A child’s confidence and skill in using the written and spoken word underpins English teaching at St Francis Primary Academy. We understand how vital it is to be able to express views and feelings, share knowledge and to make the most of communication with other people. To be at ease with reading, writing, speaking and listening is to have the key to all subjects and the potential for enriching life experiences.

English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and we use this document to inform our planning and to ensure that we build on the children’s prior learning. English lessons are taught daily across the school and the skills are embedded in all subject areas.  Phonics is taught for at least 20 minutes each day in Reception and Key Stage One classes, following Early Years Foundation Stage guidance and using the Letters and Sounds programme. Consolidation of phonic skills continues throughout Key Stage One and Two, with intervention work planned where necessary.

Main Reading Schemes used: 

Pearson's ' Bug Club ' -  online, individual books and sets of guided reading books.

Oxford Reading Tree - Reading books which include a phonic strand and sight vocabulary.

Rigby Star.

Phonic Schemes used:

'Jolly Phonics ' used in Reception Class.

'Letters and Sounds' - used from Reception Class and  through Key Stage 1.

Read, Write, Inc.-  Phonic Intervention Scheme, used in Years 1-3.


School Library:  Children have daily access to the School Library and School Librarian, including after school.



We encourage every child to become a confident and fluent reader, finding pleasure in words and books.  Our class book areas and library are well-stocked with an enticing selection of poetry, stories and information texts, to give children the chance to experience a wide range of writing styles.

Children at St. Francis take books home from within a structured scheme, together with a Home/School Reading Diary, to share their reading and keep track of their progress. Working with parents, lots of support is provided, to take children from the early steps of using picture clues and phonic knowledge in Reception, through to more detailed comprehension work by Year Six.

Writing :

Children’s ability to communicate through their own writing is a vital skill for life and a platform for success in any subject. From the moment they put their first marks on paper in Reception Class, a child’s personal journey towards finding meaning through words begins.

Early letter formation is encouraged in a cursive style in Year One and is then extended and developed through regular handwriting practice; becoming more fluent from Year Two onwards.

Spelling is a focus throughout the Key Stages. Children are given practice with the various spelling rules and use the ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check,’ approach from Year Two onwards, to gain confidence applying them. From the end of Year One children begin to take a few spellings home to learn and this develops as they progress through the year groups.

We want children to enjoy their creative writing and we support them as they master sentence structure, an expanding use of grammar and punctuation and a broader vocabulary.  These building blocks help children to write their own stories, create their own poems and organise factual information to match the reader. Whatever their level of ability might be, we value a child’s attempts to capture ideas and we make sure there is always scaffolding in place to help them achieve more.