Success in almost any area of the curriculum depends upon good basic literacy. A secure understanding of the spoken and written word provides children with an important form of self-expression and confidence in learning.

Year 1

In Year 1 heavy emphasis is therefore placed upon promoting high standards of language and literacy through the four basic key elements of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Children have daily Literacy lessons which focus on equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Pupils continue to build on their reading skills and develop their phonic awareness started in Reception. Pupils will read from a variety of texts both fiction and non-fiction, they learn about the key features of both text types. They will be taught strategies to help them make sense of what they read and enable them to look beyond the literal answers in the text. Their interest and pleasure in reading is developed as they become more confident independent readers. In Year 1 children begin to write independently; they are encouraged to attempt writing for a wide variety of purposes such as lists, stories, rhymes, and information. Some of the writing genres that the children are introduced to are Poetry, Traditional stories, Reporting and recounts, Captions, Instructions, Lists, Letters and Invitations

Writing lessons are taught with a strong focus on four skills. Children may talk about VCOP: Vocabulary; Connectives; Openers; Punctuation. Weekly Grammar lessons teach children about different aspects of written and spoken sentence structure. Handwriting: In handwriting lessons children are taught to form lower case letters correctly in a script that is easy to join later. They have the opportunity to practise handwriting in conjunction with spelling and independent writing, ensuring correct letter orientation, formation, and proportion.

Year 2

In Year 2, Literacy lessons build upon the work done in Year 1. Children develop positive attitudes and stamina for writing; they are taught to consider and think about what they are going to write before writing. They are encouraged to uplevel their sentences, using a variety of Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation and begin to edit their work.. Areas of focus for English continue to be Spelling and Vocabulary; Handwriting; Grammar and Punctuation; Comprehension and Speaking and Listening.

Years 3 & 4

English is the medium by which all the subjects are taught at the Junior School (except for Greek). As is stressed by the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, “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.” In Year 3 pupils become more familiar with and confident in using language in a variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding of reading and writing. The English programme of study for Year 3 includes:


  • Word reading-applying their growing knowledge of root words, phonics and sounds to decode and understand new words met
  • Comprehension- at present this area of reading should take precedence over teaching word reading directly. Children are exposed to a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non- fiction and reference texts.


  • Transcription (spelling rules and patterns)
  • Handwriting formation
  • Composition: discussing and planning writing, drafting and writing paragraphs around a theme (creating settings, characters and plot in narrative work or using simple, organisational features such as headings and sub-headings in non-narrative work), evaluating, editing and proofreading their work.
  • Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.

In Year 4 the Teaching Targets are in line with the National Curriculum. Pupils learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how language works. Reading skills - Children undertake an in-depth study of a range of extracts and texts. These are read, discussed and questions are then answered in writing. Areas of focus are Word Reading and Comprehension. Pupils are encouraged to develop positive attitudes to reading and an understanding of what they read. Writing skills - Children develop their writing by building on what they have been taught, to expand the range of their writing to understand and consolidate what they have read or heard. Writing genres include Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and Grammar. Areas of focus are: Spelling, Handwriting, Composition, Planning, Drafting, Evaluating and Editing, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Speaking and Listening skills.

Our aim in Year 4 is to encourage the children to read as wide a range of books, at their reading level, as possible. The children begin the year on a reading level and progress throughout the year. It is hoped that 17 by the end of Year 4 most children will become independent readers who are able to gain pleasure from their reading. To encourage reading, children undertake the following activities: ERIC (Everyone Reading in Class) for approximately 10 minutes the whole class read their own books silently; Shared Reading - The whole class read the same book together. The children take it in turns to read aloud and are read to. Time is also taken to discuss the text in depth. Visit to the library. Both Year 3 and Year 4 children have a scheduled library visit each week where the children are encouraged to take out books of their choice to read for pleasure at home.

Years 5 & 6

In Year 5 we follow the New National Framework for English. By Year 5 the children should now be able to read a wider range of poetry and books written at an age-appropriate level with accuracy and at a reasonable pace. They should be able to read fluently and to pronounce unfamiliar words with automaticity. They ought to be able to summarise and present a familiar story in their own words. Children should be reading widely and frequently both at home and in school for pleasure and information, thus being able to discuss what they read. Grammar, spelling and punctuation should be broadly accurate, especially spelling words that they have been taught. Our aim in Year 5 is for pupils to gain enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary to support their reading and writing. Pupils’ knowledge of language, gained from stories, plays, poetry, debates, non-fiction and textbooks, will support their increasing confidence in reading, facilitate their ability as writers and advance their comprehension skills.

Programme of Study

  • Spoken language (cognitively, socially and linguistically)
  • Reading o Word Reading o Comprehension (both listening and reading)
  • Writing o Transcription (spelling and Handwriting) o Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
  • Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation 23 Reading.

It is hoped that by Year 5 most pupils are becoming independent readers who are able to gain pleasure from their reading. However, it can also be at this stage that many children reach a ‘plateau’ with their reading. Our aim in Year 5 is to encourage pupils to read as wide a range of books, at their reading level, as possible. We hope that by Year 5 they are able to choose books independently and are able to express their preference for certain authors and genre. To encourage and give time for reading in Year 5 the pupils undertake the following activities. ERIC (Everyone Reading in Class): for approximately 15 minutes the whole class read their own books silently. This is also an opportunity for children to visit the library to change their books.

Shared Reading: the whole class read the same book together. The pupils take it in turns to read aloud and are read to. Time is also taken to discuss the text in depth. Reading Skills The pupils undertake an in-depth study of a range of extracts and texts. These are read, discussed and questions are then answered in writing. The library is open from 7.00am to 1.30pm. Year 5 pupils can visit the library both before and after school and during break times to change their books. Pupils are encouraged to choose their own reading material from the library or home. It is important that they find material which they fully comprehend and enjoy.

In Year 6 the Reading and Writing skills developed thus far are consolidated and extended. Areas of focus for Literacy include: Grammar: Features of sentences, Complex sentences, Standard English, Vocabulary, Punctuation, Spelling, Revision of spelling patterns & weekly spelling tests.

Comprehension and Writing is linked and based on the following genres:

  • Stories with familiar settings
  • Fantasy Stories
  • Mystery Stories
  • Quest Adventure Stories
  • Spy Thriller Stories
  • Poetry
  • Autobiographies
  • Biographies
  • Journalistic writing
  • Discursive writing

In addition:

  • Shared Reading
  • Daily reading and weekly visit to the library
  • Art Appreciation Presentations
  • Current Affairs Presentations
  • Drama