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St Paul's Church of England Combined School

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English and phonics

Reading and Phonics


The enjoyment of reading is at the heart of St Paul's.  Children are encouraged to read daily and experience a range of texts.  Children follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which supports systematic progression in the context of engaging literature.  Alongside this, children take a home reader book home to enrich their reading repertoire.  In addition to this, every child visits the school library weekly to select a book of their own choice.  


Phonics and spelling is taught throughout English lessons and the wider curriculum, including daily dedicated phonics sessions in Early Years and Key Stage 1.  We use a range of schemes with teachers selecting the most effective strategies from a variety of published schemes available.   


Speaking and Listening


We ensure that our children become confident, successful young people because of our commitment to the use of talking within the learning process. Children throughout their learning use talk partners, group work and whole class work to share ideas and develop their thinking. Role play, drama, discussion, debate, presentation and decision-making play a significant part in the learning process. In History, the children will recreate scenes from the past and then brainstorm feelings and phrases that the characters may have said. In Science, the children have to plan an investigation with their group and decide what resources they will need. In Maths, pairs of children will discuss which is the best method for solving a problem and then share this with the whole class. This talk for learning supports the children’s thinking and enables them to learn from each other and structure their ideas.




We want all of our children to become successful and confident writers. From entry in Reception through to the end of Year 6, the children develop their writing skills through a wide range of purposeful and exciting activities and experiences. Supported by the use of strategies such as working walls, magpie books, dictionaries and word mats in the classrooms, the children are able to develop their writing skills alongside regular input and practice in key skills such as spelling and handwriting.


Our writing plans are sometimes linked to the topics for the half term. This ensures that extended, purposeful writing opportunities are planned across the curriculum which will engage and encourage the children with their writing. Through these well-structured units of work the children are also directly taught spelling, grammar and punctuation. Each unit lasts between 1 and 3 weeks. Towards the end of the unit, the children use the skills they have been taught and apply these to their writing in extended writing sessions.