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'Matilda' and a Year Six pupil sharing a book together:

A Year 6 pupil sharing a book with 'Matilda'

The study of English develops children’s skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing for a wide range of purposes, so using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. 


At St. Peter's Church of England Primary School, we aim to develop a love for the English language in its written and spoken forms.  We are committed to delivering a broad and engaging curriculum in order to enable our pupils to become confident, independent and effective speakers, listeners, readers and writers. Our Literature Spine promotes a love of reading which underpins- and contributes to- all areas of English within our school. 


It is important to us that our curriculum is informed by the best available research and experts. Our English Lead is a member of the Minerva Learning English Leaders Network and has had a professional article published in the English 4-11 teaching journal. Teachers are members of the National Literacy Trust.


Our Reading and Writing Journey


Encouraging our children to become lifelong readers and part of our reading community is at the heart of our English curriculum.


Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.



'All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.'

National Curriculum 2014




Making a Strong Start using Supersonic Phonic Friends


Right from Reception, we teach our pupils to read using the fully validated scheme, Supersonic Phonic Friends. Created by literacy specialist and EYFS advisor Anna Lucas, this systematic scheme is carefully matched to the DfE statutory requirements. All Reading Teaching Staff have received training and support from Anna to ensure we meet our aim of teaching every child to read.


Reception to Year 2 children are taught using Supersonic Phonic Friends as the main EYFS and KS1 early reading programme.


In addition to this, we implement a phonics intervention in Key Stage Two called 'GAPs' created by Phonics Specialist Emma Spiers. This is used as and when necessary for our older pupils still learning to read.


Supersonic Phonic Friends Progression Grid


Please click on the link to see expected progress for Phonics in EYFS and Key Stage One.



How Can you Support your Child?

During the year, we hold regular parent workshops in Key Stage One for early reading and phonics. We also have further information on Class Pages. 


Click on the document link below to read Supersonic Phonic Friends Parent Information to help you best support your child in learning to read.


Reception Parent Phonics Meeting 2023

Monday 16th October at 9 a.m. Infant Hall


Year One Parent Phonics Meeting 2023

Monday 25th September 2023 at 9 a.m. Infant Hall

Supersonic Phonic Friends Parent Information

Guided Reading

Our guided reading approach is informed by extensive research into comprehension strategy instruction, as recommended by the EEF. 


The aims of the sessions are to engage with texts, respond to them, talk about them and developing deeper understanding (comprehension).


During the sessions, we focus on developing the key comprehension strategies through careful modelling and supported practice. Guided Reading enables our teaching staff to structure sessions around the varying needs of the groups.


In Upper Key Stage Two, we adopt Reciprocal Reading strategies which enables pupils to lead the sessions with support and guidance from their teacher.


Extra Reading Support

Staff at St. Peter's will carefully assess whether pupils require extra support in reading through ongoing assessments, and in consultation with the Senior Leadership Team.


Additional reads to aid fluency and comprehension are carried out by teaching assistants, our dedicated dinner supervisors, and our fantastic team of reading volunteers from our St. Peter's church family.


These adults may record notes on your child's reading in their reading record (Key Stage Two) and will feed back to the children's class teacher informally.


All staff carrying out interventions are fully DBS checked.

Home Reading

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

― Emilie Buchwald


Evidence strongly suggests that parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading.


Key findings from the evidence include:

• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);


• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);


• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Baker and Scher, 2002 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

Reading Books Coming Home

Access to reading materials at the correct level is vital in setting children up to succeed in reading. Carefully matched reading books will be sent home for your children to read independently or read to you. 


They will know all of the sounds used in the text because they match the sounds in the books they are being taught in class. This means they will be able to read the text with fluency and confidence – like a storyteller. They will enjoy reading to someone else or to themselves.


This does not mean the text is too easy for them – it means they are reading at the correct level. We do not send texts home the children cannot read because we always want them to be set up to succeed in their reading.


