Subject Leader - Mrs Callender

My name is Mrs Callender.  From a young age I had a passion for reading and was an avid reader.  In college this passion was further fueled by my literature teacher who introduced me to classics that I still love and reread now. I followed my interests 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 studied for my PGCE. During my PGCE I was placed in St John Fisher school, and I have been here ever since.  I now have my own three children who also love reading and collecting books.

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, but 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.



At St. John Fisher we use the Read Write Inc phonics program 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. 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. Of course, we also want to foster a love of reading across the school, so reading and book talk is always part of each school day.


We use a mastery approach to writing that is based around high quality texts. 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. The teaching of grammar and punctuation skills are embedded into our writing units and are revisited across the year. Although these skills are taught progressively, there are opportunities built-in to revisit and consolidate prior learning.   


Reading and writing are both assessed consistently throughout the year and tracked on the school tracking system. We moderate writing as a staff termly, and in cluster meeting with other schools, to ensure consistency and to develop teachers’ subject knowledge of other year groups curriculum requirements.



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.

Phonics -


In Reception we learn to read through phonics. We use the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme, learning individual letter sounds and blending them together to make words. (Please click on the link below for further information.) Children continue to learn through phonics in Key Stage 1 and a few children may require aditional phonics support in to Key Stage 2.

Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

For further information please see the wedsite: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/




Children read each week with a teacher and with a teaching assistant. They take part in a variety of reading activities including Shared Reading and Guided Reading on both an individual and group basis.

We have a varied range of reading materials, including a vast rage of published reading schemes, as well as News papers, both available as a hard copy delivered to school, and online available at https://www.firstnews.co.uk and another online reading scheme - Bug club - https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk/login?c=0


Files to Download

Contact the School

St John Fisher Primary School

Edward Street,

Main Contact: Office Manager Margaret Hassett

Tel: 0151 424 7794