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English at Prees CE Primary School

At Prees C.E. Primary School, our English curriculum is designed to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion, and prepare our learners for life as successful, valuable and socially responsible citizens. We encourage an appreciation of rich and varied texts and a habit of reading widely and often. We nurture a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly, imaginatively and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Our intentions for speaking and listening are for children to:

  • speak clearly and audibly, and to take account of their listeners;
  • listen with concentration, in order to identify the main points of what they have heard;
  • express their views and opinions;
  • adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands.

Our intentions for reading are for children to:

  • read 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 speaking;
  • use discussion to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, supported with evidence from the text;
  • be competent in asking and responding to questions, demonstrating a clear understanding of what they have read.

Our intentions for writing are for children to:

  • foster an enjoyment of writing and a recognition of its value;
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
  • improve the planning, drafting and editing of their written work;
  • use spelling, punctuation and syntax appropriately and with confidence;
  • develop a legible, neat handwriting style.


Speaking and listening
Speaking and listening underpins the development of reading and writing and is vital for children’s development across all aspects of the school curriculum. We provide our children with a wide range of opportunities to hear and use good quality and adventurous vocabulary. Correct, standard English is modelled by teachers and teaching assistants. Children are encouraged to ask questions, discuss in pairs and groups, and to use conventions for discussion, as well as debate, as it is recognised that the skills that are developed through this medium are unique and help to build self-confidence and effective communication skills.

All teachers and other adults model reading and share a love of reading through individual and guided sessions, as well as by sharing stimulating class texts.

In EYFS, reading is an integral part of the day. It follows the EYFSP to ensure that children develop their reading skills and a love of reading. Adults read to children daily using a variety of texts ranging from fiction and non-fiction to rhymes and poems. Drama and role-play are actively encouraged to develop these stories.

Phonics is a fundamental part of the teaching of reading. Teachers follow a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics (Song of Sounds). Children are regularly assessed to ensure progress. Parents receive information to support their children at home.

In Key Stage One, daily phonics supports the development of early reading skills. Children learn to read using a phonetically decodable reading scheme. Teachers model a range of reading strategies, including the identification of sentence structure and the function of punctuation marks, and children are afforded opportunities to practise phonic skills and word recognition in context. At a developmentally appropriate level, children take part in guided reading where there is greater emphasis on understanding texts through focusing on the different reading domains.

In Key Stage Two, all children within a class are placed into reading groups that are appropriate for their reading age and comprehension development. Guided reading sessions are pre-planned using the agreed format; drawing on a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts that are of high quality and stimulating for children. Guided reading sessions are led by a teacher weekly within the class. Within a guided reading session, a specific reading domain is focused upon to help children develop a range of reading skills. As part of the guided reading session, children read as part of the group or independently, depending on their reading fluency and understanding. Suitable follow-up tasks are provided to further support children in developing specific reading skills. As the children move through school, opportunities to read independently for a sustained period of time are afforded to them.

Home reading books and phonics reading books are organised on a banding system ensuring the children read appropriate books to develop and challenge them.  From Reception, every child takes home a decodable book matched to the phonics taught in class and a book of their choice. These books are sent home on a daily basis for families to read with their children. Each parent/carer is given the opportunity to liaise with teachers through reading record books. Children who have moved on from the reading scheme have access to free reading from the class book selection and the School Library.

Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, including visits by published authors, performances by professional theatre groups, participation in ‘Reading the Game’, and Bookfest.

Writing is taught through the use of quality texts. We teach the children to infer, understand and use high-level vocabulary and a range of punctuation. Each text is purposefully selected to promote a love of reading, engagement and high-quality writing within each child. We ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age group. As well as teaching the National Curriculum objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities.

In EYFS, emergent writing is encouraged through the use of different writing materials, including felt-tipped pens, crayons, chalk, sand, magnetic letters, big brushes, water, paint and computers, as well as writing in all areas of learning, such as postcards, menus, invitations and labels. Alongside this, children take part in a range of activities to encourage and develop gross and fine motor skills necessary to write in a legible script. Daily phonics lessons build their phonic and spelling knowledge to enable them to sound out words and spell high-frequency words correctly.

Teachers model writing skills and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in modelled and shared writing sessions, delivered as part of the daily English lesson. Guided writing sessions are used to target the specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of a unit; applying their taught skills to a piece of independent writing.

Each year group is provided with a ‘Progression in Skills’ document which gives detailed information about the genres and statutory requirements that each year group should follow. The documents show progression in genres across the year groups. Teachers will use the resources to plan daily English lessons that are differentiated and tailored to a class’ needs.

In EYFS and Key Stage ne, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. This is taught using ‘Song of Sounds’ Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time, they learn words which are not phonically plausible (common exception words).

In Key Stage Two, the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology and etymology of words to support their spelling. Children are taught to recognise which strategies they can use to improve their spelling and are actively encouraged to apply learnt strategies to their independent writing.

Handwriting is taught in a sequential and progressive approach, with teachers and teaching assistants modelling the handwriting style. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation. Handwriting sessions are taught discretely. Resources such as handwriting slopes and pencil grips are provided when needed. We strive for our children to correctly form their letters, joining with a cursive style, with children having good handwriting habits so that they can write fluently and legibly by the end of Key Stage Two. Children start by learning how to form their letters in the early years. Then, children are introduced to pre-cursive style writing in Year 2, before continuing to develop through cursive script from Year 3 onwards, including learning joining techniques.

Children leave Prees C.E. Primary School as happy, confident learners who have developed a love of reading and writing with the key skills and knowledge necessary for the next stage of their learning. They have high aspirations and are confident in the art of speaking and listening, being able to successfully use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

English Long-Term Plan