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Thomlinson Junior School

Learning through experience and adventure


Leaders understand that reading is the key to all learning. They have designed a curriculum that effectively promotes pupils’ reading fluency and confidence. Additional daily phonics sessions help pupils who are weaker readers to improve. Attainment in national assessments in reading is now above average.
Ofsted Report December 2019

English Curriculum Intent

We believe that every child should have the right to a curriculum that champions excellence; supporting pupils in achieving to the very best of their abilities. We understand the immense value that a high-quality English education can play in enriching pupils’ lives. English at Thomlinson Junior School aims to provide our pupils with the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to have excellent, reading, verbal and written skills. We aim to nurture a love of reading and writing for all our pupils and develop the confidence needed to communicate effectively in society. Pupils will be given a rich learning diet and immersive environment, that will provide the foundations needed, recognising the importance English has on every subject and beyond the school.

English Curriculum Implementation

As a school, we have carefully created our own bespoke English curriculum which aligns with the National Curriculum and shows progression across the school from Year 3 to Year 6. This includes using established and respected resources from English specialists such as The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. The English curriculum supports our teachers in delivering engaging, inspiring and challenging lessons, and learning opportunities which help to raise standards and allow all pupils to achieve to their full potential. We are confident that our English curriculum provides everything a child would need. It provides immense flexibility, contextualised and cross curricula learning opportunities.

English Curriculum Impact

At Thomlinson Junior School, our English curriculum aims to ensure our pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Inclusion in English

At Thomlinson Junior School, we aim to enable all children to achieve to their full potential. This includes children of all abilities, social and cultural backgrounds, those with disabilities, EAL speakers and SEN statement and non-statemented.  We aim to do this through:

  • Termly review of the curriculum.
  • Monitoring and assessing in reading, writing and spelling.
  • Regular tracking of pupil attainment.
  • Review of targets in reading and writing.
  • Discussion with teachers and Senior Leaders.

Accelerated Reader

At Thomlinson Junior School, we use Accelerated Reader to help monitor the progress the children make in their reading, ensure they are reading books that are suitable for their reading level and encourage them to read, both at school and at home.  We also use the Star Reading programme (part of Accelerated Reader) to assess and monitor the progress of reading in our school.  

We have daily reading in each class everyday where children read independently or with an adult.  All classes also have one whole class guided reading lesson each week, where they look at a class novel or extract in greater detail.

We ask that, in order to fully support your child with their reading, they read at home at least three times a week – either with an adult or independently.  It is useful if you encourage your child to note down what they have read in their Reading Records and they are signed by an adult, again at least three times a week.

Recommended Reads

It can sometimes be difficult to know which books are suitable for what age groups, what new books are coming out and what could your child read that is a bit different and might get them hooked onto reading. 


The website The Reader Teacher is the perfect way to find a great read that will not only be suitable for a particular age group, but will also help to develop a passion for reading in our pupils.  Here you can find the best reads, reviews and recommendations of children's books for children, families, teachers and schools to browse.

The Reader Teacher has put together lists of books for each year group - 100 recommended reads for years 3, 4, 5 and 6.  You can download the checklists below for each year group or use the links to visit the site where you can see the 100 books and click on them for more information.  

Spelling Shed


The Spelling Shed is a spelling platform designed by a team of Primary School teachers. It is built with primary school students, teachers and parents in mind and aims to make spelling fun for students!

Spelling Shed includes:

  • A spelling scheme, giving 100% coverage of the National Curriculum.
  • The ability to create unlimited custom lists and search for others' lists within the platform.
  • A tablet and mobile game for students to use to practise spelling.
  • An online game, which gives access to our platform on all current desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices.
  • Whole-class Hive games that allow all pupils to play alongside each other as an alternative for a weekly spelling test.

Phonics Teaching at TJS

When children enter the school in Year 3 they are all have their phonics knowledge assessed, this happens in early September. Children who continue to require phonics teaching will be taught using the School’s Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP) – Ruth Miskins’s ‘Read Write Inc’ following  on from their phonics teaching from Key Stage 1.

We ensure from our robust on-entry assessments that we identify quickly children who need the support of an SSP. We aim to begin their programme at the highest point that is necessary for them to make progress – not from the beginning. This sometimes might mean some children will need to be taught individually; others can be taught in groups, if they are working with pupils at the same level of phonic knowledge. 

We ensure that the children are taught by fully trained members of staff, in bite-sized steps so that they achieve success every day. This phonics teaching  happens immediately, so they do not miss lessons to have intervention teaching for longer than necessary. From our assessments we find that children make fast progress when they receive a few months of intensive daily teaching at their specific level.

Late arrivals to the school may also need focused support in word reading, particularly those who are new to the English education system or whose first language is not English. 

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
National Curriculum in England, DfE 2013