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 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 for developing reading skills. We follow Twinkl Phonics*, which is a whole school systematic, synthetic phonics programme and provides everything we need to help the children to work towards achieving their goals in reading and writing. 

*Since July 2021, the Government has introduced a new validation process for systematic synthetic phonics teaching programmes. Twinkl Phonics is being submitted for approval. The full list of approved phonics teaching programmes will be updated in March 2022.


-          Children take part in whole class Guided Reading lessons. 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 the CLPE Power of Reading programme in school. All English learning is centred around a book therefore exposing children to high-quality age-appropriate texts. Power of Reading involves 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.

-          Children in KS1 work through our school reading scheme; these are levelled books which follow the Letters and Sounds progression. We expect children to read at least three times a week at home with their family and have their reading record signed.

-          We have a well-stocked library which children are able to use. All classes have a library slot; KS2 children are also welcome to attend the library at lunchtimes when the librarians are monitoring. 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.


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 the CLPE Power of Reading scheme 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 whole class in EYFS and then ability groups in KS1. Interventions are provided for children as needed.

-          Handwriting in EYFS focuses on print; children are taught to join in Year 1. Handwriting is taught discretely in KS1 and lower KS2 as needed. Extra support is provided for children in upper KS2 where necessary. 

-          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.