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Phonics takes place four times a week for 20 minutes at a time. Children are taught in 3 or 4 ability groups which are reviewed regularly. The children are initially assessed at the beginning of the year using the ‘Letters and Sounds Sound Assessment’. The groups are then reviewed based on each child’s phonic progress and movements between groups are made (sometimes with stepping stones to ensure key areas are not missed).

Phonics is taught using the 'Cued Articulation' approach. 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

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

The Letters and sounds website is a useful resource which can be accessed at home by parents to help support their child.  Click here to go to the website.


 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: