What We Do

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Reading‘I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine’

Emily Dickinson

English has a leading place in education and society. By providing a high quality education in English we will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening skills others can communicate with them in return. The use of books is vital in all year groups, and through reading we support pupils knowledge bases and encourage growth in acquiring knowledge. We are highly focussed on all pupils gaining reading fluency. We want pupils to understand the potential power of words and to begin to teach them to harness and use this to develop their cultural, social, spiritual and moral development and in turn their responsibility as global community member.


At Baydon, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our learners to become lifelong readers.

At the heart of our strategy is our mission to foster a love of reading and we aim to provide children with a language-rich environment, high-quality texts, and inspiring learning opportunities which will help them to:

  • Engage with a wide range of different text types
  • Read accurately, fluently and with understanding
  • Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence
  • Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
  • Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books
  • Prepare for the next steps of their education

Implementation of Reading 

We know that reading is the key to unlocking the rest of the curriculum and we are passionate about ensuring every child, no matter what their start, learns to read as quickly as possible.


All children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions. Phonics is a crucial part of Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as it gives children confidence and helps them become independent readers and writers. At Baydon St Nicholas  we use the Department for Education approved phonics teaching programme Twinkl Phonics.

As pupils finish the levels in phonics at the end of Key Stage 1 they (when ready) move into grammar sessions which include spelling rules and patterns. If a pupil is struggling at any point the first step will be to return to phonics instruction. When a pupil is identified as struggling they are assessed carefully to pinpoint exact gaps of knowledge.

Phonics sessions are pitched at the age appropriate level and provide an ambitious and thorough lesson for all. Children will be supported at other times to support ‘catching up’ and to cover identified gaps.

In Year 3 pupils identified to not be reaching the level appropriate for their age will continue to be supported in phonics using twinkl rapid phonic catch up materials (leading on from the Twinkl phonics scheme).  In KS1, we have updated our reading book system to ensure that pupils are provided with books that closely match and support their phonics development.

Please find a more detailed look at our implementation in the attached document.  We follow the Christopher Such research based approach to teaching reading which is based on his book The Art and Science of Primary Reading.  We have mapped out the progression of reading in our school which supports staff in their teaching of VIPERS.

DNA Reading

Reading progression

The Use of Books

We provide a text-rich environment in order to encourage a positive culture of reading throughout all classes and promote pupils’ enjoyment of reading. Through high-quality teaching and learning experiences, we will develop children’s skills and confidence. We celebrate reading through different events over the academic year including World Book Day, whole school text weeks, new library, drop everything and read sessions, author and poet visits and workshops, book fairs and daily poems in worship. We encourage pupils to develop their vocabulary and their oracy skills in order to confidently discuss and debate core themes.

Celebrating World Book Day:


Staff have agreed throughout the school to base some of their choices of class books/teaching texts throughout the year to cover all types of text as specified in  the ‘Five Plagues of Reading’ list. (This list was amended, complied and created by the following people or references: Aiden Severs, Ashley Booth, Doug Lemov, Gareth Baker, Gareth Denman , Matthew Dix ,  Nottingham ELS Library Service, Rob Smith , Scott Evans, Staff at Forest Fields Primary School, The Twitter community of UK teachers) The list contains books relating to the five types of text that we agree as a school children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence.

5 plagues reading spine

Class Books

Every teacher throughout the school shares a whole class reading book on a daily basis. We understand the importance of the sense of community in class that is achieved through this shared experience. A range of age appropriate texts are chosen by the class teacher and at times can offer escape, relaxation, an opportunity for pupils to hear more of the world, different worlds and experiences far beyond what they have experienced first hand at this point. Emotions, relationships, challenging ideas and hardships are explored which supports pupils development in all areas.

Benefits of reading a whole class text include:

  • Encountering new words and enriching vocabulary
  • An appreciation of  the beauty and rhythm of language
  • Enjoyment and understanding of texts beyond their own reading ability.
  • Enhancement of imagination and observation skills
  • Improvement of critical and creative thinking skills
  • Expansion of general knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Empathy is developed as they make connections with the experiences of the characters in the text and with each other
  • Modelling of fluent and expressive reading
  • Creating a desire to read

Home Reading and the Engagement of Home

As a staff body we are in full agreement that the sharing of reading at home is vital to pupils progression in all areas of life, not just reading skill.  As a school we strive to promote home reading and provide the following:

  • In Key Stage 1 pupils are provided with phonics levelled books matching the level they are currently being taught (90-95% accessible). These books are to be used at home for a few days at a time, ensuring pupils can focus on fluency.
  • Baydon Busters – KS1. In our lower classes pupils also take home a personally chosen book from a selection of high quality books for pleasure.
  • Each Key Stage 2 class has a class library from which to select reading material from.
  • Reading leaflets are produced and given to parents giving tips and hints on how to read with their child in EYFS.

Families are expected and encouraged to read with their children daily as part of home learning. At the beginning of their school journey families are provided with literature to support the teaching of reading at home.

The School Library

We were delighted to welcome author Larry Hayes to our school to open our new school library in the Summer term, 2023.





This wonderful space is used by classes regularly to encourage their love of reading.



Our vision for writing at Baydon St. Nicholas Primary School is for our children to use their love and knowledge of quality texts to connect them with each other, their community, society and the world. Through developing a rich a well-structured curriculum our children develop clear purposes for writing that help them inform, entertain, instruct, persuade and explain the wider world through a range of writing experiences that have an impact beyond the classroom. Our children will be immersed in the process of writing and this will allow them to develop the confidence and enthusiasm for writing and what it means to be an author.


We use a systematic approach to teaching writing that is built around the principles of the writing process. This sequence loops learning towards an end of unit outcome. The sequence runs over three phases and prioritises understanding the purpose and how authors achieve this, explicit contextualised teaching of grammar and punctuation, and the authorial skills of editing, proofreading and publishing writing with pride.

Implementation of Writing

Our Baydon Writing approach is currently under review.  As a school, we follow a long term plan for writing:

Long term plan for writing

We have been trialling a new way of sequencing our lessons since January 2024.  Following staff training, we have adopted a three phase approach to our writing sequences.  This should help children explain what their writing outcome will be at the end of each unit and explain where they are in the writing sequence.  Writing sequences are being displayed in all classroom in KS1 and KS2.

Fiction Writing Sequence

Non – fiction Writing Sequence

*Writing DNA currently being written*

Cultural Capital

We aim for our pupils to develop an appreciation of our rich and varied literacy heritage plus understand and expand their global understanding.

We believe books are also a vital teaching tool to promote better understanding and acceptance of all and can support and tackle ingrained issues in society, such as racism, by educating and supporting pupils to go further than those before them. Therefore the use of literature is actively promoted and used throughout the school to support pupil’s understanding, acceptance and own position/actions needed.

Speaking and Listening

We aim to develop each child’s competence, confidence and enjoyment in speaking and listening. We encourage our children to speak clearly and confidently and articulate their views and opinions. We have the expectation that children express themselves orally in an appropriate way, matching their style and response to audience and purpose. Our children have a range of opportunities to respond to literature, to give and receive instructions and to develop the skills to participate effectively in group discussions.

Throughout the school day children are involved in:

  • Speaking and listening for writing (talk for writing)
  • Asking and answering questions (see language progression below)
  •  Role-play where fictional roles are explored
  • Opportunities for Individual, small group and whole class reading aloud
  • Using spoken language to communicate and respond in normal, everyday situations
  • Adjusting what they say depending on others’ responses

Activities which are planned to encourage full and active participation by all children in all subject areas include:

  • Talk for learning
  • Discussion
  • Sharing learning in class and Sharing Act of Worship
  • Plays, productions, talent show, readings
  • Giving visitors tours of the school
  • Talking with school volunteers and visitors
  • Class debates
  • School Council

We provide a stimulating environment which arouses children’s interest and curiosity, and provide good role models for pupils. We listen carefully and with respect and interest to what the children say extend their range by encouragement, explanation and interpretation give all children equal opportunities to develop their oracy.

English in EYFS

Literacy educational programme (taken from the EYFS Framework 2024)

‘It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).’

Early learning goals that link to English:

EYFS Communication and language development

ELG Listening, attention and understanding 

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers

ELG Speaking 

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

EYFS Physical development  (this links to the mechanics of writing/pencil control)

ELG Fine motor skills

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation fro fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases

EYFS Literacy

ELG Comprehension

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play.

ELG Word reading

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

ELG Writing

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

EYFS Expressive arts and design (this links to re-telling and adapting familiar stories (talk for writing))

ELG Being imaginative

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher

In foundation stage pupils are:

  • Taught phonics through the Twinkl Phonics validated scheme (phonemes, graphemes, tricky words, high frequency words, segmenting and blending, letter names).
  • Learn songs, rhymes and stories
  • Practise book skills eg where to find the front and back of a book, author, title, turning pages in order, tracking words from left to write, differences between words and letters, answering simple questions.
  • Learn how to form letters correctly
  • Learn how to write simple words and sentences using their phonics skills.
  • Gain a love of stories and reading from adults who share books regularly using props and puppets.
  • Read individually or in a small group with an adult each week.
  • Have daily opportunities to practise their reading and writing skills indoors and outdoors in child-led provision.
  • Are taught new vocabulary in context and staff are skilled in helping the children to use new vocabulary so that it becomes embedded.