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Every member of our school family can stand as spiritual, confident, positive individuals, rooted in Christian values, empowered to face life’s challenges and reach their full potential and serve their community.


Reading at St Stephen's


Our Intent

At  St  Stephen’s we recognise  that reading plays an important part of life and education. We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts across  a culturally diverse and varied curriculum.



The Reading Programmes used to develop our readers:


EYFS                        Talking about texts/ sharing texts /bringing texts alive

                                 Fully decodable Big Cat Collins Phonics books (matched to our Phonics programme.)

                                 Phonics Programme: Little Wandle Letters & Sounds


KS1/ Year 1           Daily Supported Reading Programme

                                  Phonics Programme: Little Wandle Letters & Sounds


KS1/ Year 2:         Guided Reading Approach

                                  Destination Reader Programme (reduced)

                                  Phonics Programme: Little Wandle Letters & Sounds


KS2:                          Destination Reader Programme


All:                            Levelled Home Readers


Enrichment Activities

Engagement with authors, visiting the local library, involvement in national book events, visiting book fairs, school based competitions, the sharing of  pupils’ reading journeys, refreshing books, creating and using audio books all help to keep reading fresh, pleasurable and alive within our school. Reading for pleasure sessions also are built into the timetable and children are always encouraged to read at home.


Parental Involvement

We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills and encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.



By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


  • Pupils will enjoy reading across a range of genres
  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors
  • Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading and home, and contribute regularly to home-school records
  • The percentage of pupils working at age related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages or above
  • The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)


We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress.


Phonics at St Stephen's! We use Little Wandle Letters & Sounds - read the policy below to find out more!

Upcoming Reading Events

Thursday 24th November - Wednesday 30th November 2022

Bottom Hall

Book Cover Competition

WIN £5 voucher to spend at the book fair.

All entrants will receive a small prize!

See the PDF below for competition details


Competition closes Monday 28th November at 3.30pm.


Writing at St Stephen's

Poems by Year 6 children as part of a Music Project



Our Intent

At St Stephen’s,  we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want our  pupils to be acquire wide and varied vocabulary to empower their writing, have the ability to demonstrate a solid understanding of grammar  and  be able to spell new and less familiar words by  effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.



We teach writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. We use strategies from Talk for Writing throughout the school, which involve the use of text maps, scaffolding, boxing up, short burst writing activities, writing toolkits and word banks. The writing process is modelled through carefully selected units of work and engaging cross-curricular topics.

Spellings: Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum.   To support teaching, teachers are also guided by the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme which provides activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week. In the lower school spelling is taught in groups according to ability and the differing needs of the children, which will also include the teaching of phonics.

Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class needs additional lessons in which to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.

Presentation: Handwriting is taught throughout the school; it is an integral part to any lesson and is reinforced daily. Class teachers and children follow a cursive handwriting scheme which acknowledges that handwriting is a developmental process.Children are expected to use joined, legible handwriting and work towards achieving their pen licence, where they can then write in black pen.



All children will enjoy writing across a range of genres, make links and apply their skills in cross-curricular topics. Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded. They will have developed a wide vocabulary that they are able to use within their writing and will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience. Children will leave school being able to effectively apply the spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.