Statement of Curriculum Intent – English

The Big Ideas / Key Concepts for English are:

-          Reading

-          Writing

-          Speaking and Listening


The overarching aim of the English curriculum at Duxford CofE Community Primary School is:

To ensure every single child becomes primary literate and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often for both enjoyment and information. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

Our aim is that children leave this school:

-          reading fluently and with good understanding.

-          with the habit of reading widely for both pleasure and information.

-          using a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and punctuation for reading, writing and spoken language.

-          writing clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

-          using discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

-          competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

The curriculum coverage ensures this by:

Reading and Phonics

We value reading as a key life skill, and we aspire for our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and therefore teach reading in the following ways:

-          Children are taught phonics through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with regular, daily opportunities to develop reading skills. We follow Twinkl Phonics, which is a Department for Education (DfE) validated, Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme (SSP), that provides everything we need to help the children to work towards achieving their goals in reading and writing.  

-          In Reception and year 1, children read their Rhino reader books to an adult. The Rhino reader books are the reading books which match the Twinkl phonics scheme. They are fully decodable which means that the books the children are given should match up exactly to the phonics that they have learnt. Books shouldn’t contain any letter sounds not yet taught. Children take part in whole class Guided Reading lessons from year 2. Guided Reading is taught throughout the week. During Guided Reading children are exposed to a range of different texts and focus on specific learning objectives.

-          We use Herts for learning and the CLPE Power of Reading schemes in school. All English learning is centred around a book therefore exposing children to high-quality age-appropriate texts. Both Herts for learning and the Power of Reading involve the children reading, exploring, analysing and listening to texts.

-          Children are read to by their teachers daily. This may be through Power of Reading in English or ‘Bonkers about Books’ in the afternoon. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.  We endeavour to have quiet reading time to end the day where possible.  

-          Each classroom has a book case and KS1 classes have a reading area. This is filled with books suitable for their reading age and children are encouraged to choose a book to read in and out of school.

-          We have a well-stocked library which children are able to use. All classes have a library slot and we have an after-school library session for children and their parents every Monday. Children are encouraged to borrow books from the library to read at school or at home.

-          Each classroom will have a selection of non-fiction books in their classroom which are directly linked to their current topic or Science. This offers children opportunities to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.

-          We run intervention programs and provide extra 1:1 sessions for children identified as needing extra support with their reading.

-          Teachers use Rising Stars Assessments half termly to identify gaps and inform future planning. In KS1 we also assess Phonic knowledge at the end of each teaching sequence.


We endeavour to create an enthusiasm for writing. Writing outcomes are based around the class text and we put ‘quality children’s literature at the heart of all learning’ (CLPE) giving children a purpose and desire to write. Children develop their skills by exploring and analysing a range of genres before completing the drafting, writing and editing process. We want children to have the skills of an excellent writer and therefore teach writing in the following ways:

-          Teachers use Herts for learning and the CLPE Power of Reading schemes to plan units based on a quality text.  

-          Teachers follow the phased planning approach; familiarisation with genre – capturing ideas and analysis – teacher demonstration and writing – editing and improving. A high emphasis is put on editing and improving writing which is taught from EYFS.

-          Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is taught discretely as well as embedded in English lessons.

-          KS2 spelling is taught using Spelling Shed and children have access to their personal accounts in school and at home.

-          Phonics is taught in year groups. Interventions are provided for children as needed.

-          Handwriting in EYFS focuses on print; children are taught to join in Year 1 and 2. Handwriting is taught discretely in KS1 and lower KS2 as needed. Extra support is provided for children in upper KS2 where necessary. Children can start using a pen from year 2 or as they become ready to do so.

-          Children’s writing is assessed throughout the year with teachers moderating in teaching teams, key stages and whole school.


Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening is developed from EYFS throughout the school and across the curriculum. Children develop their skills through play, hot-seating, drama activities, class and small group discussions, performing in productions and class assemblies and collaborative learning.

Teaching should ensure that there is a regular review of prior learning at the start of each lesson. Key vocabulary should be actively taught and definitions learned by children and these should be displayed in the classroom. Lessons should be planned so that children learn important information in a logical sequence and that lessons are learning not ‘doing’. Teaching should encourage discussion; children should learn to agree, disagree, speak clearly and justify their opinions. Feedback should be provided regularly with opportunities to edit and improve. Progress should be monitored carefully and rapid intervention should be considered if it is felt required.

Progression through the subject: is planned to ensure that the content of the National Curriculum is taught in a logical, small-step way that builds on previous knowledge and skills.

Curriculum progression is as follows: See long term genre overview.

We ensure that this curriculum links with other areas of the curriculum by:

-          Children reading across the curriculum.

-          Writing across the curriculum.

-          Opportunities for speaking and listening across the curriculum.