EYFS and Key Stage One

What will my child bring home to read?



A fully decodeable book (see above): contain sounds and words the children know. This is the Storybook they have just read at school and maybe some they have read before, for extra practice. Please don’t worry that books are too easy. Children enjoy re-reading stories they know well. Their speed and understanding improves on every read. Please have this book in school every day.


What else might my child bring home to read?


‘Share with me’ Banded Books: this is an enrichment text designed to widen their reading experience. It may contain sounds that your child has not come across yet in their phonics sessions which is why it is a ‘share with me’ book.


Library Books: your child may also bring home a library book to share with you. Read these stories to children, with your children or encourage them to retell the story by looking at the pictures. They are not expected to read the story by themselves. 


Key Stage Two

Any pupils receiving phonics intervention will bring home a fully decodeable reading book to ensure they can confidently read by themselves or to an adult. They may also bring home a 'Reading for Pleasure' book from their class library or our school library. This is designed to be a shared reading book between the child and an adult.


Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…) – This book is designed to build your child's fluency at an age appropriate level and to broaden their reading experience.  This book will be changed by their class teacher or teaching assistant when they have completed reading it at home. Parents or other adults at home should comment and sign their child's yellow reading record to indicate that they have heard their child read and are satisfied with their completion of the book. Please have this book in school every day.


Library Book - This book is to encourage your child to develop their own interest in books and is selected by your child. Read these books with your children or to them. At first, they are not expected to read the books by themselves. 


Pupils who have completed the colour banded books will be moved to 'Library Stage' when their teacher feels they are ready to take complete ownership over their reading 'diet'. These pupils will be expected to read widely, and to keep track of their reading journey in their reading record or reading journal (Year 6). It is not essential for these pupils to read aloud to an adult at home as frequently, but parents should still take an active interest in their child's reading enjoyment and understanding.


Colour Banded Book Progression

Please note: these book bands are for guidance and our teachers use their ongoing assessments to choose the appropriate level for each pupil.


"Informed, enthusiastic and skilled readers and writers, who can engage with texts and the world around them, as reflective and independent thinkers".

Reading in the Wider Curriculum


Both of our school libraries are well-stocked with various books designed to engage our children. These are carefully selected and organised by our fantastic librarians, Mrs Rigby and Mrs Baker. 


Books are organised using a dewey system making it easier for our children to locate books they'd like to read.


Our reading corners are stocked with plenty of fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as comics, newspapers and magazines.


Our FRIENDS of St. Peter's have recently treated every class to a magazine subscription for 2023-24! These include: The Beano, The Phoenix, Nat Geo Kids, Okido, The Dot and First News.



The Writing Process

Reading into Writing


At St. Peter's, we focus on developing authors who have the courage to be explorative and make creative and autonomous choices.


Time is prioritised to focus on developing the writing process with children as they move through the school. Transcription skills like handwriting and grammar are explicitly taught before being taught in context of the current teaching text.


The key elements of the writing process are: planning, drafting, editing and revising, proofread and then publishing or sharing. Writing takes place in subjects beyond English like History, Science and in R.E.


Modelling is a key element in the teaching of the writing process, with teachers using 'think out loud' to guide children through how to craft a piece of writing. By modelling, the expert writer lets less experienced writers in on the big secret … What is going on in the head of a more experienced writer? By modelling, we demonstrate options for planning, strategic problem solving, self-monitoring, reviewing, revising and proofreading. We also show how techniques can be used or applied; we work through challenges and teach good grammar. And we do it all within the context of authentic writing!

Our Approach to Spelling and Vocabulary


Spelling in Key Stages 1 and 2 is taught following the National Curriculum requirements from the programmes of study and Appendix 1.  Spelling is taught in discrete, regular, short sessions within the daily English lesson. The spelling focus for each week is included on a half termly spelling list which is sent home at the beginning of each half term. 


Please note: teaching will address gaps from previous year groups as necessary.


