaps right away.

Our reading books closely match the phonics knowledge that pupils are being taught and we offer children plenty of opportunities to practice reading and re-reading the grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they have learned – both at school and at home. Children hear a wide range of texts read aloud in the classroom, including stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. We have a huge emphasis on children being authors themselves and work is published and kept in classroom reading areas to promote a purpose for writing and enjoyment of reading. Teachers read to children in class every day.


At St. Mary’s children are immersed in literacy in all areas of the curriculum and school life. Whilst your child may not be “heard” to read everyday they will be reading throughout the day, as well as developing important speaking and listening skills. Your children have access to word games, focused letters and sound games, online reading games and activities and much more. Please ask in school if you want to find out more. Each year, we invite you all in for a phonics and reading workshop to explain the process.

We use the Pearson Bug Club in school. Progression is based on Book Bands and we pride ourselves on giving our children the opportunity to progress by providing a wide range of genres from a variety of publishers in order to inspire and engage our children’s imaginations.

Each child is assigned a book within their reading level. Children can change their home reading book on a daily basis and choose these themselves from the book banded baskets in class libraries.

We encourage reading at home and you have access to reading records which provide the opportunity for parents to share their thoughts. This is a great way of communicating and every time you sign the reading diary, your child gets a sticker on their very own bookmark. When a bookmark is full, your child is awarded with a certificate in assembly. It is important that you hear your child read every night and discussion about the texts plays an important role in your child developing comprehension skills.

Books are given based on ability, ranging from high quality picture books, early first word and progression through the phonic phases.

We approach the teaching of reading in a structured way incorporating synthetic phonics with guided and independent reading based on book bands.

Guided reading provides an opportunity for the teacher to teach reading in relation to the differentiated needs of the pupil groups and their level of achievement. The grouping of children is closely monitored and children are assessed regularly to check on progress.