A love of reading is at the heart of St Mary’s and we take great pride in offering ample opportunities to help develop a love of reading. A variety of texts are on offer in English where children can read a variety of texts with the intention of developing confident and fluent readers for their future. We incorporate a range of books that tackle diversity, with authors and characters from a range of ethnic backgrounds. Children take part in daily reading for pleasure sessions which children and staff both enjoy.To further increase their love of reading, we offer an array of initiatives across school to connect them to texts and enjoy the experience. Reading for Pleasure is celebrated through World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day where children can come to school dressed as book characters.

Book fair visits us once or twice a year, allowing children to access and purchase a collection of books. We also endeavour to get as many authors into school as possible to read their stories to our children, hoping to spark future aspirations.

A love of reading is shown throughout our school. Children have opportunities to choose their own reading books from our unique reading rooms in KS1 and KS2. All children in school have full access to decodable books in our KS1 and KS2 reading rooms where children can continue to excel and enjoy reading. These books are replenished throughout the year to ensure children are offered new and up-to-date texts.

Each classroom is equipped with an appealing reading corner that the class design and create at the beginning of the school year. This space is encouraged for children to use at different times of the day, again inspiring reading for pleasure.


Books Outside the Classroom

We don’t just limit our reading books and other reading materials to classrooms. We have a huge range of texts available to read from our reading suitcases which each class uses at breaktimes and lunchtimes.

We use our reading suitcases during break and lunch times and really enjoy reading books with our friends outside.

We also have a reading tree house in our KS2 corridor where KS1 and KS2 children can choose to read a range of fiction and non-fiction books as a reading reward or during their break times.

Children and staff enjoy using our reading tree house! There is nothing cosier than climbing into the treehouse and reading a book!

Children can also choose a range of books from different bookshelves within the school.

Reading Champions

Two children from each class have been chosen by their class to become “Reading champions.” These children have demonstrated a passion and love for reading as well as confidence in speaking about books they have read.

The Role of a Reading Champion:

  • In their own class: they will share their love of reading with other children and help them to choose books from the library that they will enjoy by creating book reviews from each book they read and presenting these to the class/displaying in the book area.
  • Look after the class reading suitcase.
  • They will take part in Assemblies – At the end of every term, children will create a short presentation about the “Author of the Month” to share with the rest of the school/website.
  • Reading buddies (currently in classes but eventually across the key stages) listening to their partners reading/ using echo reading.
  • They will think of ways to encourage children to read at home by creating challenges for the whole school.
  • Record a short story to share with another year group.
  • Monitor reading corners and libraries in their classrooms.

Meet our reading champions:

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Meet our staff reading champion:

Mrs Fullwood is our reading champion this term.
“You should vote for me because as well as being the school librarian I absolutely love reading! I read every day and love being in a Harry Potter themed Year six classroom. I also really, really, want a Reading Champion badge! Thank you!”

Spring Reading home challenges

Each week this half term we are asking you to complete a reading challenge at home with your family. Please send in photos to your class email or school email. Each week there will be a winner from each class who will get a reward of house points and being able to use the Reading Tree house with a friend.

Our new reading display showcasing the books which will be published in 2024.

Reading challenge winners: Read a comic or magazine.

  • Reception: Raymond and Balraj
  • Y1: Izzy and Chimamanda
  • Y2: Hudson and Lidia
  • Y3: Bobbie and Ruby-Rose
  • Y4: Lola and Autumn
  • Y5: Jazmeen
  • Y6: Shaan and Michael

The winners got to enjoy some books in our reading tree house.

Winners for the reading challenge to read with an adult or pet at home and reading a poem:

  • Reception: Jasmine, Diana, Balraj
  • Y1: Zachery, Izzy, Lottie, Yuvi
  • Y2: Maisie, Jaidyn, Leo, Lidia (2L)
  • Y3: Chidera, Binyameen, Ruby-Rose, Rebeca
  • Y4: Kostek, Sheena, Ruth, Lola
  • Y5 – no entries

EYFS Spring 2 reading challenges

  1. Share a book outside.
  2. Share a book about your favourite TV character, such as Peppa Pig, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam or Paw Patrol.
  3. Share a book of poetry (or find poems online to read together).
  4. Find a picture book with no words and make up a story to go with the pictures.
  5. Share a rhyming book.

