St. Barnabas Church of England Primary School

Through our Christian ethos and values we hold dear, we are creating roots to grow and wings to fly

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At Saint Barnabas we follow the principles set out in the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework across the school. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in language and literature so that our pupils can, as speakers, listeners and writers:


  • take pleasure in all aspects of literacy;
  • read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding developing independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;
  • develop the powers of imagination.



In the Early Years Foundation Stage children are given opportunities to:

  • speak, listen and represent ideas in their activities;
  • use communication, language and Literacy in every part of the curriculum;
  • listen to and read a range of texts;
  • become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication, where mark making opportunities are widely available.
  • develop their phonological awareness through the scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’.


At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2):

Children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say.  They continue to read and write independently and with enthusiasm.  They have opportunities to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds. They continue with the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme as well as developing a love of reading through exciting texts.


At Key Stage Two (Years 3 – 6):

Children learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different purposes and audiences.  They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them.  They have the opportunity to explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.




At St Barnabas, we believe that reading underpins a successful journey in education and, as such, view it as a fundamental part of our teaching curriculum. From Nursery to Year 6, children are given vast experiences to learn through literature and to develop a true love of reading. Year 1 to Year 6 have a weekly timetabled slot to access our extensive library and, across the school, we dedicate time on a daily basis to 'story time'.  


In Key Stage 1 and 2, children have a minimum of four whole class reading sessions each week. During these sessions, children have the opportunity to develop comprehension skills using the Literacy Shed VIPERS approach so that children can recognise the aspects of reading that they are working on.  



We use a range of texts to practise and embed these skills including high quality picture books, poetry, Power of Reading texts and Cracking Comprehension (Year 2 - 6).


All children in Reception to Year 6 take home a carefully banded reading book to access at home. They will share a few pages of this with an adult at school and are then expected to finish the rest of the book at home (younger children will need to do this with an adult/older sibling). Children also have a home school reading diary where children and parents are asked to keep a record of the books that they read at home. This doesn't just have to be the book that they have got from school; we love to see all the other books that you have been reading at home! Below is a fantastic example of a completed diary:






We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach early reading skills in the Early Years and Key Stage One. Children have a daily synthetic phonics session to practise and embed new sounds and graphemes for reading and spelling. Phonics is taught at a fast pace throughout Year 1 in readiness for the statutory screening check. It is our goal that all our children are fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.


It is so important that children pronounce letter sounds correctly ('pure sounds'). Below is a handy video to hear how each grapheme (letter) should sound: 





We are a Power of Reading school. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has devised Power of Reading to put quality children's literature at the heart of our reading and writing curriculum. We use a variety of engaging picture books, novels, non-fiction and poetry to engage the children and inspire their own writing. Children have the opportunity to write in a range of genres, always thinking carefully about the purpose and audience for which they are writing.



Writing intent statement


B        not be afraid to express our thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas in writing.


 L        use existing literature to form our ideas and create our own portfolio of writing.


U        put ourselves into other people’s shoes when writing (regardless of gender, culture and race)


 E         strive for excellence in our writing and use edit and improve techniques to achieve this      


 S          use writing as a tool to reflect on ourselves and show empathy and compassion.


 K                   Know:

  • Vocabulary:   Pupils will develop a broad and rich vocabulary and use it effectively in their own writing.
  • Visualisation and planning:  Pupils will be able to visualise the characters and setting of stories they wish to write. They will be able to create a plan (suitable to the age/ability of the child) to help structure their fiction and non-fiction writing.   
  • Composition:    Pupils will be able to form, articulate and communicate ideas in a structured way (from simple sentences in Early Years to more complex, longer pieces in Key Stage 2). They will write for different purposes considering the impact that they want their writing to have on the reader.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar:    Pupils will be able to use the correct SPAG terminology relevant to their age and ability. They will use and apply     taught grammatical structures to good effect in their own writing. Pupils will be confident spellers applying the rules and conventions of English spelling(specific to their age and ability).
  • Presentation:    Pupils will develop a fluent, cursive style of writing. This will begin with gross and fine motor skills in the Early Years setting through to neat, cursive writing in Key Stage 2.
  • Editing and improving:     Pupils will develop the skills to edit, up-level and improve their work (this will gradually become a more independent task as the children progress through the school)


 Y         Enjoy using their imagination through spoken word and writing.





Children in Early Years and Year 1 will be taught spelling through the Letters and Sounds programme in phonics sessions.


In Year 2 - Year 6, children access the No Nonsense Spelling scheme. This introduces children to a range of spelling patterns and 'rules'. Alongside new spelling patterns, children will also spend time learning their year group's statutory spelling lists (common exception words) as set out in the National Curriculum. Copies of these spelling lists can be found below.