Reading and Phonics Statement of Intent: 

Reading is given a high status at St. Paul’s, and the children are eager to take part in their reading lessons, and transfer this passion, and their skills across the curriculum. We aim to instil a love of reading and books.

 Our primary aims are:

-To provide phonics teaching and learning as soon as children enter Reception, using a verified phonics scheme.

-To develop phonetic skills which lead to competent decoding skills and fluent reading.

-To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading.

-To promote and encourage good home/school links using a wide range of literature.

-To develop children’s reading for pleasure through the sharing of a class novel.

-To equip children with critical tools so they are able to analyse what they read.

-To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies including informal assessments and formal testing as appropriate.

-To support all groups of learners in maximising their reading potential.

-To provide extra phonics teaching and learning, in the form of booster/intervention groups for those children who need it.

-To use high quality texts in our English units, that inspire and captivate readers. Exposing them to a variety of authors and genres.


Each child is able to visit our inspirational reading room and in class book areas. All children have a reading diary and book, which are taken home each day. To see how our reading books are banded click here. All classrooms have their own class reading areas with topic themed books, and it is intended that greater amounts of quality stock will be purchased this year to further enhance and broaden pupils’ reading experience.

At St. Paul’s we have a daily story time, where teachers read books to the children from our reading spine, promoting the love of reading to the children. To see our reading spine click here.


Phonics is taught in EYFS and Year 1 using the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised’ Phonics programme.

In EYFS and Year 1 children are encouraged to read, and are read to daily. Pupils are taught phonics daily. This is via whole class delivery, with the option for some children to attend smaller ‘Rapid Catch up’ or ‘SENd’ phonics sessions, which are part of the Little Wandle scheme. Phonics learning in EYFS and Year 1 is followed in continuous provision as well as being a key part of English lessons and activities.

Children in EYFS and Year 1 take part in ‘Reading Practise sessions’. These small group reading sessions are linked to children’s phonic ability. Children share a book over the course of three days, following Little Wandle Reading Practise guidance. These sessions focus on decoding, vocabulary, comprehension and prosody. Children are able to practice letter formation during phonics lessons and are taught to take pride in their writing from an early age.

Reading after phonics

Children continue to access our reading book scheme which is matched to the reading ability of pupils. Teachers and TAs regularly review the reading level children are on and encourage them to progress within the scheme. From Years 2-6 Guided reading is taught four times per week using high quality and engaging texts to promote a love of reading. Children focus on fluency, vocabulary, inference, retrieval, prediction and sequencing in these sessions. To see how the teaching of reading is sequenced at St. Paul’s please click here. To see the types of questions we ask and answer during Guided Reading sessions please click here.

Hook books
As part of English units we use high quality, captivating texts. Hook books are used in all classes throughout school. Hook books are built into our English planning and used to support a range of writing genres and explore new vocabulary.

Statement of Impact:

We want to instil a love of reading in all children. By using engaging texts in English lessons and in learning across the curriculum, children are exposed to a range of genres and styles. By creating reading rich environments and celebrations across the school year, we want children to see that we are all readers and it is a skill we all need to learn.

As a result of this ethos and a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading, our children will:

·        Become confident readers. All children will have been supported and encouraged to read regardless of their reading ability.

·        Be able to apply their phonic knowledge to decode unknown words and by re-reading texts, will gradually build their fluency.

·        Receive support and ‘catch up’ when necessary to continuously develop their phonics and reading proficiency.

·        Read widely and often across the curriculum and be able to extract information from different genres of text.

·        Reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum as they will be able to apply their reading skills to different subject areas.

·        Learn new pieces of vocabulary and gain creative ideas from fiction texts. After listening to inspiring stories, children will be able to transfer ideas into their own writing and be motivated to use higher level vocabulary. 

Writing Statement of Intent: 

At St Paul’s, we want all children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential.

Our aims are to:

·        Guide and nurture each individual on their own personal journeys to becoming successful writers.

·        Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance all pupils.

