St James C of E Primary School

St James C of E Primary School


Welcome to our website

Vicarage Road, Hereford, Herefordshire HR1 2QN

Tel: 01432 273961




TEACH                    NURTURE              CELEBRATE

Our Curriculum aims and design have been developed in line with the needs of St James CE Primary School community, promoting the Christian Values we hold dear. Our curriculum is ambitious and well-planned to ensure all pupils gain ample knowledge and skills to succeed in their next stage of education and life after primary school.

The aims are also based heavily on our school vision of Teach, Nurture and Celebrate in order that children should experience ‘Life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). All stakeholders were involved in creating the vision and aims, including: pupils, parents, PTFA, and staff members at all levels.

SMSC is embedded throughout our curriculum design. The aspect of Spirituality is a particular focus for us.

The St James Curriculum was chosen and adapted to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to meet Key Stage requirements and allow for smooth transition to the next phase of education. We re-designed our curriculum to enable children to experience a more enquiry-based approach. This allows children to develop key skills and seek vital knowledge through exploring big questions and concepts.



  • Within our curriculum, we aim to inspire all pupils through engaging learning experiences
  • We aim to nurture passionate, healthy and successful learners by providing a broad, balanced and enquiry-based curriculum
  • Instil children with the values, knowledge and skills to enable them to achieve beyond expectations and experience success
  • Provide a progressive curriculum where skills and knowledge are developed through quality ongoing assessment.




Reading Intent

At St. James our intent is for all of our children to develop a love of reading across all aspects of the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child within our school, regardless of background and potential difficulty, leaves our school as a confident and fluent reader. In order to ensure this our curriculum is designed so that skills and knowledge and built up year-on-year. This is done through carefully designed reading activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts.


Phonics Intent

At St. James phonics is taught using Supersonic Phonic Friends. Supersonic Phonic Friends builds children's speaking and listening skills as well as preparing children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It is a fully systematic, synthetic programme for teaching phonics.



Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

We start by teaching phonics in Reception and throughout Key stage 1. At St. James, we follow Super Sonic Phonic Friends. For more information, please see our reading page of our website. Super Sonic Phonic Friends is an engaging and fun way to teach phonics. It teaches sounds that allow children to build words rapidly as soon as they begin to recognise phoneme – grapheme correspondences. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s individual assessments will inform the rate at which the children are able to progress through the phrases and adapt their pace accordingly.
In the Reception Class we will revise all letter sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs. At this stage the children are also becoming more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. In the Reception class children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. This continues into Year 1 and 2 as appropriate and children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Alongside this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.

Discreet phonic sessions take place daily. Phonics is grouped so that children are supported and challenged as suitable for their needs.

Phonics is supported by our reading scheme ‘Big Cat Phonics’. This reading scheme has a wide variety of text types within each stage, allowing children to explore different interests at every reading level. The books are reading systematically to ensure that they are closely matched to your child’s phonic ability.

Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, and fosters a love of reading.

 Across KS1 and KS2 reading is taught daily through Whole Class Reading sessions. These are differentiated to meet the needs of individual children, focusing on age appropriate texts and on their own reading level. We use a combination of VIPERS and Cracking comprehension to support our whole class reading. Sessions include opportunities to develop new skills, as well as a chance to apply them independently. VIPERS develops Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation and Summarising skills. These are then practised through comprehension activities. Each year group has a LTP for reading which can be seen on the reading page of our website.

Regular assessment takes place to inform teachers’ planning of reading. These assessments, along with your child’s reading level (Big Cat Reading books) will help teachers to plan what is needed next in your child’s reading teaching. 



Our aim is that children can read fluently by the end of Key Stage 1, enabling them to fully access learning at Key Stage 2 and beyond. Reading is assessed in the following ways:

  1. Statutory Assessment

Year 1: Children take part in the Phonics Screening check.

Year 2: Children are assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 1 SATs.

Year 6: Children are formally assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 2 SATs.

  1. In School Assessments

Children in Year 2 and above undertake termly assessments using the NFER reading tests. Progress is measured using standardised scores.

  1. Informal assessments

Teachers continuously assess children’s attainment and progress during individual and whole class reading sessions. This leads to immediate intervention e.g. one-to-one, small group or next day guided group activities.

Monitoring of Reading is carried out by the Subject leader, Senior Leadership Team and independent Literacy Consultants. Monitoring will include; lesson observations, termly pupil progress meetings and learning walks.

Reading Newsletters

January Newsletter

Reading suggestions...


Here at St James, staff and pupils follow the very exciting and engaging phonics scheme 'Supersonic Phonic Friends'.  Supersonic Phonic Friends is an enchanted adventure of phonics where along the way children will meet several friendly woodland characters who represent each literacy skill involved. Supported by the children's new 'Supersonic friends' and rhyming captions and phrases, this approach will ensure children develop confidence and apply each skill to their own reading and writing.  Meet the characters, explore the benefits and have a look at the links and videos below to find out more about our phonics scheme.

Super Sonic Phonic Friend Characters

Example lesson



Overview of Phase One - Phase Five

Phase One


This phase is split into seven aspects:

Aspect 1: General Sound Discrimination – Environmental Sounds

Aspect 2: General Sound Discrimination – Instrumental Sounds

Aspect 3: General Sound Discrimination – Body Percussion  Aspect 4: Rhythm and Rhyme

Aspect 5: Alliteration

Aspect 6: Voice Sounds

Aspect 7: Oral Blending and Segmenting

Phase Two


The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions.

Phase Three


The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.

Phase Four 


No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words

Phase Five

(Throughout Year 1)

The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.


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