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Reading and Writing at St Anthony’s

Reading and Writing at St Anthony’s

"Reading is like breathing in, and writing is like breathing out." - Pam Allyn 

Reading is a priority at St Anthonys – A guide for parents

Reading with children at St Anthony’s

Our Vision

Statement of Intent

 At St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School, we strive for children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’. We have created a curriculum that encourages children to become the best versions of themselves so they can use spoken and written language to communicate effectively- to listen, speak, read and write both in and for a wide range of contexts, purpose and audiences. We understand the power that reading can have in unlocking all areas of the curriculum and allowing pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. This will develop a love of language and promote high standards in literacy, thus equipping pupils with a strong command of standard spoken and written English.

Our aim is to provide the children with opportunities to read and hear carefully selected texts in a range of genres, from different authors, which address themes and issues and that represent the diverse society in which we live. By exploring and experiencing a range of vocabulary through high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts, their language repertoire will increase and enable the children to use their imagination and become more competent, creative writers.

From the earliest stage, skills in decoding are taught through engaging and creative activities and are embedded into the learning environment.  Communication skills, in all forms, will be nurtured and developed, at each stage of the children’s education.

We believe that by promoting a love of reading, the children will be inspired to find joy and pleasure in a range of literature that will live with them throughout their lives. Alongside this, we believe that the full immersion of a variety of genres will evoke a passion for writing by developing transferable knowledge and skills to write for a range of purposes and audiences now and in the future.

Teachers have a mutual respect for short writing opportunities and recognise the impact they can have on a child’s scaffolded and independent piece of write. We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to produce work that they are proud of. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, IT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. Teachers and leaders promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. Handwriting sessions are taught in isolation but are also regularly incorporated into the English lessons, Spelling sessions and other areas of the curriculum; this is celebrated on our ‘Cursive Creations’ and ‘Joining in the Fun’ displays. We want our children to acquire a wide and varied vocabulary to make them eloquent, wise and compassionate in their choice and use of words – whether that be spoken or written. The children will have a good understanding of grammar in context and to be able to spell new words by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time at St Anthony’s.

The Implementation of our Reading Curriculum

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen Phonics programme. The aim of ELS is ‘Getting all children to read well, quickly’. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words. Children begin learning Phonics at the very beginning of Reception and it is explicitly taught every day during a dedicated slot on the timetable. Children are given the knowledge and the skills to then apply this independently. Throughout the day, children will use their growing Phonics knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and will have many opportunities to practise their reading. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, with a partner during paired reading and as a class.  Children continue daily Phonics lessons in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers. Any children who need additional support in Phonics will receive this through group intervention and one to one support in Key Stage 2.

We follow the ELS progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support each child’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.

We teach children to:

ELS is designed on the principle that children should ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. Since interventions are delivered within the lesson by the teacher, any child who is struggling with the new knowledge can be immediately targeted with appropriate support. Where further support is required, 1:1 interventions are used where needed. These interventions are short, specific and effective.

Developing a love of reading is of paramount importance at St. Anthony’s, and this starts from the moment the children start in Reception and continues throughout the school. Staff dedicate time to reading to the children daily; texts and novels are selected carefully to ensure children hear a range of stories written by both classic and modern authors as well as books on a range of themes and issues and that represent the diverse society in which we live.

Children take books home daily to support and embed skill development outside of school. In Key Stage 1, ELS Phonics assessments determine the books the children take home. In Key Stage 2, children progress through the book bands in line with teacher assessments. Our school-book banding system offers our children a broad range of texts once they have mastered the early reading skills. All children have access to assigned books on Oxford Owl and Oxford Ready Buddy. Staff provide the children with regular opportunities to read in school on a one-to-one basis and in Guided Reading lessons.

Better Reading Partners, Neli, ELS intervention and Reading working groups are planned and scheduled for children, from EYFS to Year 6, that need support in Communication and Language, Speaking and Listening, Decoding and Comprehending.

Guided Reading at St. Anthony’s is taught in small groups every day. EYFS and Key Stage One organise these small groups in accordance to phonetical understanding and knowledge. Key Stage organise their groups based on teacher judgement (and year group due to mixed age environment). This allows children to develop fluency and accuracy when reading, but also develop a deeper understanding of what they have read. Staff use carefully structured questions orally and more formally through written comprehension covering the various reading domains. All teaching staff are trained on this once per term throughout the academic the year.

Whole-school reading events such as World Book Day are celebrated every year, to further raise the profile of reading in our school. We also have access to a well-resourced central library as well as class libraries, library loan boxes and visits from the Library Service and local authors, all of which enthuse the children and develop their love of reading.

The Implementation of our Writing Curriculum

Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught as part of the daily English lesson. There is a whole school scheme for spelling (NNS). Punctuation and grammar are taught according to year group objectives, genres and class needs.  Skills have been mapped out to ensure progression across year groups. Independent IDL intervention is available across KS2 for children who need further support with reading and spelling. Spelling, punctuation and grammar learning is made meaningful and current for children, by applying it to their writing focus every week.

At St. Anthony’s, we are firm believers that the children should be writing frequently, and about things that are engaging and meaningful. Teachers plan and deliver units of learning focussing on different text types, which build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. A range of fiction, non- fiction and poetry books are used to help, enthuse and engage learners to become proficient and independent writers. A rich quality text is the driver for our writing units.

We have high expectations for handwriting at St. Anthony’s Primary School, and believe it is important that children take pride in the presentation of their written work. In EYFS and Key Stage 1 handwriting is taught in discrete sessions, where letter formation and cursive joins are modelled and taught by the class teacher and practiced by the children in different forms. In Key Stage 2 handwriting sessions are taught when needs arise. Letter-Join supports our ambitious handwriting policy.

Please see the handwriting page for further information.

Speaking and listening are vital skills for children to acquire and are fundamental to their language development. Children are taught to speak confidently and to adapt their speech to different situations. They are given the opportunity for their language to develop alongside their progress in reading and writing. They will also be given the opportunity to develop into careful and responsive listeners.

Please see the Speaking and Listening page for further information.

Assessment for Learning is embedded in English lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and that of their peers. Pupils identify, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work. The children acquire writing targets at the beginning of each term and these are stated in their English books. Our children are reflective in the process of wanting to be the best writers they can be.

The Impact of our English Curriculum

Children at St Anthony’s talk positively about English – Reading and Writing – and this is demonstrated by their enthusiasm in lessons. Being fully immersed in a range of genres and authors excites and engages pupils, which creates a sense of awe and wonder in their eyes. This in turn has produced a community of enthusiastic, confident readers and writers, who enjoy showcasing their developing literary knowledge and skills. Children are beginning to take risks, and love to discuss and share their ideas. High quality work is evident in the outcomes children produce in their English books and Independent Writing books, and foundation subject curriculum books. The impact of this, enables children to adapt their writing successfully considering the purpose and audience.

Special Visitors

We love a visitor here at St Anthony’s! The children have had fantastic opportunities where authors, illustrators, book enthusiasts and reading specialists visit our school to inspire and educate our children – from age 4 to 11.

Oxford Reading Buddy Club

Oxford Reading Buddy Club takes places every Monday and Tuesday lunchtime with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children Reading together in one classroom.

What we are reading in class


Reception English Curriculum

St Anthony’s English Overview – EYFS – 2022/23

Reception English Yearly Overview 2324

Year 1/2 English Curriculum

Cycle A (current)

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS1 1.2 Cycle A Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS1 1.2 Cycle A Spring

Cycle B

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS1 Cycle B Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS1 1.2 Cycle B Spring

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS1 1.2 Cycle B Summer

Year 3/4 English Curriculum

Cycle A (current)

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 3.4 Cycle A Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 3.4 Cycle A Spring

Cycle B

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 3.4 Cycle B Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 3.4 Cycle B Spring

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 3.4 Cycle B Summer

Year 5/6 English Curriculum

Cycle A (current)

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 5.6 Cycle A Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 5.6 Cycle A Spring

Cycle B

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 5.6 Cycle B Autumn

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 5.6 Cycle B Spring

St Anthony’s English Overview – KS2 5.6 Cycle B Summer

Progression in Reading

Reading Progression 202223

Progression in Writing

Writing Progression 202223

Progression in Spoken Language

Spoken Language Progression 202223

English Policy


St Anthony’s Handwriting Policy – September 2022

Reading and Writing

Development Matters Page 20 and Page 74

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework

Year 1-6.
Reading and Writing KLIPS

Key Learning in Reading and Writing for Years 1-2

Key Learning in Reading and Writing for Years 3-4

Key Learning in Reading and Writing for Years 5-6

Useful websites to support reading at home

Education Endowment Foundation



Register on the LoveReading4Kids website and you will be able to access a range of short text extracts covering a range of genres.

Library – The Oak National Academy

The Oak National Academy have partnered up with a range of well-known authors, who will be releasing a book to read each week for free.

Oxford Owl

Class teachers will direct you to books at a suitable level for your child and provide you with a class login.

Oxford Reading Buddy

Class teachers will direct you to books at a suitable level for your child and provide you with a class login.

We have developed a range of extra activities which are used to promote English within the school including; World Book Day, Oxford Reading Buddy Club, Wow Word Wednesday, weekly aspiring author club, and author visits.