St Augustine's CofE Primary School

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St Augustine Street, Manchester, M40 8PL


St Augustine's CofE Primary School

Believe, Achieve, Succeed

Our Vision (Intent)


At St Augustine’s CE Primary School, we believe that literacy is a fundamental life skill. We have developed an ambitious, engaging and exciting curriculum, which allows all children to listen, speak, read and write for a range of purposes. We are committed to delivering a consistent and structured approach to literacy, whilst providing exciting and inspiring classroom experiences which motivate children to read, write and explore language both in school and at home. In line with the 2014 National Curriculum, we have the following aims for all pupils:

  • Read with ease, fluency and a clear understanding.
  • Develop a habit of reading widely and regularly both for pleasure and to gather information.
  • To experience a broad and varied literary diet by exploring texts from a wide range of genres and time periods.
  • Cultivate a wide vocabulary, with a strong understanding of grammatical conventions and structures within both reading and writing.
  • Apply a range of spelling strategies using knowledge of spelling families, patterns and rules.
  • Write clearly and coherently, adapting their style to suit the audience, purpose and context.
  • Use discussion to deepen their understanding by listening to the ideas of others, sharing their own thoughts and opinions and asking purposeful questions.
  • Develop confidence in the art of speaking and listening by giving feedback to peers, participating in debates and presenting ideas on a larger scale- such as in whole school assemblies.


What does this look like in our School? (Implementation)

You cannot write it if you cannot say it; you cannot say it if you haven’t heard it.

At St Augustine’s CE Primary School, we follow a consistent Talk for Writing approach which builds upon pupils’ skills and understanding of text types year upon year. Talk for writing is geared, initially, around the oral rehearsal of high- quality texts. This allows pupils to internalise story/text patterns so that they can replicate and adapt them. In Early Years and Y1 an emphasis is placed upon early storytelling skills, using fairytales and traditional stories so that the pupils have a strong understanding of key story patterns and conventions.

Each 3-week Talk for Writing unit begins with a Cold Write. This process allows pupils to show prior understanding and teachers to set targets for the coming unit.  Through the imitation of key language and careful unpicking of the text and its structure, pupils build a bank of familiar stories that they can draw upon. Teacher lead shared writing shows the children how to craft their ideas so they are able to confidently innovate and adapt the model text using their own ideas. Finally, pupils are given a rich stimulus, which they can use for independent application (Hot Write) of all the skills taught across the unit. This enables class teachers to rigorously assess progress across each unit.

At our school we are committed to consistency and quality of teaching. Some of the activities that you will see at different stages of the Talk for Writing process across our school are:


Imitation Stage

  • Exciting ‘hooks’ that engage and excite pupils about the text type
  • Creating story/ text maps
  • Reciting the story/ text maps with actions to internalise the text
  • First thoughts and predictions
  • Hot-seating/ thought-tracking/ roll on the wall/ retelling the story with props
  • Writing in role/ exploring the story from a different perspective/ exploring alternative endings/ outcomes.
  • Deepening understanding by exploring similar texts and discussing similarities
  • Unpicking the model text and exploring new vocabulary/ playing word and sentence games.
  • ‘Boxing up’ the model text to identify key features/ themes of each section.

Innovation stage

  • Pupils co-construct a toolkit of text features with clear examples.
  • Shared writing modelled by the class teacher.
  • Paired and independent writing using specific features of the toolkit.
  • Fantastic opportunities for developing speaking and listening with pupils sharing writing and offering constructive feedback.
  • Pupils using specific, focused feedback to self- edit.


Independent application (Hot Task) Y2-6

  • Pupils use a rich stimulus- class trip/ video/ experience/ picture -as a springboard for independently writing in the same genre/ style to show independent application of new skills.


A text map and toolkit for our Y3 information text- Storm Unicorns

What difference does this make (impact)

Each child is assessed daily. Through assessment for learning, teaching is tailored and specific support is planned to meet the individual needs of the pupils.

Pupils are assessed against the Writing objectives in the National Curriculum throughout the year.

