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Our exciting and inspiring English curriculum will enable our children to write with confidence and accuracy for a wide variety of purposes using a rich and interesting vocabulary. We expect our children to write with accuracy using appropriate grammatical techniques and be able to apply the phonics and spelling patterns that they have learnt. We expect all children to develop a cursive handwriting style which should be embedded by the end of Y4.


Our children will develop a love for reading and will read fluently and widely. They will be able to express their feelings and opinions about what they have read with confidence.





Reading and Phonics


From their first days in school, we start to foster a love of books and reading through daily story time, which continues throughout school.


Children start their reading journey with daily phonics sessions using the Little Wandle Phonics programme. Little Wandle is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which is validated by the Department for Education. 



As well as a daily 20 minute phonics lesson, the children have three 'reading practice' sessions each week.


In the reading sessions, we aim to build fluency, expression, intonation (prosody) and comprehension. The children read the same 'matched-decodable' book as a group each session, and discuss it with an adult.


We then send home fully decodable books to read at home to an adult. This is matched to the correct phonic stage for your child.  If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency, expression and confidence in reading.


From Nursery onwards, we send home a sharing book. This is a book the children have chosen that interests them. It is hoped that this book would be shared with parents to develop a love of reading. 


Children who have successfully passed the phonics screening check but who still need to develop their fluency and intonation progress onto the Little Wandle Fluency stage. This involves three reading practice sessions per week in a differentiated group. Every two weeks, the children will bring home the book they have been practising to share with parents. 


Throughout school, children are taught to decode, comprehend and read for pleasure through engaging texts and a variety of reading experiences as part of the English lesson and the wider curriculum. Children are read to frequently by their class teacher. Wherever possible, these books are linked to studies in other curriculum areas.


We use Accelerated Reader throughout the federation for children from around Year 2 onwards. Children are assessed regularly through online tests. This gives each child a ZPD score which is the level of book that is right for them. This level gives enough challenge, whilst still being achievable for the child. Each child's ZPD is a range, for example 3.2 - 4.6. The child can choose to read a book nearer the top end of their ZPD for more challenge, or at the lower end for a book that will be a more comfortable read. Every book in our libraries is colour coded using the book band system and each book also has a number on which corresponds to the ZPD system. When a child finishes a book, they go on to Accelerated Reader and complete a quiz. This give teachers an indication of the child's comprehension of their book and constantly updates their ZPD score. 



Children who have passed the Phonics Screening Check in Y1 will progress on to the Little Wandle Bridge to Spelling. Little Wandle Spelling builds on children’s knowledge of the alphabetic code and teaches them how to spell with confidence. The programme provides a seamless link from the core Little Wandle programme to teaching spelling in Year 2.


KS2 children work through a spelling programme which is based on Jane Considine Spelling at an appropriate level for them. It is based on strong phonics teaching with a focus on teaching pupils the connections between words, sound associations and patterns.




Our writing lessons in KS1 are based on the principles of Talk for Writing by Pie Corbett. Children become very familiar with a model text and use this to scaffpold their independent writing. KS2 lessons incorporate Jane Considine's The Write Stuff approach which scaffolds and models writing prior to independent writing. Reference is made to the Writing Rainbow when modelling writing so that pupils are clear about the different elements (lenses) of writing. Principles of Talk for Writing are also integrated into lessons. We have found that the two schemes complement each other well.


We use Talk for writing because of the active nature of the approach. Younger children learn texts using pictures and actions which then gives them the tools they need to be able to go and write on their own, confidently and independently. The approach starts with imitation, where children use a known text to help them create their own writing. Children then innovate - keeping some elements of the original but becoming more independent. Finally, they move to independent application, where children are creating their own work in the style of the model text.  


Underpinning all of our work in English are opportunities for children to access a variety of quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry.





We started using Martin Harvey handwriting scheme in September 2022. Children have handwriting sessions at least once a week, more for children who need more support or are younger. This approach uses a simple cursive style where children are taught correct letter formation from the start of reception with flicks in preparation for joining. As children move through the scheme, they start to join up.


Children are taught to sit properly in preparation for writing and taught to a correct pencil grip. Sessions include patterns as well as letter formation to help children to develop a flowing style. 




Our children develop a lifelong love of reading and writing and enjoy discussing and recommending books to their peers. Their vocabulary is increased through the work done in their English lessons and they use a broad vocabulary in spoken and written work. Children are able to communicate effectively through their written work using accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation and neat, cursive handwriting. We assess regularly to track progress and identify next steps in learning to enable each child to flourish.