Message sent from:

Sankey Valley St James English Curriculum

English Vision

Our English vision is to create a love of the subject through the use of high quality texts to inspire, excite and engage our children.

We believe that the ability to read well is an essential skill to enable our pupils to achieve their full potential.

Our children will be inspired to produce high-quality writing that is engaging, creative, has a purpose and commands the reader’s attention.  

We want our children to ask questions and be inspired, motivated and engage in the joy of discovery.



At Sankey Valley St James, we aim to create a love of reading in all children and encourage our pupils to read a range of wide range of books from different authors. Reading skills are taught as soon as children join us and continue until they leave the school.

Children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 are taught letters and sounds each day. This is a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and continues for as long as the child requires it. For most children this will end in Year 2.

As the children move through school, they are taught a variety of skills to support their reading comprehension and to allow them to become confident, fluent readers. This includes strategies such as:

  • Using pictures to look for clues
  • Reading with expression
  • Making predictions about what will happen next
  • Retrieving information from the page to answer comprehension questions
  • Developing the children’s ability to infer and deduce meaning from a text
  • Skimming and scanning a text to be able to efficiently find information in order to be able to answer a question.


Our approach to writing encourages our children to develop a love for writing and allows them to be taught necessary skills which are needed for them to become a confident and independent writer.

At Sankey Valley St James, we always ensure the children are made aware of the purpose and audience of their writing and make sure that writing skills are taught using a high quality text.

We make our writing as cross curricular as possible by linking our writing objectives with our topic lessons where appropriate. Through the use of stimulating resources we can ignite their passion and creativity for writing.

At every opportunity we explore the composition, grammar and punctuation of sentences and investigate different text and genre features.

Planning for English

Letters and Sounds

Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions linked to the Letters and Sounds programme. This programme aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them to learn to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Letters and Sounds is split into 6 phases which aim for children to become fluent readers by the age of seven.

Phase One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segent longer words with adjacet consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Here are some useful phonics websites that we use within school. Although all websites have been checked to ensure that they are suitable, children should be supervised when using the Internet.


BBC Schools Words & Pictures





Pronunciation of sounds - You Tube




Hit enter to search