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Phonics at St Mark's 


Phonics takes place every day in Year R and Year 1/2 for 20 minutes. The children are initially assessed at the beginning of the year so we know exactly how their phoneme knowledge and blending skills impact their reading. The children are usually taught in year groups. Gaps in learning are identified quickly and support is put in place to ensure that children 'keep up'. 




How can I help my child with reading using phonics? 

Parent information video



Phonics is taught using Pearson's Bug Club approach in Year R supported by 'Cued Articulation', which continues into Year 1 and 2. This is split into phases and modules which are based on the Letters and Sounds document but with revisions to reflect the expectations of the new National Curriculum.

Individual phonics sessions follow the structure:


  • Revisit/Review
  • Teach
  • Practice
  • Apply


Children are given phonically decodable books to practise their skills at home.  As the scheme develops, children have an increasing range of irregular words in their reading books too.  All KS2 teachers have robust phonics training and use this to support children's decoding and encoding strategies throughout the rest of the school.  


 Lheartve Reading


At St Mark's we believe that creating a love of reading in pupils is potentially one of the most powerful ways of improving academic standards in school.  Always remember that reading should be a joy not a chore.

We have a large variety of reading books which are taken from many different reading schemes and are carefully graded by reading levels known as book bands. Each book band has its own colour. Teachers select the appropriate book band colour for your child and children are able to choose a range of books from within this colour to enjoy reading at home. When a teacher is certain that your child is reading confidently within a colour they will move your child on to another colour.


Our Reading curriculum includes;

  • Guided Reading
  • Hearing books read aloud on a regular basis
  • Home / school reading with children selecting their own choice of texts
  • Opportunities to practise reading aloud to volunteers in school
  • Visiting our school Library and working in partnership with our local library
  • Taking part in reading challenges throughout the year


Each class has its own reading challenge which the children complete independently to aim for a reward of choosing their own new book.


Click below for the class reading challenges!




Reading Challenge!



St Mark's have just taken part in The Reading Miles Global Challenge!

The Reading Miles Global Challenge provided a way for everyone to engage with reading at home, using the concept of collecting points for reading together at home…and having fun along the way!


How did it work?


Children were rewarded with 500 reading miles for every 10 minutes they spent reading at home. They collected these reading miles in their special reading passport on their very own reading world tour - a whopping 33,000 miles (or 11 hours) in total!


Also….every pupil who completed their reading journey around the world was awarded with a special certificate!


What did the children think?


"I like the challenge and the fun of reading"


“It’s really fun because it made me pick up a book I hadn’t read for ages!”


Watch this space for more exciting reading challenges to come!



At St Marks we believe in providing the children with a real purpose and context within which to learn to be a confident writer.

We strive to achieve this through our unique integrated curriculum, please see our topic rationales for the English covered within each topic: