St Margaret's CofE Primary School, Whiteway Lane, Rottingdean, Brighton, BN2 7HB

01273 303109

St Margaret's CE Primary School

Grace, Strength, Love


At St Margaret's, we are passionate about children learning to love reading, explore their imaginations and create writing of their own that they are proud of, at every stage of their learning journey.

Speaking and Listening

From the very beginning of their time at St Margaret's, children will be speaking and listening; learning all the time. We aim to provide good opportunities for children to talk to each other in lessons across the curriculum. They will also have numerous diverse drama opportunities to enhance learning. Hot-seating, role-play, conscience alleys and circle time are all examples of opportunities children will have to share ideas and listen to the ideas of others, comment on and develop what they hear.

Phonics and Reading

Reading is our obsession at St Margaret's and is central to all of our learning. We share and promote a wide variety of stories and texts to inspire and shape the minds of our children.

In Reception and Key Stage 1, children are taught phonics daily in class to help them decode words to progress into fluent reading and strong understanding and comprehension of texts by the time they enter key stage 2. We use the Read Write Inc programme across Reception and KS1.

Children from Reception to Year 4 have access to book banded books to take home and read to teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers in school. Teachers will assess when they may need to move up a colour band. Our book band books come from a range of schemes to give children opportunities to read a wide range of texts.

Classes each have a weekly opportunity to visit our wonderful school library and choose a book to take home and read for pleasure.

Guided Reading takes place daily in class, where children will read and discuss a range of texts with the teacher, have the opportunity to work within a small group and complete independent work. We use the  ‘Project X’ staged scheme of books in KS1 and 'Comprehension Express' in KS2 as they provide stimulating texts for whole class or group-based Guided Reading that focusses on skills that create expert readers.


Writing is a feat of creativity that communicates fantastical ideas, creates vivid images and stimulates the imagination.

It begins with handwriting, where our children are given daily opportunities to learn and practice correct letter formation and moving onto cursive joining. Taking pride in their presentation is a vital step towards becoming confident and enthusiastic writers. 

Children have the opportunity to write a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry through the year.  Our units of work begin with an exciting stimulus to inspire the children. Teachers focus on the audience and purpose for writing so children are clear on the 'why' and 'how' to write. Within writing lessons, grammar and punctuation are taught explicitly but within context so that children can learn to make informed choices for effect.

Spelling is taught as a discrete subject using the 'No Nonsense' Spelling scheme from year 2 onwards. Children are taught spelling rules and strategies in fun and engaging ways that they are able to employ across the curriculum. In EYFS and Year 1, spelling is taught through phonics lessons that happen daily.

Assessments in English

At the end of Reception, children are assessed against the early learning goals for reading, writing and speaking and listening.

In Year 1, children undertake the ‘Phonics Screening Check’, which assesses their ability to decode a range of real and made up words using skills learned in phonics lessons. Children requiring further support will be given this in Year 2 and reassessed at the end of this year.

At the end of Year 6, children undertake national assessments in Reading and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG). Writing is assessed based on evidence the teacher gathers this throughout the year. 

Throughout the year, teachers have numerous opportunities to moderate their marking of writing with other teachers in school and with teachers of the same age group in other local schools.

We aim that children are exposed to a range of high-quality and inspiring books and texts through English teaching and through class novels enjoyed daily. 


Supporting your child at home with their spelling


English National Curriculum - Years 1 - 6

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Supporting your children with reading

 Reading KS1 Mar 24.pptxDownload
 Reading KS2 Mar 24.pptxDownload
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