Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary


                                                 Enabling every child to thrive and succeed   

                                              The English Curriculum 


English, as a whole subject, develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes and audiences.  Speaking and listening is a high priority, particularly developing children’s vocabulary, as these skills underpin all aspects of reading and writing. 

We believe that reading is a fundamental life skill as well as well as a way of opening a child’s mind to stimulating and exciting new experiences through pictures, stories and information presented in a range of genres. Reading enables children to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. They gain an understanding of the beauty of language through exploring its patterns, structures and origins. Through reading, children gain an understanding of how to write and express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they absorb an understanding of the structure of texts, the use of language and vocabulary and the power of punctuation and grammar to convey nuance of meaning. It is our intention to ensure that all children read widely and confidently with fluency and comprehension, developing a life-long love of literature and reading. 

Our Key Principles: 

The Reading Curriculum 

We teach early reading through Read, Write Inc., a systematic synthetic phonics programme. Children have daily phonics sessions and are taught to apply their phonics skills and achieve effective blending through the Read, Write Inc. story books used during these sessions. 

Children’s progress in phonics is closely tracked and children are regularly assessed and regrouped as appropriate.  Home reading books are phonics based and closely match our phonics program to consolidate the sounds being taught in lessons.  

Alongside and beyond these early books, children continue to have structured support for their reading through the Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat schemes.  This helps to ensure that they continue to develop effective decoding skills in order to become fluent, confident and independent readers. 

Comprehension skills are developed alongside decoding through daily whole class, group and individual reading sessions. 

You can see our reading provision and expectations here

We also want our children to read a wide range of quality fiction throughout their primary school lives. From September 2021, we are introducing a Passport to Reading which will track and celebrate children’s developing reading skills, stamina and appetite. 

Please click here to see the new passport. 

Spelling and Handwriting 

We are currently reviewing our handwriting and spelling programmes to ensure that they are as effective as possible.  Once decisions have been made, links will be added to this page. 

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