English at Clitheroe St James' CE Primary School

Our Christian vision “We will be BOLD” shapes our curriculum at St James. Through our school vision we aim to enable all our children, regardless of ability, background or additional needs, to flourish and become the very best version of themselves that they can be.
Our English curriculum is BROAD and BALANCED; OPEN as we reflect diversity; our LEARNING is engaging and exciting as we want our children to develop a lifelong LOVE OF LEARNING and we teach the children to show DETERMINATION and resilience, as they face new challenges in their learning.
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression using Lancashire LAPs and KLIPs, which ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately.
At St James our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum as we use a text-based approach to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within our English lessons.


We want our children to have the skills to decode words so that they can read fluently and understand what they have read. We want them to become enthusiastic and motivated readers.

PHONICS : Our reading journey begins in EYFS where there is a greater emphasis on the teaching of phonics. Phonics is the process by which children break down words into sounds, as well as building their letter and word recognition. Phonics teaches the children the link between the letters (graphemes) and the sounds they represent (phonemes). They learn to blend the sounds together to read the words and they learn to segment the words back into the individual sounds, to support their spelling. Phonics lessons are taught daily across EYFS and KS1. We follow the Red Rose Letters and Sounds programme, which provides a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. Within daily Phonics lessons, children revisit previous learning, practise and apply new skills in structured and engaging ways. The adults will model the correct articulation of phonemes (sounds) and give the children opportunities to articulate them themselves. They will learn what the phoneme looks like when written and taught how to correctly form the grapheme themselves. As the children work through the Phonics programme, their home reading books and guided reading books are closely matched to the phonics that they are learning in class.
Once the children have completed the Phonics programme, they then move through colour banded reading books as they progress in their fluency and experience. We encourage them to read across a range of text types and genres within the bands.
We encourage reading for pleasure through the provision of enriching texts as well as providing time to read independently and as part of a whole class.
We celebrate reading at St James’ through visits to our local library, author visits, whole school reading challenges, a termly Reading Newsletter, Book Fairs, World Book Day, Reading Buddies and Book weeks.


We want our children to become confident communicators, both verbally and in writing, through the provision of exciting and stimulating writing opportunities.
We aim to ensure that writing sessions are engaging through the use of a range of strategies, such as discussion, stimulating texts, oral retelling, drama, use of artefacts and through links to other curriculum areas.
SPELLING : in EYFS and Year One the children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge in their writing. In Year Two, as children complete the Red Rose Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme, we move onto the Red Rose Spelling programme. In Key Stage Two, teachers follow No Nonsense Spelling supported by resources from Purple Mash Spelling, to provide progression and consistency across year groups.

HANDWRITING : We want all our pupils to take pride in their work, to form their letters correctly and to develop a neat, joined up and legible style by the time they leave St James’. In EYFS, as part of our Red Rose Phonics programme, children are taught how to correctly form the letter shapes as they are introduced to each new phoneme (sound). Basic letter formation is taught using the Red Rose Phonics visual cues and “patter” for each letter.
As the children move through school, we use the Nelson Handwriting scheme, as we build on progress each year. A cursive writing style is introduced in Year Two.