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We are proud to have been awarded the KM Charity Team Literacy Mark at Gold level in recognition of the work our school has carried out to develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Our library is stocked with over 8000 fiction and non-fiction titles to which children have full access, using their own library account.


We inspire pupils with their writing through linking writing opportunities to the class topic and the high-quality texts that staff choose to share with their classes.

Daily opportunities are given for pupils to develop their grammar, punctuation and spelling, which progresses through the year groups. Pupils are given the opportunity to apply these skills to an extended piece of writing at least once a week across a range of subjects. We monitor the children's writing progress throughout their time here using our writing steps and using the assessment tool ‘No More Marking’ which allows us to take part in national assessment cycles. The school’s handwriting policy is used to ensure that pupils become fluent and legible with their writing.

We follow the Spelling Shed programme of study for years 1 to 6 and spellings are sent home weekly. Children can access Spelling Shed at home on a device and play games suited to the spelling patterns they are learning in class.

Children are taught how to check, edit and improve their writing and are encouraged to use these skills throughout the day and across the curriculum.

Reading and Phonics

At St John’s we use the Read, Write, Inc programme and take a systematic approach to teaching phonics through discrete daily sessions. When children are ready they move on to the spelling programme. For more information please see our Phonics at St John's page.

Pupils are taught to read using systematic synthetic phonics. We use our Guided Reading lessons to teach pupil strategies for reading, how to retrieve information, explore and analyse and make inferences and deductions. During Guided Reading time in Year 1, children engage in a daily ‘Book Talk’ session which involves an in-depth discussion of a key text. Guided Reading sessions include focussing on the content domains used in the KS1 and KS2 SATs tests, independent reading, teacher-led reading, building reading stamina, comprehension activities and reading for pleasure.

Children read 1:1 with adults in school on a regular basis to develop fluency and confidence.

Pupils have a wide range of books from which to choose, to suit all tastes and abilities. We also enjoy events throughout the year such as ‘Book Week’, where children meet famous authors and enjoy a range of exciting reading activities.

Spoken Language

We believe that effective speaking and listening skills underpin the development of reading and writing. Good speaking and listening skills are essential in order for our pupils to become effective communicators. Therefore, children are given daily opportunities to prepare and share ideas, explain their understanding, and participate in drama activities.