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St Francis Church of England School


English Coordinator - Miss Christine Sahonta and Yvonne Kyriakou

At St Francis C.E Primary, English plays an integral role in all areas of our broad and balanced curriculum. We strive for our learners to develop a solid foundation in reading, writing and oracy. Children develop skills they can build on in their future lives; both in education and in the wider world. Not only do our learners take part in daily, reading and writing lessons, but they also learn to embed these skills in other curriculum areas; this could be a debate in a history lesson, writing an explanation in Science, or reading for information in Geography. We want to equip our children with the skills and knowledge they need to communicate effectively in this modern world.

Early Years Foundation Years

 At St Francis C.E Primary we believe that communication and language, with opportunities to explore reading and writing, underpins children’s future learning. The practice in Foundation Stage will follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum and will work towards the Early Learning Goals aiming to meet the statement of the goals by the end of Foundation 2. Our early learners take part in daily phonics sessions and reading and writing lessons/groups, as well as having a wealth of opportunities to practise the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as part of our continuous provision.

In FS1 and FS2 (nursery and reception) the daily routine includes planned and spontaneous activities that include:

  • Giving the children a wealth of opportunities to develop and experience speaking and listening; stimulate their early interest in literacy by exploiting play, story, songs and rhymes and provide lots of opportunities, and time, to talk with children about their experiences and feelings.
  • Experiences that develop gross and fine motor skills through play and handwriting activities.
  • Sharing and enjoying a range of rhymes, songs, film clips, stories and books.
  • Immersion in a print rich environment with opportunities for oral language and written communication, e.g. differentiated phonic activities.
  • Focused group activities that teach children early communication language and literacy skills, using daily phonics and guided reading/writing sessions.
  • Reading groups which are central to the week.
  • Big book activities with a shared reading and writing focus each week.
  • ICT activities to enable access to texts and language activities.

At the end of the Foundation Stage, children spend time with their new teacher and in their new classroom before they move to Year 1. Teachers meet with parents and carers to discuss transition issues so that they feel reassured about how they can help their child prepare for Year 1 and feel confident in the smooth transition. 


In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 children take part in group guided reading sessions. As children progress into Key Stage 2, they take part in whole class guided reading lessons. We differentiate reading lessons according to the needs of our learners and select texts in line with the children’s current reading colour band and link the texts to our current class topics where possible.

At St Francis C.E Primary, we encourage children to develop a desire to read for pleasure. As well as introducing them to a range of authors and genres in English and guided reading lessons, we encourage children to extend their reading by choosing from a wide range of authors and genres from our well stocked library. To promote this, we have our Year 5 and 6 Librarians who support other readers in selecting books.

We strive to involve parents and carers in their child's English education. As well has helping children to develop essential reading skills by reading to someone at home every day, we also encourage adults to read to their children to help them develop high level comprehension skills as well as giving them ideas for their writing.

At St Francis C.E Primary the children progress through a reading scheme linked to colours, where they move through bands from pink to brown. Once children have reached and completed books in the brown band, they become 'free readers', where they are guided by their teacher to choose books that are appropriately challenging. This is complemented in class by a scheme of guided reading that fits into the colour bands

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Punctuation and grammar skills are taught explicitly through literacy teaching in all year groups and are a focus in all writing across the curriculum. Spelling is taught using No Nonsense Spelling. 

Speaking and Listening

In all areas of the curriculum, oracy skills are developed through talk partners, group discussions and drama activities. Listening to others, turn taking and debate are taught to encourage children to work together and to be able to achieve an outcome together. We have had a big ‘push’ on vocabulary recently and continue to model and promote an extensive range of vocabulary.