Subject Leader - Mrs Callender

My name is Mrs Callender.  I hae aways had a passion for reading and am an avid reader.  I followed my interest and gained a BAhons in English literature with political history.  I took a break from education after university and travelled the world, working on cruise ships for several years. Upon returning to England, I settled in Widnes and ganied my PGCE. During my PGCE I was placed in St. John Fisher school, and I have been here ever since. 
At St. John Fisher we believe that reading is every child's right and we work hard to promote a love of reading that will stay with our children long after they have left us. Reading is at the heart of our curricuculum. We know that reading is vital to accessing the wider curriculum and a successful future, and we also know the joy books can bring. 
As a book lover, I am proud to be involved in promotoing a love of reading across our school. It is something I am genuinuely passionate about. I strongly believe in the impact literacy has on childrens success and wellbeing. 

English at St John Fisher


At St. John Fisher we expect that our children will leave our school able to communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions confidently and clearly both orally and in writing. Therefore, we expect that children are able to speak and write with grammatical accuracy, for a variety of purposes, with different audiences in mind and have a broad vocabulary. We also want our children to leave our school with a life-long love of reading that will support them as they learn to make sense of them world around them and continue to develop the social and emotional skills needed in their futures.



EYFS and KS1

At St. John Fisher children will follow the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme to teach the children how to decode and become readers. As the children move through this systematic program, they build fluency reading decodable books that match their phonics level. By the end of the EYFS, the children should have developed the ability to decode, segment and blend words which use the correlating sounds to their developmental stage in the RWI scheme. They should also be able to recognise a variety of common exception words relevant to their developmental stage within the scheme. The children should have a developed recognition for print, know that print carries meaning and understand that, in the English language, we read from left to right. By the end of KS1, the children should be able to ask and answer questions about a variety of texts that are appropriate to their developmental stage. They should be able to discuss a wide variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry and should have an understanding that non-fiction texts are often structured in different ways. The children should be able to make predictions based on what has been read so far and should be able to make inferences based on what is being said and what is being done


As children become more confident readers, we use whole-class reading strategies to explicitly teach reading skills and to develop the children’s metacognition, making them better, more reflective learners. Further to whole class sessions, children then have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to the wide range of domain questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard. Over a weekly period, all children will also take part in a small group guided activity, which enables teachers to elicit the needs of children individually and identify areas for future development.

Teachers and teaching assistants will cotinue to listen to children read through a variety of activities, including individual, paired, shared, choral and echo reading, that match each childs' needs.

Of course, we also want to foster a love of reading across the school, so reading and book talk is  part of each school day. School library visits and local library visits are timetabled in and other reading enrichments (scuh as author visits, book fairs and book swaps) are planned across the school year.



From EYFS onwards, we use a Pathways to Write which is a mastery approach to writing that is based around high quality texts. Our daily writing sessions centre around high quality texts that deelop vocabulary and oracy skills, and introduce a range of genres.

In writing sessions we seek to ensure children have a deep understanding of what they have learned so they can recall their learning, use it flexibly and apply it readily to a variety of contexts. Therefore we regualrly assess childrens grasp of previously taught skills so we can intevene in a timely way. The teaching of grammar and punctuation is embedded into our writing units. All writing skills are taught progressively with lots of opportunities built-in to revisit and consolidate prior learning.   

Spelling and handwrirting are both taught discreetly in KS1 and KS2. From EYFS we use Letterjoin to teach pre-handwriting then handwriting skills. Starting with print in EYFS, to beginning to write cursively in Year 2. 


At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention.

The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.  Cross curricular writing standards are high and children are able express themselves well. Children’s love of reading, their broad vocabulary and their ability to think and talk about their learning means that their English skills translate into life-long skills that will enable them to be successful in life


At St John Fisher Reading is a priority. We believe that every child has a right to learn to read.


Links to School Development Plan



Files to Download

Contact the School

St John Fisher Primary School

Edward Street,

Main Contact: Office Manager Margaret Hassett

Tel: 0151 424 7794