Home Page


"Reading and writing float on a sea of talk" - James Britton


“Books allow us to see through the eyes of others.  By transporting us to other worlds, they help us to understand our own.” Chris Riddell


“You can make anything by writing.” C. S. Lewis


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” Dr. Seuss



At Thomas a Becket (TAB) Junior School, we put the learning of English and therefore literacy at the forefront of our curriculum. We aim to provide a high-quality education in English that enables children to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others to them.  We value reading as a tool which enables children to both acquire new knowledge and to build on what they already know, as well as the opportunities it affords to foster children’s cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual development.  


Overall, we aspire to ensure that children are equipped with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and indeed to develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment, in order that our children grow up to become empowered, active and fully participating members of society.



Children are taught English every day at TAB Junior. In line with the national curriculum for key stage 2, our school’s curriculum is split into two phases: one for years 3 and 4, and one for years 5 and 6. We have developed our English curriculum with the aim of ensuring that during the first year of each phase (i.e. years 3 and 5), children are introduced to and explicitly taught the specific knowledge and skills pertinent to that phase and year group.  During the second year of each phase (i.e. years 4 and 6), children are provided with the opportunity to consolidate their understanding of the knowledge and skills already taught and build on these further.  As the children's understanding of the intrinsic relationships between spoken language, reading, writing and grammar, punctuation & spelling grows, they develop both their competence in their knowledge of English and their confidence in its application. 


Our school’s core values underpin the learning philosophy of teaching and learning in English:


Respect for all

  • The children are taught our TAB Way common language of talk phrases to enhance and empower them to be able to talk and active listen to each other positively to come to an agreement and to assertively disagree. 
  • Writing, reading and drama experiences rely on children working collaboratively and supporting each other.
  • We celebrate the children's achievements and recognise these in all aspects of English learning.


Embrace challenge

  • Through the development of the children's talk skills, they are taught to actively listen to each other and encourage others to join in discussions so everyone has a voice and is listened to.
  • Children are encouraged and supported to persevere in improving their stamina for reading longer and more challenging texts and focussed learning on reading fluency. 
  • Drama activities require the children to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, as well as responding appropriately to others in role. 
  • Children develop stamina for drafting and editing extended pieces of writing. 


Being responsible

  • As the children develop their understanding of talk, they are encouraged to use phrases that assist them with resolving conflict amicably whether that is in the classroom or in the playground.
  • Children value honest and constructive feedback from both teachers and their peers, knowing that this will help them to improve. 
  • Responsibility is taken by the children for proofreading their written work before presenting it to others; this skill is taught from year 3 to ensure that children become more independent in improving and editing their writing by the time they leave us at the end of year 6. 
  • Children are encouraged to use their initiative to read a range of genres and attempt different types/styles of writing. 


Community spirit

  • The children are given opportunities within all subject areas to work collaboratively together to develop their talk skills as part of discussions, debates, investigations, observations and other enquiry based learning activities.
  • The whole school takes pride in the achievement of others’ reading, writing and drama successes. 
  • Children work together within their year group and across the whole school. 
  • Environmental, spiritual and philosophical issues are explored, discussed and responded to where appropriate and learning is linked to our local community where appropriate. 



Our aim is for children to transition to the next stage of their education as competent and confident speakers and listeners, readers and writers who have developed a love for the English language and its literature. By teaching the knowledge and skills in our curriculum, we endeavour to provide children with the tools required to support their learning of English as they move into key stage 3 and beyond. 


By the end of their time at TAB, we aim for the children to have a clear understanding of what makes effective writing and to have developed their knowledge of how to be critical readers. We aim for them to be able to analyse the reasons behind authors’ language choices and the impact these have on the reader/audience. The children's vocabulary knowledge will have developed for them to be able to draw on appropriate language choices when speaking, when writing or when interpreting what they have read.



Phonics at TAB

Our children’s journey to becoming fluent, proficient readers starts in the early years and in key stage 1 (KS1) at our main feeder school where a bespoke phonics programme (along with Little Wandle reading books) is implemented to support decoding. This bespoke phonics programme from the infant school is broken into phases and sets in order to allow the children to build their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes gradually. Daily sessions are planned using a ‘visit and retrieve/teach and practise/apply’ cycle which incorporates children practising the pronunciation of the phoneme being learnt, correlating the corresponding grapheme(s) with a picture, catchphrase and action, followed by opportunities for oral blending, blending and segmenting words. For further specific information regarding TAB Infant School’s bespoke phonics programme, please see the video on their website:
Children who still require phonics teaching in year 3 onwards are taught phonics daily and are directed to read books which are carefully matched to their phonic ability. In addition, outside of these sessions, they read regularly with an adult in order to support their progress. Resources familiar to them from KS1, such as common exception (tricky) words, grapheme-phoneme correspondence mats and topic words are available to support the children during lessons.

Please follow this link to access our Reading policy and Handwriting policy


Resources to support English learning


Websites and other links to extend and further learning at home:


The Literacy Shed - - A website filled with ideas for literacy learning using visual resources such as film, animation, photographs and picture books.


Interactive English games and activities:


BBC Schools website for ages 4-11 -


Short Kid Stories - Hundreds of short stories for children on this site, from timeless classics to modern, original stories.


1001 Stories - Audio and video recordings of imaginative, inspirational tales from around the world. You can search by theme, origin or age group.


Storyline - - Popular children's stories read by famous actors, with related activities.


Games to Learn English - http://www.gamestolearnenglish.comLots of games to practise grammar and vocabulary.

Book Recommendations

Notes from Parents' Information Evenings