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St John's CofE Primary School

Nurturing potential within a Christian ethos




‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark' - Victor Hugo

'You can make anything by writing' - C.S. Lewis


We aim to for all children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. This will be achieved through excellent teaching practise and provision of quality synthetic phonics teaching and resources. We strive to embed good habits for the reading for pleasure across all genres. We encourage children to appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage through quality texts and ensure opportunities for discussions that explain and elaborate their ideas clearly.


Writing makes children's thinking and learning visible and permanent. It provides children with opportunities to explain and refine their ideas to others and themselves. The purpose and use of writing is wide and varied and each one has value in its own right: To express a person's views or feelings.


At St. John’s we aim to give all children the skills and confidence to express themselves through writing. Through quality first teaching, they are given the skills to write accurately, creatively and imaginatively. The carefully planned curriculum ensures that they are exposed to a wide range of genres including poetry and non-fiction.


The aims of our teaching of English at St. John’s:

  • to enable children to speak clearly and audibly, and to take account of their listeners;

  • to encourage children to listen with concentration, in order to understand the main points of what they have heard;

  • to show children how to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands;

  • to teach children effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, through a variety of drama activities

  • to help them become confident, independent readers, through an appropriate focus on word-, sentence- and text-level knowledge;

  • to develop enthusiastic and reflective readers, through contact with challenging and substantial texts;

  • to foster the enjoyment of reading and writing, and a recognition of their value;

  • to encourage meaningful imaginative and thoughtful writing, and an awareness of the reader;

  • to develop accuracy in grammar and punctuation in line with National Strategy expectations

  • to improve writing through planning, drafting and editing;

  • to enable children to read, write and spell confidently through a variety of strategies which will include a systematic phonics programme.



  • We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our English lessons; for example, a whole-class reading or writing activity, a whole-class focused word or sentence activity, a guided group or independent activity. In addition, we also work together as a whole school on a writing task once a term.

  • Children have the opportunity to experience a wide range of quality texts, and to support their work using a variety of resources, such as dictionaries and thesauri.

  • Children use ICT in English lessons to enhance their learning, as in drafting their work and using multimedia to study how words and images are combined to convey meaning.

  • There is an expectation that children will use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum wherever possible.

  • Children in all our classes have a wide range of abilities, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the need and ability of the child.

  • Success criteria, quality next steps marking and differentiated targets help to provide a range of learning opportunities and guide children to know how to make progress.

  • We use teaching assistants to support some children, and to enable work to be matched to the needs of individuals.

  • Teachers model good use of English in their own speaking and writing.


English Curriculum Planning

English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. We use the New Framework National Curriculum 2014 as the starting point for implementing the statutory requirements of the programme of study for English.  Early Years follow the guidance laid out in the EYFS Framework document using the communication and language section and the literacy sections.

English curriculum planning throughout the school is carried out in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term).

The National Curriculum programmes of study guides what we teach in the long-term. We have also created a St. John’s over view of writing skills and genres, ensuring coverage and progressions.  Our yearly teaching programme identifies the key objectives in English that we teach to each year.

Our medium-term plans give details of the main teaching objectives for each term. These plans define what we teach, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. The subject leader is responsible for reviewing and updating these plans.

Class teachers develop their own (short-term) plan for the teaching of English which lists the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes for each lesson, and gives details of how the lessons are to be taught. It also includes details of any differentiation and use of resources including the use of any classroom support.




At St John’s, all aspects of English are a vitally important part of our curriculum.  Children with SEND are supported with early identification of needs, followed by thorough assessment and careful consideration of how the barriers to learning can be overcome.  Teachers work with the SENDCO to put appropriate class provision in place; where necessary, additional interventions are planned, carried out and reviewed.  Additional interventions may include additional daily phonic sessions, talking and listening groups, Nuffield Early Language Intervention, additional comprehension groups, extra handwriting, using Write from the Start or Speed Up programmes, as well as Nessy to assist identified pupils with screening, reading and spelling, touch typing.  


Teachers recognise how pupils with SEND can demonstrate their full potential through a wide range of methods, including the following, ideas may be drawn or scribed, children may receive scaffolded support to plan and record their ideas, they may have coloured books or line width adapted.  Pupils are supported to show their full potential and appropriate arrangements for testing and assessments are carefully planned.  All provision is planned and reviewed in consultation with the child to ensure that it is appropriate and helpful.