Reading at St Gregory’s

We believe children learning to read is a whole school approach and strong foundations are built in our EYFS classroom and then developed throughout a consistent approach across the school.

The staff have worked hard to develop this and supported by our amazing school PTFA we have been able to purchase high quality texts across the setting. This will impact hugely in helping to create a culture of reading, enthusiasm for reading and our pupils becoming life-long readers, who gain much pleasure from it.

Development / redecoration of our school library has taken place – this is now accessible to all children, who are getting pleasure from browsing for new books to take home, researching for themes or just enjoying a quiet moment with a book.

All classes have a designated reading area, with recommended reads on display.

Parents and members of the community, who have been DBS checked are welcomed into school to listen to our children read.

Gnasher is our wonderful school reading dog, who is trained as a Pets at Therapy dog. Children love to read with Gnasher and his owner Pippa. 

Cookie & Cream, our gorgeous school guinea pigs are readily available for children to read to and have a cuddle whilst doing so.

Story Sacks are a new idea, which our younger children will be benefitting from initially. Each child will take home a lovely hand-made bag, complete with book, cuddle toy, hot chocolate and marshmallows – ideal for sharing with their parents / carers at a quiet time and focussing on enjoyment of the texts together.  

Phonics at St Gregory’s

At St Gregory’s we use Sound Discovery which is a high-quality synthetic phonics literacy programme for the teaching of reading, spelling and writing. 

Sound Discovery meets the criteria as defined in the Rose Review of what constitutes “high quality phonic work”:

  • Fully compatible with a broad and rich curriculum
  • Systematic, with a clearly defined and structured progression for learning all the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences: digraphs, trigraphs, adjacent consonants and alternative graphemes for the same sound.
  • Capable of being delivered in discrete daily sessions at a brisk pace that is well matched to children’s developing abilities.
  • Underpinned by a synthetic approach to blending phonemes in order all through a word to read it, and segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell them.
  • Clear that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.
  • Multi-sensory, encompassing various visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities which actively engage children (for example, manipulating magnetic or other solid letters to build words, activities involving physical movement to form letter shapes).
  • Clear about the importance of speaking and listening as the foundation for embarking on a systematic phonics programme and for acquiring the skills of reading and writing.
  • Offer guidance on how to assess progress and use this information to inform the next steps of learning.
  • Offer guidance about adapting the programme for children with special educational needs or who have missed earlier elements.

Further guidance and advice for encouraging young readers can be found on multiple websites, here are a few worth a browse:

Book lists | Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (

Marcus Rashford Book Club | National Literacy Trust

BookTrust: Getting children reading | BookTrust