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In our school, English is taught as Phonics, Reading and Writing.  
Phonics is primarily taught in EYFS and KS1 but Reading and Writing lessons happen in every year group. 
In KS1, Reading and Writing is taught using Talk For Writing, whilst in KS2, the Power of Reading approach is used.


We love reading and want our children to leave us as confident and enthusiastic readers who can decode, understand, enjoy and hold opinions on a wide range of books.  All of our teachers are readers and take part in a termly book club where they read texts before passing them on to the children.  In term 4 of this year, our teacher book club will be having a special Graphic Novels session!  Children and visitors can usually spot what teachers and classes are reading if they have a look around the school!

Reading routines

Reading is built into our school day through regular 1:1 reading with adults linked to a child's home reading, personal reading time, story time at the end of the day, phonics and reading lessons and finally reading through the creative curriculum.


  • Phonics is taught as a way of decoding written letters and spoken sounds in the early stages of learning to read.
  • At St Nicholas of Tolentine RC Primary School, we teach daily systematic, high quality phonics through the Letters and Sounds Programme in Reception and Year 1. Children who are not secure working at Phase 5 by the end of Year 1, will also be taught phonics in Year 2.

    Reading and Writing lessons
    Each term, every class will be reading a high quality text that links in some way to the curriculum topic.  As they read this book, the children will be encouraged to play in the text and explore it using their imagination.  Vocabulary, subject knowledge and inspiration from these reading lessons provide the fuel to write a range of text types during their Writing lessons.  For more detail on the two approaches we use please see below:


    In KS1 we use Talk for Writing.  Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased their children’s progress but have found that both children and teachers love it.

    Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.  It build on three stages of teaching:

    1) Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need

    2) Innovation - the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own

    3) Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.

    Key Stage 2

    In KS2, we use The Power of Reading.  This has been developed by the

    CLPE (Centre of Literacy in Primary Education).  The CLPE is an independent UK charity with a global reputation for the quality of their research into literacy and teaching. Their work promotes high standards in the teaching of literacy where they particularly emphasise the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers.

    The Power of Reading enables all children to have access to high quality texts that support schools to raise engagement and attainment in reading and writing. 

    The teaching sequences, guide planning and help teachers to select the best teaching approaches to explore high quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing. The sequences include cross-curricular links so that we can put quality literature at the heart of our curriculum.  They also show how we can embed the teaching of phonics, grammar, punctuation and spelling into a rich reading curriculum.

Our school library
Currently in development!  We regularly buy new books for our children and have been lucky enough to receive grants from organisations such as the Foyles Foundation to help with this.  Each term, our teachers have the pleasure of reading a new batch of books that have been ordered for the school before passing them on to the children.  We passionately believe that all children should see themselves represented in stories of all types and keep this idea in mind when choosing books for our library, to read as a class and when inviting authors. 


Home learning during the January 2021 lockdown.

Please check your child's class Dojo page for more information.
Here are some additional useful links for reading whilst your children are learning from home:

EYFS and KS1
Phonically decodable reading books are available online at:   Ask your child's teacher for a username and password  Daily Letters and Sounds youtube videos

KS1/KS2  An online virtual library.  Fun lessons with celebrities!  If you're struggling for book buying ideas, these lists are a great place to start.  A fantastic site with information about all things book related.

Other fun links

David Walliams is reading the entirety of his new book 'Fing' every weekday at 11am.  You can catch up with it online at:

Children's author Katherine Rundell has released a new book aimed at children having to stay at home during this difficult time.  You can read 'The Book of Hopes' online for free at;

The National Literacy Trust has created a site called 'The Family Zone' with a range of ideas and activities for different primary school age groups.  You can find it at: