English Curriculum




At Nelson St. Philip's Primary School, we recognise that reading is the most fundamental skill that children need to learn. Reading is an essential skill for participation in all areas of life. Our core aim is for children to become confident and independent readers who gain not only understanding, but also real pleasure from the reading activities and texts they engage with.


What does the teaching of reading look like at Nelson St. Philip's CE Primary School? 


We use the small group guided reading approach to teaching reading in our 'Reading Workshop' sessions.  

The overarching aim of all of our reading sessions is to:

  • Instill a love of reading within each child
  • Teach children the skills that help them to read for meaning
  • Develop and widen children’s vocabulary.   


Reading Progression of Skills


Our quality-first teaching of reading involves explicitly teaching the ‘DERIC’ steps: DecodeExplain, Retrieve, Interpret and Choice. ‘DERIC’ allows us to teach each element of comprehension, ensuring that we develop competent, resilient and well-informed readers.

All children need to be able to do all of these skills, applying them to age related reading materials.

Parents Guide to DERIC 


The children record their activities in their own Reading Journals (except EYFS and Year 1 who use a large floor book). They don't record in every session, only as and when appropriate. 


Home Reading Books 

We use a range of books from different shemes in our school.  Books are matched to the chilrden's phonics stage or reading ability.  In 2019, we purchased lots of new and exciting books to our reading scheme, the main focus being upper KS2. 

Children bring their reading books home from school each day in their blue reading folders. Our 'Key to Success' contract states that children should read out loud to an adult at least three times a week. That adult will then sign the reading record so the class teacher/teaching assisstant knows they have read at home. It is also important to note that the reading record can also be signed if the children choose to read other materials such as magazines, a library book or a book of their choice from home.  If the reading record is signed, books can then be changed: 


EYFS/KS1: Adults will change reading books on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week (Monday and Wednesday for coloured book band books, Friday for RWI books). 

KS2: Adults will change reading books up to three times a week but the regularity of this will depend on the length of the book. 


We also ensure that children read their book to an adult in school at least once per week.  Target children may read three or four times per week. 


Reading Rewards 


To encourage reading, we use a reading reward scheme.  When children reach different reading milestones, they receive a certificate in Super Star Worship and their name appears on the reading rockets on classroom doors.  To achieve each award children need to read a set amount of books.  These numbers differ between Key Stages due to the size of books, the higher up the bands. 

EYFS & KS1: Bronze Award = 20 books, Silver Award = 40 books, Gold Award = 60 books and Platinum Award = 80 books

KS2: Bronze Award = 15 books, Silver Award = 30 books, Gold Award = 45 books and Platinum Award = 60 books




We follow the Ruth Miskin, Read Write Inc Scheme for teaching phonics. This scheme teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. As they learn new sounds, they also learn rhymes to help them form each letter.  

Meet Fred - Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word. For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word.

The children may use magnetic letters to support them with their blending skills: The teacher will model the words and then the children with use their Fred Fingers, to help them make the word.  


If you want ideas on how to support your child at home, follow the link below:

Parent Guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics 

Here are the assessment sheets we use in school to assess your child within phonics.  You will see just how many sounds they have to learn! 

Phonics Assessment EYFS/Year1

Phonics Assessment Year 1/Year 2

Phonics Assessment Year 2



We teach English skills through a carefully selected range of high quality children’s literature to stimulate children’s imaginations. A variety of Talk for Writing techniques are used to immerse children in these texts, for example through role play, drama, ‘Book Talk’, story mapping and book making.

At Nelson St. Philip's, we encourage children to:

  • Write for pleasure and express creative ideas in many forms including poetry
  • Write for a variety of audiences including real audiences
  • Write a range of genres and for different purposes
  • Plan, draft, discuss and reflect on their writing
  • Use cursive handwriting which supports correct letter formation and spelling
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation.
  • Use phonic awareness to help spell unknown words.
  • Develop a good knowledge and understanding of spelling patterns and irregularities in English spelling

Early Wiritng 

We develop a love for writing in EYFS by providing opportunites for children to explore mark making.  

Some of these you can also do at home: 



Handwriting is an important life skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. At the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.

Formal teaching of handwriting is carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Key Stage targets are met. For example, by the time they reach the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2), pupils should be able to sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly; form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another, as well as capital letters and the digits 0-9. By the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6), pupils should write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed. 

At St. Philip's, we teach handwriting using the Nelson programme.  We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. 


Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar are taught throughout the school.

We use the No Nonsense Spelling scheme from years 2 - 6. 


Talk 4 Writing

Talk 4 Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett as a fun, creative yet also consistent approach to developing writers. Over each half term, we use some aspects of Talk4Writing to help our children learn to write.

Talk 4 Writing begins with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature from fiction and non-fiction, to poetry. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.

There are 3 stages to Talk4Writing: imitation, innovation and application. 

During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk 4 Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression using actions, consistent across school, and make use of a story map to support their retelling.

Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting.

Finally, at the ‘application’ stage, children write their own text independently, using the vocabulary and structure they have learned throughout the Talk4Writing process. 


Why not ask your child to retell the story/text they are currently learning in their English lessons, at the moment!


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Find Us

Nelson St Philip's CE Primary School

Leeds Road, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 9TQ

School Bursar

T: 01282 614463

E: head@st-philips.lancs.sch.uk

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