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Welcome To St Mary's CE First School and Nursery

‘Believe in better…be more AWESOME – For anything is possible with God’

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Here at St Mary's, we foster a love of reading

Here at St Mary's we have carefully selected a range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts which we share and offer to our children in order to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Every week, children across our school take home a 'Love to Read' book from our Reading Spine.

  "Imagine a school where, over seven or eight years, children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with a core of books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘reading spine’. Schools that have a reading spine build a common bank of stories that bind the community together.” Pie Corbett, Literacy expert

The St Mary's Reading Spine has been compiled from collections of fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts recommended by world-renowned literacy experts. As these texts are not specifically matched to each child's current reading level, we recognise that they may not yet be able to access our Reading Spine independently and, therefore, we class these as our 'Love to Read' books. When explored independently or with an adult, these books expose children to the wonders of high quality literature, giving them the motivation to become even more awesome readers so that they can enjoy such texts independently. These are different to our 'Learn to Read' books which are matched closely to our children's reading levels and should be read by the children themselves. More information about our AWESOME library can be found below:

St Mary's Book Week 2022

We kicked off Spring Term 2 in style this year, with yet another 'St Mary's Book Week'!

     On Monday, the children enjoyed a visit from Lynda M Stewart, who shared three of her published books with the children. These books were then sold throughout the week, with 33 books being purchased by parents and 41 books being provided to Pupil Premium children.

     On Shrove Tuesday, we explored a range of pancake-themed stories and, on Ash Wednesday, the children heard readings from the Bible during our church service, reminding us all just how powerful and sacred some books can be. On these two days, the children also spent time exploring all of the books in our school's brand new library!

     On World Book Day, we welcomed back Ben from Treehouse Theatre who led Story Telling workshops for the staff and children from Nursery to Year Two and Story Making workshops for Key Stage Two. The aim of these workshops was to develop the children's story language and story telling skills to aid them with their verbal recall of our Talk4Writing stories.

     Finally, on Friday, every member of the St Mary's family dressed up as one of their favourite book characters and spent the day celebrating their love of reading!

How can you foster a love of reading at home?

Sharing a book with a child is fun! It's a time for closeness, laughing and talking together – and it can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers. Here are ten tips you could do at home to help your child enjoy reading:

  1. Make books part of your family life – Always have books around so that you and your children are ready to read whenever there’s a chance.
  2. Join your local library – Get your child a library card. You’ll find the latest videogames, blu-rays and DVDs, plus tons and tons of fantastic books. Allow them to pick their own books, encouraging their own interests.
  3. Match their interests – Help them find the right book - it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.
  4. All reading is good – Don’t discount non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines and leaflets. Reading is reading and it is all good.
  5. Get comfortable! – Snuggle up somewhere warm and cosy with your child, either in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa, or make sure they have somewhere comfy when reading alone.
  6. Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read such as, ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or ‘Where did we get to last night? Can you remember what had happened already?’
  7. Read whenever you get the chance – Bring along a book or magazine for any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s surgery.
  8. Read again and again – Encourage your child to re-read favourite books and poems. Re-reading helps to build up fluency and confidence.
  9. Bedtime stories – Regularly read with your child or children at bedtime. It’s a great way to end the day and to spend valuable time with your child.
  10. Rhyme and repetition – Books and poems which include rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child or children to join in and remember the words.