Growing Readers and Writers to Live in God’s World
At St Andrew’s CE Primary School, our English curriculum is underpinned by our school principles: Wisdom, Grace and Hope, which are rooted in the Bible. Our aim is to grow readers and writers to live in God’s world.
We have a dedicated section to phonics on our website which you can access by clicking the tab below.
This page will overview our vision for English and how it links to our school vision.
GROWING: Our ambitious topic-based rolling programme ensures that learning is engaging, challenging and purposeful. We have high aspirations for our children and develop their courage and perseverance through appropriately challenging tasks. Throughout our English learning sequences, levelled lesson journey steps, target-teaching groups and scaffolding allow all pupils to grow and transform as learners, and to achieve success, which we celebrate in quality, published pieces of writing. We aim to continuously develop children’s reading and writing skills through a 3-week cycle of plan, teach, learn, assess and review, enabling pupils to retain knowledge in the long-term.
READERS AND WRITERS: Our English curriculum aims to develop children’s lifelong love of reading, writing and drama to enable them to reach their full potential. We believe that it is vital for pupils to leave our school being able to communicate effectively in writing, and to adapt their language for a range of purposes and audiences; our skills-based curriculum, which aims to build confidence in using the appropriate grammar skills and textual features, will strengthen this. A further aim is that pupils develop their verbal communication skills, taking part in discussions in class, exploring a range of issues and explaining their thinking.
TO LIVE IN: A secure foundation in these literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will provide our children with the tools they need to fulfil their potential and thrive, not just survive, as successful citizens in wider society when they leave school. Texts are chosen carefully to encompass a range of themes relating to health, well-being and citizenship including: forgiveness, tolerance, worth, repair, love and respect. Research shows that pupil well-being, now and in the future, is directly improved by ‘reading for pleasure’ and so we aim to encourage this throughout our school week.
GOD’S WORLD: Through the use of high-quality core texts and a wide range of supportive texts we intend to inspire pupils to appreciate not only our British literary heritage but also literature from the wider world and other cultures. Children are provided with regular opportunities to benefit from culture; a range of trips and activities act as a stimulus for pupils to read and write meaningfully and with purpose. We encourage our pupils to contribute to their local community (through writing projects such as persuading their families to use less water) and to write purposeful texts linked to global issues, such as deforestation or Fairtrade.
Range of photos of displays and learning
Click on each image to go to the log in page for our virtual reading platforms. Please remember that MYON and Reading Planet Online (e-books) are a brilliant source of online texts, but that children should also be encouraged to read physical books as much as possible too.
Reading is an essential skill and supports children to access the wider curriculum. We aim to develop a life-long love of reading in our children, not only through the teaching of reading but a variety of additional ways. We have a dedicated library space which is shared by children across the school. This has recently been redesigned to link in with our mission statement 'Growing Learners to live in God's world.' It is garden/nature themed and symbolises the way we believe reading is the best way to grow as a learner, but also as a person! Our reading approach includes:
- a systematic, synthetic phonics approach from day one in Reception, continuing sequentially until children leave Year 6
- a clear, progressive system of matching pupils' reading books to the phonics sounds they are learning in class, bands can be found below
- well-matched texts in Key Stage Two, sorted by text difficulty and arranged consistently across classes
- daily quiet reading time
- high quality texts in library
- Class reading corners with engaging texts and space to read
- giving pupils responsibility as student librarians, allowing peer-peer encouragement
- paired reading across classes
- E-Books on MYON
- Accelerated Reader rewards
- dedicated library time each week
Reading in EYFS and Key Stage One
You can find out more about phonics and reading in EYFS and Key Stage One on our phonics page.
Texts are carefully chosen, both for reading in school and at home, according to children’s development with phonics. The book band progression can be found below. Texts are also assigned regularly on Reading Planet.
Books should be 'decodable', which means that children should be able to read 90-100% of the words on the page independently using sounds they have already been taught. Re-reading books can also help children to build confidence with their decoding skills.
Teachers will sometimes send home books that are not phonically decodable. These books are for sharing and can be read aloud to your child.
Our school uses Accelerated Reader to support children to access texts that are appropriately challenging and engaging. As part of our school home learning expectations, children should read 5 times a week (15 minutes for Year 3 and 4; 20 minutes for Year 5 and 6). This is in addition to regular independent reading at school. Children are also required to complete Accelerated Reader quizzes when they finish books. Your child’s class teacher regularly checks Accelerated Reader and can see the books that children read. Children also complete a simple reading log so that texts which do not have Accelerated Reader quizzes are recorded. This replaces the need for children to fill in traditional reading diaries every time they read, ensures children are motivated and engaged, and gives the teacher helpful information about their reading habits and choices. On top of this, each child in Key Stage Two has access to 1000 e-books through MYON.
Children are all given a chance to complete quizzes in the following ways:
- - every morning in class, by telling their class teacher.
- - Each class also has a library session during lunch each week where they can take quizzes.
- - Additionally, children can complete quizzes at home.
Please see our parent tutorial below for more information about using Accelerated Reader at St Andrew's.
To enable children to build up their confidence in these key skills, we ensure that our writing curriculum content follows a clear sequence of progression. Teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Teachers create their own topic-based half-termly medium term plans, usually based upon a core text or a selection of high quality shorter texts, adapting these plans to suit the needs of their classes and their particular interests.
In writing, Cold and Hot assessment tasks inform teachers’ planning, engage children in the process of their learning and enable teachers to demonstrate to children not only the skills that they are required to utilise but also what steps they need to take to ‘close the gap’ between where their writing is now, and where it could be. Pupils also take part in regular Phonics assessments, as well as Grammar, Spellings and Punctuation tests to assess their progress against their year group’s specific skills.
Our knowledge and skills progression for writing breaks down the key areas of the national curriculum for writing into smaller chunks. We have chosen to build children's confidence by ensuring that they revist and review the majority of the skills and knowledge year on year i.e. they might meet a concept first in Year 1, which is then built upon in Year 2. Equally, in Year 3 and 4, children are working towards a clear end point at the end of Lower Key Stage Two, but there are steps set out for teachers and children so that progression within phases is clear. Certain concepts are introduced in the later of the two year groups (Y4 and Y6); this has been agreed in consultation with subject leaders, teachers and the Senior Leadership Team. Further details including the specific knowledge and skills progression can be found below.
Long Term Plan
Please see below a document detailing our Long Term Plan for reading and writing across the school. Further details about curriculum progression including writing knowledge and skills progressions can be found below.
Please see additional documents below for more detail about our English curriculum.
- III English
- St Andrew's Reading Skills
- Reading Knowledge and Skills Progression
- Writing Knowledge and Skills Progression
- Phonics Knowledge and Skills Progression
- Handwriting Policy
- Reading Policy
- KS1 Parent Reading Meeting
- KS1 Reading Planet Guide
- KS2 AR Guide
- How to access MYON
- AR Rewards Poster
- AR Levels Poster
- Parent Prompts for reading linked to school skills