An example spelling list:


As part of the teaching of spelling, children in all year groups may undertake a  spelling test to assess progress made towards achieving objectives and undertake dictation exercises.  Whilst there is a place for spelling assessments due to their vital link between home and school, we place greater emphasis in the application of taught strategies into independent writing.


In preparation for meeting the expected standard for spelling at the end of Key Stage Two, children will select, use and apply Appendix 1 words in their own writing which is then assessed by their teacher, and often by the child (when editing or proofreading.)


Vocabulary is taught within English, Guided Reading and the wider curriculum. Children explore subject- specific vocabulary and more specifically, words linked to the units of work being studied. 

Our Approach to Handwriting

Excellent presentation of work is highly valued at St Peter's; all pupils and adults should take great pride in their writing.  Pupils’ books, published work and teachers’ scripts demonstrate this high standard.


From Reception, regular handwriting sessions teach children correct letter formation and when appropriate, how to join accurately.  Teachers teach using the Nelson Handwriting Scheme through regular discrete sessions and/or within their daily English lesson. 


Progression in handwriting: 


Children are taught to join letters in Key Stage 1 when they are ready and pens may be used for display work. 


In Key Stage 2, pupils graduate to a 'pen license' when work is sufficiently fluent and legible; allowing them autonomy over their writing implements and choosing the best tool for task in hand.



Handwriting Support: warming up for handwriting

Still image for this video

Our Approach to Oracy

At St. Peter's CofE Primary, we aim to equip our learners with the skills to talk and listen effectively to one another. Oracy gives every child the opportunity to find their voice; to articulate their ideas, thoughts and feelings clearly and coherently and develops understanding. Effective communication helps every child to fulfil their potential and flourish in their school life and beyond, regardless of their background. We endeavour to give every learner, under our provision, this opportunity.


Our House Captains and Vice Captains presented an assembly in which they explained how to earn housepoints for their team.




We are in the process of incorporating strands from the Oracy Framework into our curriculum, which our pupils have access to. Our learners are encouraged to speak in full, coherent sentences when sharing their ideas and using spoken language.


EYFS Sentence Stems


Key Stage One Sentence Stems


Key Stage Two Sentence Stems

Celebrating English at St. Peter's


A selection of some of the English opportunities beyond the classroom.


Our first ever Year 6 Reading Champions elected their successors.

Meet 2023/24's Reading Champions!





Whole School Poet Visit: Spoz!



Year 3 and 4 Author Visit at King Edward's School: 

Tom Palmer


Year 5 Drama Outreach with KEHS:


Whole School Author Visit: Chris White


Year 6 Theatre Visit to The Crescent Theatre: The Snow Queen

Our star of the show, Jonah!What an amazing cast!


Year 6 Debating Competition at King Edward's School






Year 3 Harborne Library Visit


Year 2 Theatre Trip


Year 1 Theatre Trip



World Book Day celebrations







Poetry Week 2023

Selected theme: Performance Poetry


This year we celebrated the performance aspect of poetry.

Poetry Week got off to an amazing start with a visit from poet extraordinaire, Spoz! He inspired us to write and perform poetry about everyday things, like chocolate!


Each year group chose a poet to study and then explored some of their amazing poetry. Poetry Week culminated in an infant poetry slam and a junior poetry slam.





Year Two pupils performing a poem

Still image for this video

Michael Rosen - What advice would you give on performing poetry?

This is "Michael Rosen - What advice would you give on performing poetry?" by CLPE on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

"We focus on developing authors who have the courage to be explorative and make creative and autonomous choices."

Our Literate Environment 2022-2023

Who is our English Governor?

In Spring Term, Miss Falcon (English Subject Leader) met with Matt Lorimer and Mike Down (Chair of Govrnors) to conduct an literate environment walk and to discuss current areas of strength and possible areas of development in English. The governors were pleased to see vibrant and purposeful learning areas and in KS1, consistency in Phonics displays. They were also impressed by the high expectations of our staff with regards published writing seen in English books.