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Welcome to St Nicholas VC Primary School

'They will soar on wings like eagles'. Isaiah 40:31

St. Nicholas Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, governors and volunteers to share this commitment.

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Our English Curriculum - Reading

Phonics and Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) 

At St. Nicholas we follow the Jolly Phonics systematic synthetic phonics scheme. We provide a multi-sensory, active and participatory learning experience which excites and motivates the children as they learn to read. 

Reception children use Jolly Phonics software, resources and practical activities daily to learn the single letter phonemes and digraphs, blending for reading and segmenting for spelling and learning tricky words. Children are assessed regularly and allocated decodable reading books linked to the sounds they know. As a result of this, any children who are not making expected progress are swiftly identified and are able to receive regular booster sessions to close any gaps in phoneme knowledge. Our phonics scheme is supported at home with Collins Big Cat and Oxford Education fully decodable books. These books allow all children to practice the graphemes in a step by step progression which reflects the sequence of sounds taught in school. Children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge across the curriculum, including throughout the 7 areas of learning in the EYFS. This may be through adult-led tasks, independent work or continuous provision. 

Year 1 children continue to embed this learning alongside learning new sounds in a similar multi-sensory way. 

Years 2 and 3 use the Jolly Phonics Grammar programme in daily SPAG lessons, whilst revisiting and applying these skills within English lessons.

Year 4, 5  and 6, use Jolly Phonics Grammar programme skills integrated within English lessons.


At St. Nicholas Primary School, we strongly believe that reading is a key life-skill that underpins learning. Reading develops and broadens children’s language skills and vocabulary, and is key to achieving success across the curriculum. Here at St Nicholas Primary School, we encourage children to develop a love of reading and we provide varied opportunities for children to enjoy reading for pleasure as well as for learning. Enabling our children to become fluent and confident readers is very important to us and whilst children are here, we ensure that they have opportunities to experience reading a wide variety of text types from a wide range of authors.

Children develop reading skills through a whole class reading approach, alongside group reading to embed decoding skills for younger children.  We use VIPERS to focus on the comprehension aspect of reading:  Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequencing (KS1) or Summarising (KS2).

We encourage children to regularly read and enjoy books independently, both at home and school. Children also benefit from individual reading with an adult to practice decoding and book talk.  

Our daily class read is 15 minutes of pure indulgence in a really good class book, this is where a true love of reading is really fostered. The children can enjoy the roller coaster ride of a story together, creating lots of opportunities for ‘book talk’ and interest in further reading by similar authors. We use Pie Corbett's reading spine to inform book choices.

The children have the opportunity to enjoy developmentally appropriate books from Collins Big Cat and Oxford Education fully decodable books, with banded books extending into Year 3, followed by free reading of the books in school.