St Mary's RC Primary School

Full of grace, we grow and learn together

Roman Road, Heaton Norris, Stockport, SK4 1RF

0161 480 5319

English at St Mary's RC Primary School

English Vision Statement 

At St Mary's RC Primary School, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word. We aim to develop:

  1. The habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information.
  2. A wide vocabulary.  
  3. The ability to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of audiences. 
  4. The ability to use discussion in order to learn.They should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas. 


Reading and Phonics

EYFS and KS1 follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. This is taught daily. In addition to this we also practise 'Funky Phonics'  and 'Sign and Shine' to develop early reading skills. These both use Makaton signing which supports children and aids their memory. 

Early reading is also developed through a range of banded books. All pupils are assessed using 'PM Benchmarking' to identify the level of the reading scheme and then they progress through the levels which range from 1 to 30. Upon completion of the scheme pupils are able to then choose books that are age appropriate from our school  library. 


Guided Reading

We now deliver guided reading sessions as a whole class and we are using "Reading VIPERS" which cover the range of techniques pupils are asked to use when reading individually or in reading lessons.

V - VOCABULARY (consider how the vocabulary is used in the text or identify unfamiliar words)

I - INFERENCE (reading between the lines/looking for clues in the text)

P - PREDICT (what will happen and why?)

E - EXPLAIN (why?)

R - RETRIEVAL (find information from a text)



We also open our library every Tuesday lunchtime for all children to borrow books.  



We have recently developed our writing process to adopt the Talk for Writing and DEAL (Drama Engagement Active Learning) approach. We begin a new genre with a 'cold write', follow the teaching process for the genre and then finish with a 'hot write'. Pupils are very enthusiastic about this process as they can visibly see the progress that they have made from the cold write to the hot write. 


Throughout the teaching process we explore skills through various drama techniques which helps pupils with 'sticky learning'. When we look back on prior learning, pupils are able to recall the skills needed for a particular genre based on the drama that they participated in. Why not ask you child what genre they are exploring in class? Perhaps they have been a scientist or explorer this week!


Here are some images from our drama sessions: