Welcome to
St. Dunstan's Catholic School Website
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Children's Learning
End of Year Expectations for English
Speaking and Listening
Reading at St. Dunstan's
   Supporting Reading Comprehension 
   Colour Coded Book Bands 
   Recommended Reading Lists
   Reading Tips Bookmark
   Reading with phonics
Writing at St. Dunstan's
   Hand Writing
Spelling, grammar and punctuation at St. Dunstan's
   Spelling Strategies 
   Grammar Glossary
   Supporting your child at home in Punctuation and Grammar
English at St. Dunstan's


National Curriculum 2014

English has a pre-eminent place in education and society. It is a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding language provides access to the whole curriculum. Through being taught to write and speak fluently, pupils learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and their listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in develop culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. Literature, especially, plays a role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.’

literacy 2

The study of English encompasses:
Spoken Language (speaking and listening)
Spelling, grammar and punctuation.

English teaching at St Dunstan’s

Reading is the vital link for children to become confident writers. We use high quality, often picture, texts throughout the school to engage our learners. The love of reading feeds into a passion for writing and of course children cannot write until they can speak, so the role of speaking and listening, rehearsing and developing vocabulary is crucial to development of English skills.

Speaking and listening at St. Dunstan’s.

Reading and writing float on a sea of talk' (Britton, 1971).

At St. Dunstan’s we aim to develop pupils who speak with confidence and clarity.

Speaking and listening is comprised of four main areas:
  • Speaking
  • Listening and responding
  • Group discussion and interaction
  • Drama

Through working together, in pairs and in small groups, children learn to:
Develop the language and social skills needed for cooperation and collaboration;
  • Use exploratory language to try out ideas;
  • Extend their ideas and share them with others;
  • Stretch their language as they talk critically and constructively
  • Support and build on each other’s contributions;
  • Take their turns in discussion.
The children have the opportunity to develop their speaking skills in front of audiences through annual class collective worships, end of year productions and in upper Key Stage 2, involvement in the Catenian’s Public Speaking competition.  In the wider community Year 6 pupils are encouraged to talk to the senior citizens of the St Dunstan’s Church at monthly parish lunches.

Reading at St.Dunstan’s

At St Dunstan’s we develop the children’s love of books through widespread reading for enjoyment as well as for retrieving of information. This enables children to:
  • broaden and enrich their vocabulary;
  • improve their understanding of how to write in different styles and genres;
  • develop their thoughts and ideas so that they can communicate effectively with different groups of people.
All children are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum through the following practice:
  • Quality texts / picture books form the heart of the English curriculum.
  • Children’s reading is monitored to ensure all are reading a variety of quality texts, at an appropriate level.
  • Parents are encouraged to support their child’s reading at home and for children reading on the school’s reading scheme colour banded stickers in the reading record books provide helpful advice.
  • Home reading is recorded in a record book whilst on colour bands and a reading diary after that.
  • Parents are invited to regular reading information meetings to find out about the reading process.
  • Parents and grandparents are encouraged to come in to school and read with pupils. Those who are able to do so are provided with special training.
  • Age related recommend reading lists are provided.
  • In weekly guided reading sessions reading and comprehension skills are developed.
  • Children on reading scheme encouraged to change their reading book daily.
  • Developing readers read regularly 1:1 with adult at school.
  • Children have the opportunity to develop their library skills through a weekly library session when they are supported with making their book choices.
  • School Library is open every lunch time to enable children to change their books or sit quietly and read. There is also Library Time with parents weekly after school.
  • The school library is very well-stocked and is regularly updated with new ‘Top 10’ books and children’s recommendations and requests.
  • Children are encouraged to use Junior Librarian to write book reviews ad reserve books.
  • Story time daily – teachers model a love of reading and expose children to more adventurous and challenging texts.

Phonics: Letters and Sounds is used the primary scheme for teaching phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond.

We use this phonics programme in school, the link includes an overview of the phonics your child will learn and there are helpful videos to show you how the sounds are pronounced.

This website includes a phonics audio guide, which lets you hear the sound. It then demonstrates the sound within a word. The pure sound video helps to ensure that you are not adding an extra sound, which makes it difficult for the children to blend.

Reading Scheme: Cliff Moon book banding scheme – a wide variety of books are sorted into colour band levels according to difficulty in terms of decoding and comprehension. Children progress through the colour bands until they become free readers.

Colour Coded Book Bands

Recommended Reading Lists:
Foundation Stage Reading List
Year 1 Reading List
Year 2 Reading List
Year 3 Reading List
Year 4 Reading List
Year 5 Reading List
Year 6 Reading List

Writing at St Dunstan’s

It is our aim to develop the children’s ability to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Good quality texts by quality authors are used across all year groups to model and stimulate and ignite writing emphasising the link between reading and writing.  We particularly strive to ensure that we give boys motivation to write through careful choice of text and other visual stimulus.

Writing is taught as a process, with the focus on the reader and the purpose to drive the genre of the text.

The elements of the writing process are:

Prewriting: This is the initial stimulation for writing and often involves speaking and listening, vocabulary, drama, modelling.

Conscience Alley: Year 2 – ‘What do the villagers and the animals think of the giant?'

Collaborative work: following their drama activity, children working  collaboratively to write about the character of the giant.

Washing lines keep the children’s’ ideas on display for use in their independent writing.

Drafting: The first draft brings together all the ideas from modelling and prewriting. Space is physically left on the page during this stage to allow for the re-drafting process.

Editing: This is final improvement of their work.
Children are explicitly taught how to be critical readers of their own and others’ writing so that they can learn to how to improve it.

Publishing: This is the opportunity for children to showcase their final work.

Published work takes many forms: displays, class books, letters or for example stories for a younger class.

English Working walls
As part of our learning-centered classroom approach each class has an English working wall display where features of the writing process are displayed including: key vocabulary, text features and associated grammar and a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like). 
WAGOLLWriting Features



An emphasis on a high standard of presentation and the use of a neat cursive style is championed throughout the school. The correct pencil grip is encouraged from EYFS.
Knowledge of letter strings is taught through handwriting, building up muscle memory. Teachers model the cursive handwriting at all times and handwriting forms a central part of displays around the school, including the working wall in the classrooms.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation

Spelling Tips

Spelling strategies are built up from the structured teaching of phonics through Letters and Sounds during EYFS and Key Stage1. The teaching of phonics continues into Key Stage 2 for those children who have not completed the programme.

Spelling patterns and conventions are taught by year group, revised and gradually built up. Spelling investigations are carried out rather than lists of spellings given out to rote learn. Personal spelling logs are used from Year 3 onwards to support the learning of spelling conventions.

Please clink on the links for documents on Supporting your child at home.
Years 1 and 2
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6

Punctuation and Grammar

Grammar and punctuation is taught as a modular system and skills build progressively.  Teachers model the writing to demonstrate what a ‘good’ piece of work looks like, scaffolding pupil’s writing. Through a combination of direct teaching and an integrated approach where grammar skills are taught within the focus genre and text and supported through references within reading, including guided reading.

Grammatical terminology (e.g. adverbs, subordinate clauses, noun phrases etc.) is taught explicitly enabling children to be able to identify them and refer to them in their own writing.

End of Year Expectations for English

An idea of the expected progression from year to year can be found for your child’s year by using the following links.
By definition, these grids provide only a generalisation and your child may be working above or below this level.

Early Years Foundation Stage - Communication and Language
Early Years Foundation Stage - Literacy
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
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St. Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, Onslow Crescent, Woking, Surrey. GU22 7AX  Tel: 01483 715190 
email: office@stdunstans.surrey.sch.uk