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St Francis Church of England Aided Junior School

"Let your light shine bright"

Our latest Ofsted report has been punblished please follow the link in Key Informtion / Ofsted and Performance Click on NEWS above (NEWSLETTERS below on phones) for the latest updates from school including what we have been learning, achievements, routines and dates for your diary. Thank you for your continued support, Mrs. Lakey and your St Francis' family.


Key Staff

Coordinator: Miss Cooper

Governor: Mr Bowes


Within the English curriculum, children develop skills in reading, writing, grammar, spelling, speaking and listening. The writing curriculum, which is bespoke to school, ensures that writing incorporates the grammatical concepts, key spelling rules and opportunities to engage within a range of texts including non-fiction, fiction, modern and classic texts.



Reading is a fundamental aspect of the English curriculum and it is clear that to become a successful learner we need to have confidence and fluency in decoding words and developing and understanding of the text through a range of comprehension skills. Here at St Francis’ our Reading Spine identifies books in which children will be exposed to as they embark upon their St Francis’ journey. These books are identified as book appropriate for their age, range of genres, including poetry, opportunities to make comparisons with similar authors, promote diversity, link with key themes and topics within their year group curriculum, develop connections in prior learning to allow children to engage with their texts and use these as a way of gaining further knowledge and understanding.


Children working below reading expectations for their age recieve extra 1:1 or small group reading sessions in school to help them catch-up. Reading at the expcted standard is key in children being able to engage independently with the planned curriculum.


Reading books

In school, every child is heard by a member of teaching staff and provided with a ‘Challenge Read’, which is taken from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme in school. Children in Year 6, who have completed the scheme, will then be given a ‘Challenge Read’ using the Lexile banded books in the classrooms.

Each child is also encouraged to Read for Pleasure and so they are provided with an additional book, from the classroom, which they find most appealing for them.

As part of homework, it is an expectation that each child reads four times per week and this is recorded in their reading journal.


Book Club

Alongside, reading at home, children are heard weekly by their class teacher through Book Club. Children are assessed on their reading comprehension skill and allocated a Book Club group, where they work in a small group with a class teacher studying a range of texts, both fiction, non-fiction, modern and classic to ensure a range of texts are explored and questions are discussed through the reading domains (a-h). In conjunction with Book Club, children who are not heard by their class teacher, use a reading programme called Lexia, which works at identifying reading skills the children require support with and this is used alongside the class teacher and support staff.


Class Novels

Each class is assigned a class reading novel, which is age-appropriate and where possible links to one of their foundation subject topics. Each class reads their novel on a weekly basis and this is used as time where teachers demonstrate reading skills and also allow all children to immerse themselves into another world. This novel is at times used in class as an aid for their writing stimulus or used alongside other writing stimuli from Literacy Shed.



On entry to Year 3 children are assessed for their retained phonics skills. Should a child not be secure in this they recieve catch-up sessions using Read Write Inc (the scheme followed by Horndale Infants). Their reading book will be from the level they are working on for their catch-up sessions. Once caught up, children will be taught early reading skills to help increase their reading fluency, ability to find and recall information from the text and inference skills so they can make and express their own conclusions about what they have read.



A bespoke writing curriculum has been created for the children of St Francis’ to enable them to have opportunities to explore, inform, imagine and discover how writing can be used as a way of sharing, communicating and for our own and others’ enjoyment.

A writing long term plan is followed, where links to knowledge within History, Geography and Science are used to ensure that children can apply and develop their understanding and present their knowledge within the written language.


Within writing, children earn about key grammatical concepts based on their year group and are given opportunities to apply this within their own writing. Following the ReadWriteInc spellings, children are taught spelling rules and given opportunities to apply these spelling rules and grammatical concepts within a range of genres including fiction and non-fiction. The focus spelling rules are given to children each week as part of their homework and these are tested on once a week as an additional English starter.


In each English lesson, children begin with handwriting or grammar as their starter. They complete a short task independently or supported in groups. Within the writing units, children follow the same format:

  1. Cold write – this is where children are asked to complete a first attempt at a piece of writing using the writing genre and checklist. This allows children to show what they already know.
  2. Identify features – children identify the features of the genre of text they are studying.
  3. Sentence work – children work on ‘exciting sentences’ where they apply their grammatical knowledge into sentence structures that link with the genre they are working on.
  4. Shared write – to demonstrate the skills expected, children work as a group and with their class teacher to compose an example text.
  5. Plan – using a stimulus, children will plan using a range of planning tools
  6. Compose – using a checklist, children will use their plan to create their first draft of writing
  7. Edit – after the compose write, the children’s work will be highlighted and marked with corrections that can be made by the children. These corrections are made by the children in pink pen.
  8. Publish – this is a chance for the children to make all of their final editing corrections so that they have produced their best piece of writing. This work is photocopied and put into books and also on display in the classrooms on the ‘Wonderful Writing Wall’.


By the end of KS2, all children will have written within their English lessons:

  • playscripts
  • instructions
  • narrative
  • non-chronological report
  • explanation text
  • information text
  • formal letters
  • informal letters
  • discussion text
  • persuasive writing
  • poetry


Some genres are covered within other foundation subjects, such as instruction writing within science investigations and cookery and sewing within Design Technology to enable children to understand their writing has a purpose.


Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening opportunities are provided throughout St Francis’, not only within English lessons but within all subject areas of the curriculum. Within Science, History, Geography, children will develop the skills of enquiry, where they explore, question and work together to understand a key idea. Within P4C, the children work collaboratively following the concept of the 4C’s (Caring, Creative, Critical and Collaborative) to develop their speaking and listening skills in a respectful environment where all contributions are valued and respected.


Through class collective worships, children are able to apply speaking and listening skills with a purpose.

By celebrating key events such as National Poetry Day, World Book Day and Christmas performances, children have additional opportunities to participate in a range of roles that allow them to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills.


Children also develop Speaking and Listening skills within other curriculum subjects such as music, where they listen to a range of genres and identify the instruments and style of music, RE, where children will be given opportunities to listen and respond to key issues and stimuli as well as creating drama performances, where appropriate.

In Key Stage 2, pupils learn to write more fluently, using different forms like poems, stories, and reports. Students also start to think more about the meaning of words and how language can be used to have an effect on the audience or reader. There is also a focus on learning more complex grammar and spelling.


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