English Overview: 

Main aims and objectives:-

  • To enable children to use and understand language as writers, readers, and speakers.
  • To enable children to communicate independently and confidently.
  • To develop children’s ability to use writing and speaking in different ways for different audiences and purposes.
  • To give children whose first language is not English the opportunity to learn English to a good level for future personal prosperity.
  • To encourage children to read and write for pleasure and self-fulfilment.

At Horton Kirby, we aim to promote high-standards and deliver high-quality teaching of language and literacy enabling children to speak confidently and write fluently so that they can communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions to others as well as listening respectfully and reading fluently in order for others to be able to communicate with them, facilitating them to fully participate as a member of society. 

Cultural capital is established through expressing literacy through multi-media experiences and contexts, enabling children to develop their understanding culturally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually making children ready for the wider world of secondary school, further training and employment.

High-standards of literacy are interwoven in our cross-curricular teaching using the Cornerstones Curriculum.  Through which, children are exposed to a wide range of good-quality texts allowing them to make links between genres and develop knowledge of the different features and styles of writing.

The teaching of reading is one of the most important aspects in our provision for the children at Horton Kirby – providing children with access to the wider world.  We promote the love, joy, pleasure and discovery that reading offers.  Through the use of whole class reading, children of all abilities have access to language rich texts.  

‘You can find magic wherever you look.

Sit back and relax, all you need is a good book.’

Dr Seuss


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

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Year 5 and 6 Statutory Spelling List

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Year 3 and 4 Statutory Spelling List

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Key Stage 1 High Frequency Words

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Key Stage 1 Common Exception Words

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Writing Genres for Year 1 and 2

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Writing Genres for Year 3 and 4

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Writing Genres for Year 4 and 5

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Writing Genres for Year 5 and 6

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Reading Essential Eng of Year Skills

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Reading Skills Progression

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Writing Essential End of Year Skills

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Writing Skills Progression

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