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St Philips Primary


Speaking and Listening

Talking is fundamental to learning. Children are encouraged to work with partners and in small groups to stimulate discussion, debate, recount experiences, test out ideas and build confidence before sharing ideas with the whole class. Children are encouraged and helped to talk clearly and confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings. Similarly and just as importantly, is the need to listen to others and respond appropriately - this is also taught explicitly.   All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in both speaking and listening. 



At St Philip’s we aim to foster a life-long love of reading.  Our aim is not only to teach children the skills to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, but also to foster a genuine desire to read for pleasure and purpose. Children spend time throughout the week developing their reading through a range of individual, group and whole class reading sessions. The focus develops from being able to decode words to understanding their meaning. Then to understanding how a text is structured to reading between the lines. Finally they think about how all of this has an impact on the reader. We ensure that children read many different styles of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry whilst developing the full range of skills needed to learn to decode and understand text. There a range of texts available to the children in their class reading corners and the school library. 


We believe children learn to read best when school and home work together in partnership and written communication is directed through a reading record. These will vary depending on the age and stage of the children.  Early readers follow a structured programme of carefully selected books which adhere to our Little Wandle phonics scheme and are organised into the phonics phases which they are taught. One the children have completed the phonics programme they move onto levelled book bands before becoming a 'free reader'. They may choose books from our well-stocked school library.  All children enjoy a weekly visit to the library and are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence when choosing from our vast range of reading material. All children will take home two reading books, a reading book aimed to support their level of understanding and comprehension and a reading for pleasure book to enjoy.  Please click on the link below to see our Reading for Pleasure statement.


A daily phonics lesson is taught in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and our teaching follows the progression as detailed in the Little Wandle programme.  Children in Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics sessions before moving onto spelling in year 2.  All children from Reception onwards take part in Guided Reading sessions each week. These vary in format depending on the year group of the children but focus on teaching the children skills of reading out loud and understanding texts through comprehension. 

 Reading for Pleasure statement


Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum at St Philip’s and all children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills not only in English lessons, but across the wider curriculum. 

Using high-quality texts as stimulus, children are taught to plan, revise and evaluate their writing whilst developing effective transcription and effective composition skills.  Children also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

Planning for English follows the three phase model of reading, capturing ideas and writing. Each unit is planned with a set outcome; ensuring learners are writing for a clear purpose and applying what has been taught in a meaningful way. These units last between one and three weeks, depending on the genre being studied.

Children are provided opportunities to write at length in other curriculum areas and it is expected that their work in these areas reflects the same standards as work completed within English lessons.

High standards of presentation are valued and children are taught to join their writing, developing precision, fluency and speed. Consistent high levels of presentation are rewarded during weekly Celebration Collective Worships. 

Spelling is taught using No Nonsense Spelling from Y2 to Y6, with younger children focussing on spelling linked to phonic sounds and letter strings as detailed in Little Wandle. 

Link to National Curriculum page for English:




In EYFS and KS1, children should be engaged in learning (phonics) every day for 20 minutes using the Little Wandle Phonics Programme. The structure of a session will vary depending on the stage of the child. A range of classroom and phonics session resources are used to support the children with their phonetic understanding which will transfer into their reading and ultimately their writing. 

Any children who need further support with their phonics take part in a range of phonics interventions including Daily Keep-up, Daily Catch-up and extra reading practice opportunities. Children in Key Stage 2 who need extra support with their phonetic decoding will also take part in the Catch-up sessions with daily reading practice. A SEND phonics programme provides targeted support at the appropriate level for those children who benefit from a more graduated approach. It mirrors the main teaching programme, but has the necessary adaptations to support those children with SEND.

The link below takes you to the Little Wandle for parents web page where you can access a variety of resources including how to pronounce different sounds. 

For parents | Letters and Sounds (littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk)


In Years 2-6, pupils are taught spelling using Babcock’s No Nonsense Spelling programme.

The programme consists of the following elements:

  • The requirements of the National Curriculum, which have been organised into strands and then broken down into termly overviews.
  • Termly overviews that have been mapped across weeks as half termly plans. These follow a model of three spelling sessions per week, except in Year 2 where sessions are daily.
  • Daily lesson plans for each session, with Supporting Resources, including word lists and guidance on conventions.

The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.

Each lesson is approximately 15 minutes long, but lesson plans are flexible so that the teaching can reflect the extra time needed on a teaching point if required. The Supporting Resources at the back of each book can be used as appropriate to adjust the pace and focus of the lesson. Each lesson clearly signposts when additional resources from the programme can be used.

Within the lessons, the particular focus is identified, followed by suggested teaching strategies. By integrating activities for handwriting, the benefit of making a spelling activity kinaesthetic is secured. The pupil acquires the physical memory of the spelling pattern as well as the visual. Integral to the process is the scope to encourage pupils to learn spellings.

Within the sessions a range of strategies for learning spellings are introduced and practised. This enables pupils to choose the strategies they find most effective for learning different words. For example (see link for more detail of these strategies):

  • Look, say, cover, write, check
  • Trace, copy and replicate (and then check)
  • Segmentation strategy
  • Quickwrite
  • Drawing around the word to show the shape
  • Drawing an image around the word
  • Words without vowels
  • Pyramid words
  • Rainbow writing
  • Silly sentences
  • Saying the word in a funny (and memorable) way
  • Clapping syllables

To support the teaching, additional resources are recommended and used throughout the programme. 

  • Spelling journals
  • GPC (grapheme-phoneme correspondence) choices chart
  • Have a go sheets
  • Individual whiteboards
  • Working walls


You can find a breakdown of the spelling progression from Years 2-6 here, as well as strategies to support the learning of spellings at home here.


Pupils’ learning is assessed throughout the programme. The ‘Apply’ part of the sequence regularly includes assessment activities to identify if pupils have learnt the key concept taught. These activities include:

  • Testing – by teacher and peers
  • Dictation
  • Explaining
  • Independent application in writing
  • Frequent learning and testing of statutory and personal words.

Children will be assessed termly using the statutory word list appropriate for their year group (please see the link)