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.


  • To inspire pupils with their writing we link writing opportunities to the class topic and high quality texts.

  • Daily opportunities are given for pupils to develop their grammar, punctuation and spelling which progress 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 follow the No Nonsense Spelling Programme for years 2 to 6 and spellings are sent home weekly. We also send home the statutory spelling lists from the National Curriculum for parents to support their children at home.

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

  • Handwriting is practiced daily. Please see your class teacher for a copy of the handwriting policy to practice at home.

  • We monitor the children's writing progress throughout their time here using our writing steps.

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, however decoding is just one aspect of reading. Guided reading is taught daily in KS1 and KS2 and teaches children 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. Daily guided reading sessions include independent reciprocal reading, teacher led reciprocal reading, task carousels, building reading stamina, comprehension and reading for pleasure.

Children read 1:1 with adults in school on a regular basis to develop fluency and confidence, children who find reading more difficult receive additional support.

We monitor the children's reading progress throughout their time here using our reading steps.

St John’s Reading Mentor Project

CCCU BA Primary Students are working alongside pupils from years one to six to support and develop their reading. The purpose of the project is to enable pupils to make rapid progress and develop pupils’ confidence in reading through having 1:1 reading opportunities with skilled student teachers.

To enthuse children about reading, children enjoy a weekly trip to our school library ‘The Hive’. Pupils have a wide range of books to choose from, 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.

The library is used at lunch times for free reading sessions, along with a weekly Shakespeare club which includes reading, researching word history and acting.

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.

A debate club is currently being run once a week at lunchtime, supporting year 5 and 6 pupils with these skills and they are given free use of the library in order to support and justify their opinions.