Sandon JMI School

Learning, Resilience, Independence




At Sandon, we encourage our children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers who take enjoyment when reading for pleasure. We aim for our children to have the confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types when choosing their books independently. We read a wide variety of genres that are thought provoking and expose the children to the wider world and experiences they would not perhaps encounter in our rural area.



Our Infant children are taught early reading through daily phonics sessions. In Reception, children start reading captions and wordless stories before moving onto books that closely match their phonic abilities – these books are not on the Accelerated Reader Scheme. Children in Year One continue to read phonetically decodable books and this is due to a change in the Ofsted guidance on early reading. Following completion of the phonetically decodable books, children in Year Two will start to read books on the Accelerated Reader Scheme, they can however be found on our Phonics page.

Our Junior children are taught reading through a variety of different methods with some including: Whole Class Reading sessions, class texts in English lessons and comprehension materials. Children take home books within their Accelerated Reader reading range and are encouraged to spend time reading aloud at home with their parents as well as independent reading. Here is a link to our Accelerated Reader page.

At Sandon, we ensure that our whole class teaching and small group learning activities target the development of both decoding and language comprehension.





Reading forms the main part of a child’s weekly homework. Below shows the expected amount of time children should read for each day:


5 minutes

As well as phoneme and tricky word flashcards 

Year 1

15 minutes

Year 2

20 minutes

Year 3

25 minutes

Year 4

Year 5

30 minutes

Year 6


In-class we encourage an early love of reading by sharing a wide range of genres with children: stories are always used as a main focal point during our assemblies; they have wide links to a variety of curriculum areas.

Reading for pleasure is encouraged and children regularly listen to texts, beyond their current stage of independent reading comprehension, which are read aloud by an adult. At Sandon, we feel this is hugely beneficial to our learners as it models reading with fluency, the use of expressions and intonation – all skills that we hope to see the children use in their own reading. When adults read aloud, children are given the opportunity to discuss their understanding through questions from adults which, in turn, supports them to develop their comprehension skills.

At Sandon we understand the value of reading stories and regular opportunities for this are incorporated into the school day.

The children use Accelerated Reader. This helps the children to find books that are an appropriate level for their reading ability and allows them to stretch and challenge themselves. You can find more information on Accelerated Reader here 




At Sandon, we ensure that children are given the opportunity to write from experience as well as for a range of purposes and for pleasure. We also use drama and group work to support the children’s progression of writing.




Across the school we use schemes and plans from Herts for Learning which have been carefully selected to help support our children's needs and development. Each class has a variety of books each term and over the year they cover a wide range of book genres to help promote different writing outcomes. From this, teachers model expected writing outcomes expected of the children so they are aware of 'what a good one looks like' also known as a WAGOLL. In the older year groups, children are encourage to edit their finished pieces and improve their punctuation, vocabulary and grammar choices; to do this, children are given opportunities to secure their skills in using a dictionary/thesaurus.

Children are given the opportunity to write for a range of purposes and we ensure they understand the audience for whom they are writing for. Without this knowledge or understanding, the writing does not have a purpose and they cannot relate it to future scenarios in life when they would use the specific genre.

Modelled writing is key for the children so they understand what to aim for with their own writing. To do this, they are shown WAGOLLs and/or by composing pieces as a whole class which the children can then use to support their own independent writing. Children are supported through the form of scaffolding.

Staff regularly attend moderation meetings both in school and with local staff who teach the same year groups in order to assess and moderate the writing their children produce. These sessions are also hugely beneficial to our staff as not only do they help us to moderate our writing but they also provide opportunities to share new teaching ideas to help develop the way we deliver our own lessons.


Our writing overviews can be found here for each class:

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3





From Reception, children begin to practice their handwriting through a variety of methods in order for them to continue to develop and improve their fine motor skills. Children are encouraged in reception to pick up a pen at any given opportunity with a strong focus on letter and number formation. In Reception, children use the Supersonic Phonic Friends handwriting materials. 

As children progress through the years, we support their handwriting by using the Letter-join handwriting scheme. Children are taught handwriting through good modelling from the scheme and also by adults in the classroom.

We aim for our children to develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters that leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.

As children move through the years, we expect joined handwriting in order for them to be closer to achieving their age related expectations set out by the government for writing. By the end of Year Four, all children are encouraged to use a pen for their written work.

By the end of Year 6 children will understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed, capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.

More information on how to support your child with their handwriting can be found on the Home Learning section.




In Key Stage 2 the children are taught spelling through the Herts Essential Spelling Scheme. It is used weekly in class to help improve children’s spelling ability. 

The expectations of spellings set out in the National Curriculum can be found here:

Spellings for each year group can be found here.