St. John's

Church of England Primary School

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We believe that reading in particular provides children with the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.


The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)


Comprehension skills develop through children’s experiences of reading a range of high-quality texts (stories, poems and non-fiction) and high-quality discussions. Therefore, we encourage children to read widely across fiction and non-fiction as well as sharing these with the children through reading and writing lessons. By reading a wide range of texts, children are able to; develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, establish an appreciation and love of reading and gain knowledge across the curriculum. As well as this, the children can develop and broaden their vocabulary and their imagination.


At St. John’s we aim to develop a love of reading. Therefore, classes have well equipped book corners with age-appropriate texts as well as an extensive library enjoyed by the whole school. In addition, quality texts have been matched to curriculum topics to enrich the children’s learning experiences. Pupils are provided with individual reading books. While pupils are being taught discrete phonics, these books are closely aligned to the sounds they have been learning. Once they move on from being taught phonics, children choose books using Accelerated Reader. This highly motivating programme assesses children's reading ability and allocates a range of books within the school library that the children can then choose from. This ensures pupils are reading books with an appropriate level of challenge.


The discrete teaching of reading is taught in the following ways: 



  • Systematic daily teaching of phonics following the DfES recommended programme ‘Supersonic Phonics Friends’
  • Daily whole class shared reading
  • Shared discussion of class texts
  • 1:1 reading



  • Phonics support and intervention where needed
  • Daily reading of a whole class text
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Guided reading focusing on comprehension skills
  • Independent reading


At St. John’s Primary School, our aim is that all children love English and are excited to read, write and express themselves. To achieve this, we follow Talk for Writing as a whole school; a cumulative and systematic process for the teaching of English.


Through the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach, the children will: form a love of language through poetry, games and storytelling; develop critical thinking skills; generate and select ideas for writing; and be able to structure both story-writing and non-fiction. Through story-telling and oral rehearsal of texts, they will be able to embed language patterns and write confidently.


The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in children’s development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar as well as their understanding for reading and writing. The Talk for Writing approach allows children to continuously develop these skills whilst developing a rich vocabulary that they can use in their spoken and written language.


Talk for Writing follows a three-step process: imitation, innovation and independent application.


During the Imitation Stage, the children are exposed to exemplary writing models and are given opportunities to imitate and experiment with the writing tools they explore. The children get to know a text incredibly well by orally learning it, reading as a reader and reading as a writer. Through these approaches, the children explore the text for meaning, vocabulary, comprehension and writing tools. Here the children begin to develop toolkits by investigating the writing skills and grammar used in the model text. This then develops their understanding of how to use these in their own writing.


The Innovation Stage focuses on shared writing where there is a strong emphasis on securing the basics of handwriting, phonics/spelling and grammar in relation to what is needed for the text type being taught.


The final stage, Independent Application, promotes children to draft, revise, edit and produce their own independent versions; during this stage, the children focus on independently applying the skills they have recently learnt.


By means of the Talk for Writing approach, our children will learn to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Furthermore, through reading and listening, they will understand what others are communicating with them.


St. John’s English curriculum aims to ensure that all children:

  • can read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • are excited and motivate to read, write and express themselves
  • are taught phonics, spelling and grammar through a creative approach embedded in the writing process
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • build and internalise a bank of stories that support them in developing their imagination, vocabulary and writing techniques
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar, and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • can talk confidently in front of an audience, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
  • receive feedback that motivates and informs to allow them to develop as a reader and writer
  • can plan, edit and revise their writing to further their own learning.


The below resources set out the cursive letter formation we teach in school from Year 1 upwards. Pupils in EYFS are taught to print each letter without the cursive 'lead in'.


English Presentation for Parents