·        We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary and to be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.

·        We want all children to have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing.

·        We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

·        We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, joined, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.

·        We want every child to have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard children to becoming fluent writers.

·        To plan a progressive curriculum to build upon previous teaching, with regular assessment through internal and external moderation to ensure each child’s needs are met to reach their full potential.


At St Paul’s English units are planned using an engaging ‘Book’ and a ‘Hook’. This serves to engage and create interest amongst the children.

For example:

EYFS – Theme of Winter and Jack Frost / Hook is a book found in a block of ice

KS1 – ‘Disgusting Sandwich’ / Hook is a disgusting sandwich found at school; ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ / Hook is a trail of seeds, golden eggs, and giant footprints

LKS2 – ‘Scarabs Secret’ / Hook is mysterious hieroglyphics and a scarab beetle discovered at school; ‘Baba Yaga’ / Hook is mysterious black feathers found and a newspaper cut out about them

UKS2 – ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ / Hook is a WW2 creating interest day with music and artefacts; ‘How to be an Explorer’ / Hook is a mysterious campsite set up at the front of school


During each unit of writing, which usually lasts a half term, KS1 and LKS2 will build up to a narrative and one non-fiction piece of writing while UKS2 will typically build up to a narrative plus two non-fiction pieces. Writing is formatively assessed throughout each unit with internal and external moderation sessions to quality assure any judgements made.

A typical unit of work consists of:

-        Creating interest lesson (letter/found poster/questions/wanted poster)

-        Reading / immersion using the ‘Hook’ book (some ‘Talk 4 writing’, sequencing, comprehension)

-        Grammar activities linked to the book/hook (character description/settings, key vocabulary, sentence structures)

-        Innovating and planning (creating own characters/settings/ingredients/machine etc.)

-        Writing phase (over a number of days)

-        Editing and proof reading is done during each phase of writing


Editing and proof reading is done daily from year 2 onwards. Children at St Pauls make corrections (punctuation, spelling, missing words etc) and improve their writing (vocabulary, adding or extending sentences) against a success criteria using red pen. Children respond to any teacher marking at the start of a lesson using purple pen. Teacher modelling takes place regularly with scaffolds and word banks provided as necessary.

Working walls are consistent across school using the headings – Hook / Vocabulary / Sentence / WAGOLL (What a good one looks like) / WAGON (What a good one needs).


From Year 2, classes follow a progressive spelling scheme called Spelling Shed. Spelling Shed's approach to spelling involves the relationship between sounds and written symbols as well as using morphology to help spell through meaning. The carefully selected word lists and engaging activities provide opportunities to incorporate phonics and meaning to strengthen spelling skills and build vocabulary acquisition. Through exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.

Children are also taught to:

·        Spell accurately and identify reasons for misspellings

·        Proof-read and edit their spellings in red pen

·        Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills

·        Use a dictionary and thesaurus


Teaching handwriting effectively impacts the wider curriculum. When taught effectively, handwriting is where children will see the biggest change and fastest improvement in their work; progress they are able to see, feel and enjoy.  Through our programme of teaching handwriting, we see those rewards reaped in a very short time span, giving the children something immediate.  Self-esteem and motivation levels rise which in turn influences children’s attitudes to learning in other subjects.  It also plays a part in their personal development because care, pride, concentration and perseverance are required qualities.

At St Paul’s, we follow a programme of regular handwriting lessons systematically called ‘Achieving Excellence in Handwriting’ by Martin Harvey. This scheme helps in ensuring that letters are initially well formed and then well joined, all the while being of the correct size.  We find that doing a little and doing it often is the key, but there are many other important ‘jigsaw pieces’ to fit in place, such as good quality writing tools and correct body posture. The handwriting style we teach is based on a semi-cursive style. It is simplistic but very clear and it does not have the ‘loops’ or ‘lead-ins’ which are features of more complex handwriting styles.

Statement of Impact:

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2, children have developed a writer’s craft: they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect.

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