It is our intent at Horton Kirby CE Primary School to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills that will enable pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We will aim to give pupils a long term appreciation of written and spoken language within our school community and the wider world.

In English, both written and spoken language are a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply written and spoken skills across a broad and diverse curriculum.


In the teaching of Writing, skills are built progressively throughout the school in order to embed learning in long-term memory. Pupils are taught to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. We will also increase children’s awareness and use of vocabulary through the provision of language-rich learning experiences, teach them to develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context of their writing and encourage them to use an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Pupils will leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting. Writing themes are carefully chosen to be exciting and stimulating for the children.

For Spelling, children begin by learning to spell phonetically and these skills are built on as teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They will also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English.

In Spoken Language, staff aim to be role models of correct spoken language, to develop children’s vocabulary by modelling and encouraging the use of synonyms and draw on texts read within class as a way to explore and collect effective language and extend vocabulary. Children will be provided with opportunities to orally rehearse and present their ideas to different audiences

Interventions, support and challenges are constantly revised and adapted to ensure all children are supported in achieving learning. The above areas are robustly and continuously monitored to ensure any gaps in learning are addressed.


Through the above approaches we aim to see:

  • Children, who are imaginative, creative, independent, inquisitive, inquiring and confident writers.
  • Children with a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards writing, which will nurture a life-long love of writing.
  • Children who can develop into confident, articulate speakers who are able to express themselves and their ideas clearly.


Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception):

In the EYFS, there is a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities, along with free-flow provision of literacy experiences in a language-rich environment. Provision is made for the development of communication and literacy skills in the following areas:

  • Communication and language – comprising of listening and attention, understanding and speaking
  • Literacy – comprising of reading and writing.

Communication and language is a priority area for learning and attainment in the EYFS and children must attain the expected standard to be considered to have made a good level of development at the end of the Foundation Stage. The emphasis at this stage is heavily oral; ‘Talk for Writing’ in the form of role-play and storytelling, providing the essential basis for communicating and recording using labels and captions. 

The Letters and Sounds Systematic Synthetic Phonics Scheme is used to teach phonics, reading and writing, through the use of song, rhymes, games and interactive multi-sensory activities.  The children are rapidly taught grapheme/phoneme correspondence, phoneme/grapheme correspondence, blending, segmenting and high frequency words which are not phonetically decodable. 

Children will be given reading books that are linked to the phonics programme to support the learning of sounds as well as having books that contain common exception words and choosing a book to share with an adult for pleasure.

Key Stage One:

Discrete, daily phonics teaching continues into Key Stage One.  These lessons follow the format of review, teach, practice, apply; enabling children to encode, decode and use their knowledge to create sentences in multi-sensory ways.  Children continue to learn new graphemes for the phonemes they already know, together with alternative pronunciations for the graphemes they already know.  In addition, they are also taught Common Exception Words as set out in the National Curriculum (2014).  By the end of Year 1, the children are ready to take their Phonics Screening Check.

Dandelion books and Oxford Reading Tree schemes are used throughout Key Stage One, supplemented by ‘real’ books.  Reading is not just being able to read individual words, therefore, at Horton Kirby we ensure that children’s comprehension skills are developed.  Whole Class Reading sessions, using the domains of VIPERS, enable children of all abilities the opportunity to have access to a range of different texts, including non-fiction, traditional tales, fairy stories and poetry.

https://www.literacyshedblog.com/blog/reading-vipers – see VIPERS bookmark parent questions.

Through the Accelerated Reading programme, children take a quick comprehension quiz when they complete a reading book – results of this are shared and celebrated with parents on Seesaw and during Praise Assembly.

Key Stage Two:

In Key Stage Two, pupils meet a wider range of texts: fiction, poetry and non-fiction.  Teaching focuses on developing pupils’ reading skills, e.g. generalising and making inferences by drawing on evidence from the text.    There continues to be a high level of interaction between teacher and pupils during Whole Class Reading using VIPERS, with teachers inviting pupils’ individual responses and interpretations.


By following the Accelerated Reading programme, children are given a reading range that they can read between allowing them to select books, from our well-stocked classroom book corners or the school library, for pleasure and also books for challenge.  Once the children have completed a book, they are able to take a quiz to show their understanding of what they have read.  School staff track the children’s progress from the quizzes and support pupils where necessary.  The children take the STAR reading test at the end of each whole term which assesses the pupils’ progress and determines a new reading range for them so the variety of books available to them is continually changing.  To promote reading to the maximum, the children also have a 20 minute daily reading slot at school.

Where children are not ready to access the Accelerated Reading programme, the children choose from a range of scheme books to develop their phonological awareness and word reading skills.

English Information

Introduction to Spelling Shed q

Download File

Year 5 and 6 Statutory Spelling List

Download File

Year 3 and 4 Statutory Spelling List

Download File

Key Stage 1 High Frequency Words

Download File

Key Stage 1 Common Exception Words

Download File

Writing Genres for Year 1 and 2

Download File

Writing Genres for Year 3 and 4

Download File

Writing Genres for Year 4 and 5

Download File

Writing Genres for Year 5 and 6

Download File

Reading Essential Eng of Year Skills

Download File

Reading Skills Progression

Download File

Writing Essential End of Year Skills

Download File

Writing Skills Progression

Download File