A teacher assessment of pupils’ level of attainment in writing is submitted at the end of Y2 and Y6 (SATs)


Our vision (Intent)

At St Augustine's CE Primary School, we aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities.  We believe that:

  • Children should read for both pleasure and purpose
  • Reading is a crucial life skill
  • Children should have time to read independently, read aloud and be read to every day
  • A love of reading can be taught and encouraged at school – just like any other area of the curriculum
  • Developing an engaging environment to support and encourage reading is crucial
  • High quality phonics teaching is an essential part of teaching reading
  • Children should be able to apply their knowledge of phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed
  • Children should be able to read accurately, fluently, expressively and with understanding at a level that is appropriate for them
  • Children need explicit teaching of comprehension skills to increase their understanding of a text
  • Reading great literature opens children up to ideas, experiences, places and times they might never otherwise experience in real life
  • Reading regularly helps children to develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
  • Children should have opportunities to read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts
  • Reading helps children to develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Children who read regularly are able to do so fluently and with confidence in the wider curriculum
  • Reading at home plays an essential role in developing enjoyment and self-esteem
  • Reading is a message getting activity which is made up of two components – word recognition (decoding) and language comprehension (see diagram below)




Reading for pleasure

Reading for pleasure has many non-literacy benefits and can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life (The Reading Agency 2015)

Teachers who encourage students to read books of their choice for pleasure is a major contribution towards students developing a positive attitude towards reading and a life-long interest in reading. (International Reading Association, 2014).

At St Augustine’s, we believe in the importance of reading for pleasure.  We give our children lots of opportunities to help nurture their love of reading, such as -

  • Author visits and virtual author workshops
  • Library visits
  • Visits to the theatre
  • Being a Summer Reading Challenge pilot school
  • Celebrating World Book Day
  • Parent and child reading workshops
  • A book banded reading system which uses a variety of different schemes to capture the interest of all children
  • Story time every day
  • Age appropriate books in reading areas in every classroom
  • Reading books which promote and celebrate diversity
  • Reading buddies


Guided Reading

Guided reading is taught daily from reception up to year 6.  Early readers practise reading decodable books in line with their secure phonic knowledge.  Once secure in phase 5, children are introduced to non-decodable books which are at their instructional level.  This is the level which is challenging but manageable for the reader.  During the lesson, staff guide children as they read, talk and think their way through a text.  Staff observe reading and provide each child with individualised feedback.  The feedback consists of praise – showing the child what they did well with the aim of reinforcing effective use of problem-solving reading strategies; and prompt – showing the child what to do next in order to improve their reading further.

 Shared Reading

Shared reading takes place daily from nursery to year 6.  During shared reading, a text is shared and is visible to the whole class.  The initial reading of the text is uninterrupted and focusses on meaning, phrasing and enjoyment.  After that, the teacher models using various reading strategies and develops comprehension skills through prediction, key questioning, sequencing, summarising and vocabulary development. 

Independent Reading

Each class allocates time for independent reading every day.  We believe that it is important that children read books that are easy (at their independent level) over and over again to practice reading fluently, which means that reading should sound smooth, not choppy.  It should sound like talking, with expression and intonation.  Children need to practice familiar books many times before their reading sounds quick, expressive and like spoken language.  Good fluency leads to good understanding, an easier transition to the next reading level and confidence.  We have a book banded reading system which uses a variety of different schemes to capture the interest of all children.  

Reading Recovery

St Augustine’s has been a Reading Recovery school for many years.  Reading Recovery is a literacy programme designed to raise the attainment of the lowest achieving children in key stage one.  The Reading Recovery programme enables children to make accelerated progress and reach age related expectations within 20 weeks.  

It involves a short series of daily one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes with a specially trained teacher. Reading Recovery is different for every child, starting from what the child knows and what he/she needs to learn next. The focus of each lesson is to comprehend messages in reading and construct messages in writing, learning how to use letter and word detail fluently without losing focus on meaning and comprehension.

Each lesson consists of reading familiar books, reading yesterday's new book and taking a running record, working with letters and/or words using magnetic letters, writing a story, assembling and reconstructing a cut-up story, and reading a new book.


Phonics is taught through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.  Please see the Phonics and Early Reading policy.

Home Reading

Reading at home is encouraged and promoted on a regularly.  Home reading books are changed weekly and parents are encouraged to sign the home school reading planner each time their child reads.  We use national reading events such as World Book Day and the Summer Reading Challenge to further encourage reading at home.




Each child is assessed daily, through assessment for learning and teaching is tailored to meet the needs of the children. 

Staff observe children reading and give feedback to reinforce good reading behaviours and also prompts which enhance children’s strategic activity. 

Children’s independent reading level is tracked each half term using the benchmark kit and running records.  These resources allow staff to accurately identify children’s independent reading level and assess their ability to read for meaning. 


Statutory assessment

Children in years 1 – 6 take a standardised reading test (PiRA) at the end of each term.

Children take SATs tests at the end of year 2 and year 6.

Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.  (See Early Reading and Phonics policy)

What's been going on in Literacy across school this term?