English - Reading and Phonics

At St John’s CE Primary School, we are passionate about developing children as lifelong learners.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

- W. B. Yeats

A crucial part of this is equipping children with the necessary English (Reading and Phonics) skills to access the curriculum with confidence and enjoyment. As soon as children join our school, they experience a wealth of Reading and Spoken Language opportunities. Communication skills are of the highest priority throughout the school, particularly in light of our high proportion of EAL children and these skills are developed across the curriculum.


We follow the Government's recommended Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme, which is a Phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.  It aims to build children's spoken language 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 by the age of 5, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age 7.  Our children receive tailored Phonics provision through streaming across Early Years and Key Stage One. Phonics provision continues into Key Stage Two, naturally progressing into discrete Spelling and Grammar lessons.

Reading Skills

Basic Writing skills are continually a focus in both English and cross-curricular lessons. Through Shared and Guided Writing sessions, children practise and build on these basic skills and enjoy developing as writers.

Our children are extremely positive about English provision at St John’s and they especially enjoy our annual Book Week.

The whole school Reading Programme supports every child on their reading journey. Children will become fluent readers through hundreds of high quality banded books by top authors and illustrators. In depth teacher resources support all stages from Early Reading through Phonics to guided and independent reading for more confident readers.

Foundation Stage schemes include: Songbirds, Floppy's Phonics, Lighthouse, Collins Big Cat, Comics for Phonics and Pearson Bug Club.

Reading Schemes we use in Key Stage 1 and 2 include: Collins Big Cat, Lighthouse, Oxford Reading Tree Texts and All Aboard

Guided Reading is highly valued by both staff and children, providing the opportunity to read and reflect on texts as a group.  This can take the form of small group carousel reading opportunities or whole class reading.

In Key Stage 2 guided reading texts are chosen by curriculum teams in order to provide challenge, opportunities for broader curriculum learning and that are relevant to our school community.

In Key Stage 1 the Rigby Star is used for Carousel Guided Reading and teachers adapt other age appropriate resources for whole class Guided Reading.