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



Strategies to help with spelling







Look, say, cover, write, check


This is probably the most common strategy used to learn spellings.

Look: first look at the whole word carefully and if there is one part of the word that is difficult, look at that part in more detail.

Say: say the word as you look at it, using different ways of pronouncing it if that will make it more memorable.

Cover: cover the word.

Write: write the word from memory, saying the word as you do so.

Check: Have you got it right? If yes, try writing it again and again! If not, start again – look, say, cover, write, check.







Trace, copy and replicate

(and then check)


This is a similar learning process to ‘look, say, cover, write, check’ but is about developing automaticity and muscle memory.

Write the word out on a sheet of paper ensuring that it is spelt correctly and it is large enough to trace overTrace over the word and say it at the same time. Move next to the word you have just written and write it out as you say it. Turn the page over and write the word as you say it, and then check that you have spelt it correctly.

If this is easy, do the same process for two different words at the same time. Once you have written all your words this way and feel confident, miss out the tracing and copying or the tracing alone and just write the words.


Segmentation strategy


The splitting of a word into its constituent phonemes in the correct order to support spelling.








Writing the words linked to the teaching focus with speed and fluency. The aim

is to write as many words as possible within a time constraint.

Pupils can write words provided by the teacher or generate their own examples. For example, in two minutes write as many words as possible with the /iː/ phoneme.

This can be turned into a variety of competitive games including working in teams and developing relay race approaches.








Drawing around the word to show the shape


Draw around the words making a clear distinction in size where there are ascenders and descenders. Look carefully at the shape of the word and the letters in each box. Now try to write the word making sure that you get the same shape.










Drawing an image around the word


This strategy is all about making a word memorable. It links to meaning in order to try to make the spelling noticeable.




Yocan’usthimethoayoumaimethoolearninspellingsbut it

might work on those that are just a little more difficult to remember.





Words without vowels


This strategy is useful where the vowel choices are the challenge in the words. Write the words without the vowels and pupils have to choose the correct grapheme to put in the space. For example, for the word field:








Pyramid words






You can then reverse the process so that you end up with a diamond.








Other strategies


Other methods can include:


  • Rainbow writing. Using coloured pencils in different ways can help to make parts of words memorable. You could highlight the tricky parts of the word or write the tricky part in a different colourYou could also write each letter in a different colour, or write the word in red, then overlay in orange, yellow and so on.


Making up memorable ‘silly sentences’ containing the word

  • Saying the word in a funny way – for example, pronouncing the ‘silent’ letters in a word

Clapping and counting to identify the syllables in a word.




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

© Copyright 2016–2020 St John’s RC Primary School