At St Bartholomew’s Primary School, we promote high standards of English by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word and by encouraging a love of reading.  We believe that English is both a subject in its own right and the foundation for all other subjects within school.  For pupils, an understanding and fluency of the English language provides access to and is an essential foundation for success throughout the whole curriculum.

We aim to develop in all our pupils:

  • An ability to read, write and use the spoken word with confidence, fluency and understanding.
  • A love of reading, for both pleasure and lifelong learning.
  • The acquisition of a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • The knowledge and skills to write coherently, using their developing imagination, creativity and critical awareness.
  • A proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening to the national age related expected standard as minimum.
  • Handwriting that is clear and legible.


We use a variety of learning and teaching styles through a cross-curricular thematic approach based on a wide variety of topics. Class teachers provide purposeful learning opportunities for all children by personalising the learning and matching the task and support required to the ability of the child.

We make sure that there is a progression of skills as children travel through the year groups.  A range of texts are used to ensure children are exposed to a wide variety of genres.  Children are taught to plan, write, evaluate and edit their writing, they check for spelling and punctuation errors and are encouraged to read their work aloud.

Each class has a working wall, linked to their current learning.  This provides a range of examples and models to help children with the genre of writing that they are creating and reminds children of previous learning.

Handwriting is taught in EYFS where children use a non-cursive style.  From Year 1 a cursive style is introduced and this continues to be taught throughout the school.  From Year 3, when a teacher feels that a child has neat, correctly joined handwriting, they will award the child a pen licence and that child will be able to use a pen in lessons.

Reading and Phonics

Phonics is explicitly taught throughout YR and Y1, through daily discrete phonics sessions, planned using the Little Wandle phonics scheme.  Levelled books are provided for children to read at home; these books match the sounds that children are taught in class to enable them to achieve success.

The teaching of reading develops a learner’s confidence and an enjoyment of reading.  In EYFS and KS1, the focus is on phonics: decoding and blending of words; segmenting of sounds to spell and learning to read high frequency words.  The children in these year groups also bring home a ‘sharing book’ for an adult to read to them to develop further a love of reading.

In KS2, the skills needed to develop reading comprehension become more of a focus: prior knowledge, predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarising and inferring meaning.  Children have the opportunities to develop these skills through teachers’ questions, listening to a text being read, partner work, comprehension activities and during one-to-one reading with an adult. 

Pupils read using our progressive book-band scheme.  In all classes, a love of reading is promoted through regular story, poetry or non-fiction texts being read aloud and discussed. Children have the opportunity to choose books from the school library and there are a range of books available in each classroom.

A love of reading is also developed through running book fairs, celebrating World Book Day and holding a well-established bed-time story event.

Children will receive spelling and English homework each week.

Recommended Reading Lists

Recommended reading list books for Reception children aged 4-5

Reception books for children aged 4-5 in primary school with selection of vibrant texts picked by expert teachers and librarians.


Year 1 books for children aged 5-6 in KS1

Year 1 books for pupils aged 5-6 in primary school with a hand-picked selection of diverse and interesting texts picked by expert teachers and librarians.


Year 2 books for children aged 6-7 in KS1

Books for Year 2 pupils aged 6-7 with a diverse range of new books, classics, picture books and chapter books.


Year 3 books for children aged 7-8 in KS2

Books for Year 3 pupils in KS2 with an diverse collection of recommended texts chosen by qualified librarians and educators.


Year 4 books for children aged 8-9 in KS2

Books for Year 4 pupils aged 8-9 with diverse and vibrant titles chosen by experienced teachers and librarians.


Recommended reading list books for Year 5 pupils aged 9-10

Books for Year 5 pupils aged 9-10 in KS2 primary school classes with titles by Vashti Hardy, Polly Ho-Yen, Christopher Lloyd & Maz Evans.


Recommended reading list books for Year 6 pupils aged 10-11

Books for Year 6 pupils aged 10-11 in KS2 primary schools with a diverse and exciting range of titles for children of all abilities.


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