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Calder Vale St John C of E Primary School

Grow, Achieve, Explore



At Calder Vale St John's Primary School, English lies at the heart of all learning across the curriculum. We believe every child should take pleasure in reading and writing across a range of genres and for a variety of purposes. Our ambitious curriculum is sequenced to build on the prior knowledge of each child. We enable our children to remember more by the provision of opportunities for ‘sticky learning’ Our children become skilled communicators through the provision of engaging and enjoyable experiences.




At Calder Vale St John’s Primary School we believe becoming fluent and comprehensive readers is the key to accessing learning across the whole curriculum. Phonics lessons are taught from EYFS, throughout KS1 and conclude when the children are confident, fluent and skilful readers and writers. Teachers plan using a rigorous assessment and progression of phonics and deliver discrete daily sessions that are multisensory and engaging. Opportunities to apply their knowledge of phonics is evident in all aspects of our curriculum.


Our pupils will experience;


  • A discrete daily phonics session
  • Focused directed teaching involving oral and written practice of letters and sounds;
  • A variety of teaching methods, including demonstration, modelling, games, singing and other practical activities.
  • Repetition and teaching of ‘tricky’ words.



Our aim at Calder Vale St John's Primary School is to teach the children to develop a range of personal strategies for learning spellings, and for checking and proofreading spellings in their own writing.  We build on the phonics teaching and learning. Spelling is taught using the 'Revise, Teach, Learn, Practise, Apply and Assess' sequence. Each child has a personal spelling journal.



By the time children leave Calder Vale St John’s Primary School they need to be able to write legibly, neatly, comfortably and quickly.

When we introduce letter formation in Reception we use visual images and a verbal description to help each child remember the movements necessary to form letters.

Once a child can confidently form the letters they can begin to join them. Each letter join is accompanied by ‘patter’ to help each child remember the correct formation.

Our Author in Residence - Sarah Oliver


We are very excited to have our own author in residence this year! Sarah is working with Willow class to write and publish a picture book. She will also inspire us to read by sharing her ‘top picks’ for key stage one and key stage two each term. We are going to send her a list of our favourite books too.


Thursday 11th November 2021

Today was our first meeting with Sarah and we planned the structure and content of our picture book. We are now working hard to write our ideas in an engaging way before we send them to the editor and illustrator. Our book will be published for ‘World Book Day’ in March. We are going to plan a launch party!