English Vision Statement


At St. John’s R.C. Primary School, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word. We aim to develop in children:

  1. The habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.

  2. A wide vocabulary and a technical understanding of how the English language works.

  3. The ability to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for, a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

  4. The ability to use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

  5. Competency in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


English Objectives

English Glossary of Terms

English 2014 NC Changes



Reading & Phonics



Letters and Sounds

What is Letters and Sounds?

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting at the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds Guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. For more detailed information, visit the Letters and Sounds website.




Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One(Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two(Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three(Reception) up to 12 weeks The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five(Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six(Throughout Year 2 and beyond) Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing an independent reading practice. With AR, teachers can create a reading programme to meet the needs of every student.


Using information generated by the software, teachers can help students select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration. In addition, it helps teachers to monitor students’ vocabulary growth, literacy skills development and reading skills taught through other reading schemes.


How it works


1. Determine a reading level

A student’s reading level is determined through the STAR reading assessment. Each student is then allocated a range of books.

2. Set practice goals

Teachers are then able to set individualised reading goals for each student, based on the quantity, quality and difficulty of the books read. Students and their parents can be involved in the ongoing monitoring of progress toward these goals.

3. Personalise practice

Personalised reading practice means that students read books of interest at their own reading level.

4. Students take an AR Quiz

AR offers over 25,000 quizzes, with new quizzes constantly added for the latest and most popular fiction and non-fiction books.

5. Receive instant feedback

AR provides teachers with immediate information, helping them to monitor the comprehension skills of each student and inform further instruction or intervention. Students and parents get instant feedback to help motivate success with the use of reports




Our regular spelling teaching in school follows the guidance from the New National Curriculum regarding age appropriate expectations in spelling patterns and rules.

As part of the new National Curriculum, children are expected to learn particular spellings. The word-lists for years 3/4 and years 5/6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the 100 words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of Key Stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate.

We are teaching the Y3/4/5/6 lists through our regular spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons. These words can now be viewed using the links below. We hope this will give you a clear understanding of what we expect in terms of progress and achievement in our spelling through Key Stage 2.


Oxford Reading Tree

Phonics Play

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