English at St John’s

Reading at St John’s

Here at St. John’s we teach Reading through discrete individual reading sessions in the Early Years – please see the link below to view our Early Years curriculum for Reading. We teach daily Guided Reading sessions in Key Stages One and Two. The ‘Guide to Early Reading’ explains more about these sessions. Our daily Phonics sessions in Early Years and Year One further support children’s acquisition of fundamental word reading skills.


Phonics at St John’s

Here at St John’s we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Scheme, chosen from the Government’s list of accredited providers. All of our Staff have received training in the programme, allowing all staff to support children’s phonological development. Click on the link below to see the progression of phonemes taught in Reception and Year One – you will also find a useful page for parents with access to nursery rhymes and more information for you to support your child’s learning, at home.

Progression in Writing

Long Term Planning – For Writing

We take an approach to planning that ensures the teaching of the three distinct genres – Narrative, Non-fiction and Poetry – ensuring full coverage of the curriculum, whilst allowing the flexibility to adapt and link to the areas of learning outlined in the Curriculum, the Themed Weeks that unite the school, and ensuring that assessments marry with the curriculum taught.

Timings and the order of learning

A number of weeks has been assigned to each area of learning, there is some flexibility for breaking down longer units of learning. The units have been chosen/ordered to allow for the embedded teaching of grammar statements for each year group. The order also reflects the specific text types referred to in the National Curriculum programmes of study for English Reading Comprehension and Writing Comprehension. Where possible, the wording/titled given to each unit of learning reflects the terminology of the National Curriculum.


Ensure whole school coverage of six non-fiction genres. There is some alignment with other curriculum areas (e.g. science & geography) with progression across year groups, ensuring children ‘experience’ a text type beforehand. The units have been chosen/ordered to allow for the embedded teaching of grammar statements for each year group


As the children progress, narrative units vary their focus e.g. from plot in years 1, 2, and 3 to other aspects of narrative writing, such as characterisation and creating atmosphere. In every year group, opportunities are provided for children to write complete narratives.

Three aspects of poetry are included in each year group: vocabulary building; structure (type of poem); and poetry appreciation. Opportunities for performance and recital should occur regularly throughout the year.

To support planning across the school, we have produced a range of Progression in Text Type overviews.

Handwriting at St John’s

Here at St John’s we understand the importance of teaching handwriting – handwriting is believed to be one of the cornerstones of literacy, contributing to reading fluency.

We use ‘Penpals for Handwriting‘ a complete scheme that offers clear progression through the stages of handwriting development. Below you will find an overview, outlining what is taught and when, and a Penpals Parent Factsheet. Hard copies of both can be obtained from the school office.