Reading challenges for KS1

  1. Read a book in the bath – mind you don’t drop it!
  2. Read under the covers with a torch.
  3. Read a book about animals.
  4. Listen to an audiobook.
  5. Read a book from the library (most libraries let you borrow e-books online).
  6. Read a book by an author who has the same initials as you.
  7. Read a book about your favourite hobby or interest – for example, performing, football, art, rugby, superheroes or space.
  8. Read a book by Roald Dahl.
  9. Read a book with a one-word title.
  10. Read a joke book.

KS2: Year 3-6:

  1. Read a book that was written in the year you were born.
  2. Read a magazine or newspaper.
  3. Read to a younger brother or sister, if you have one.
  4. Read a book with a friend – take it in turns to read a chapter out loud.
  5. Read a biography.
  6. Read your best friend’s favourite book.
  7. Read a graphic novel such as the Tom Gates or Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
  8. Review a book that you’ve enjoyed. Write a review to share with your teacher.
  9. Read a mystery story.
  10. Read a book that’s been made into a film, or watch a film based on a children’s book.

Spring Reading Workshops

Join us for our Spring morning reading workshops. See each classes time below. The KS1 and KS2 reading workshops start at 8.45 – 9.05 in the small hall. Your class will join you there.

Reception workshops will take place in the classrooms at 2.45.

You can enjoy 1-1 reading time with your child during this time.

The aim of our Reading workshop this term is using Boomreader at home. You can discuss any issues you have using Boomreader with your child’s class teacher during this time.

1 Sharman  25.1.24
1 Peake  26.1.24
2 Lewis  1.2.24
2 Rashford  2.2.24
3 Cambridge  8.2.24
3 Windsor  9.2.24
4 Harris 22.2.24
4 Mandela 23.2.24
5 Thunberg  29.2.24
5 Malala  1.3.24
Reception Donaldson 5.3.24
Reception Donaldson 6.3.24
6 Attenborough/Moore 6.3.24
Reception   Scheffler 7.3.24
Reception Scheffler 8.3.24

Spring Workshops

Reception have enjoyed reading with an adult during their reading workshop.

Year two parents look forward to the reading workshops because “it is helpful to get support with reading at home”.

“I enjoy having quality time reading with my child in school and I get to ask for advice on what I can do to help her with her reading”.

World Book Day – Thursday 7th March 2024

Everyone at St Mary’s made a fantastic effort for World Book Day.

The children and staff looked amazing in their costumes, here are just a few of their outstanding outfits!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl aka Mrs Smith and Mrs Minihane


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Reading to New Cross Care Home

As part of World Book day celebrations some of our pupils have been to visit New Cross Care Home to read stories to the residents.

Staff sharing their favourite books

Staff read their favourite books to different classes. The children loved hearing the teachers favourite stories.

Phonics Workshop

We held a Phonics workshop in October to inform parents about the order of sound coverage and how we deliver our systematic programme in Reception.


How to support your child reading at home

Here are some recorded videos to support 1-1 reading with your child at home. These videos are for KS1 and will help you with supporting your child blending words and building up their reading fluency. We only ask you to read up to 10 minutes with your child three times a week.


World Book Day 2023

We celebrated World Book Day – with the message for all children ‘you are a reader‘! It will be filled with lots of exciting, celebratory ways to promote reading for pleasure on World Book Day. Children and staff dressed up as their favourite book character. Everyone looks amazing in their outfits!

Keep your eyes peeled for Mrs Minihane chasing those Dalmatians!

Sharing stories together for just ten minutes a day will encourage a love of reading and it’s fun for everyone! You can read together anywhere and everywhere, from breakfast to bedtime! In the park, on the train, on the sofa, on a plane – reading and sharing stories can happen anywhere at any time.

Everyone at St Mary’s shared their favourite stories to different classes throughout the day and this is something all staff will continue to do every month.

A Parent’s Guide on how to use BoomReader