English Updated December 2020

13 Sep 2019

Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow... Lawrence Clark Powell

English is a fundamental life skill that cultivates learning in all other curriculum areas. At Killinghall we believe that a high-quality education in English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Children are taught to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical communicators of stories, poetry and drama; as well as non-fiction and media texts. Our children gain knowledge of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. They apply this knowledge in speaking, listening, reading and writing across a range of different contexts and through a range of cross-curricular opportunities.


At Killinghall, we promote a love of reading and a curiosity for language by equipping our pupils with the skills to develop confident reading. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.

We follow Read, Write, Inc which is a systematic and effective approach to the teaching of phonics. Children implement their learning through reading phonically decodable books resulting in all children learning to read, providing foundations for future learning. Phonics is taught daily in discrete lessons throughout EYFS and KS1 where existing knowledge is revisited and built upon. We assess and track children’s phonetic development throughout EYFS and KS1 and we use this information to inform our teaching and provide additional support. At the end of Year 1, all children take a national phonics screening assessment and any child who does not achieve the pass mark receives additional support to re-take the screening at the end of Year 2. Children’s progress in phonics is closely monitored in EYFS and KS1 and this is continued into Year 3 and KS2.

In KS2 children have regular opportunities to read aloud to adults and peers. This enables us to monitor mastery of sight vocabulary, application of phonics, development of fluency and expression, knowledge of the structure of language and audience awareness. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with current topic work are woven into the programme of study.

Throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. We have close links with Settle Stories who visit for workshops during National Storytelling Week. Reading at Killinghall is not only celebrated in classrooms but around the school; we have an EYFS/KS1 library and a new KS2 library where children can enjoy some quiet reading time. Our parents see reading as a high priority too, resulting in donations of £1500 for books for our new library. Children in EYFS and KS1 also have the opportunity to visit Bilton and Woodfield Library to enhance and support their learning in school. Our Reading Buddies scheme is widely enjoyed with children looking forward to reading to a buddy, or hearing fiction and non-fiction texts read to them by older children.


Children develop their writing skills in their English lessons and have opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes across the whole curriculum. Children write in a range of contexts for example, letter writing, emails, reports, persuasive texts and fiction writing.

We use Jane Considine’s ‘Write Stuff’ approach to teach writing. In this approach writing is broken down into 3 key components: ‘The Fantastics’, in which children use their senses to develop vocabulary; ‘The grammaristics’, where grammar is taught in context and ‘The Boomtastics’, where children are taught a range of language techniques to enhance the quality of their writing. Lessons are broken into ‘Experience sessions’ where children prepare for writing, ‘Sentence stacking’, where children learn the craft of sentence construction and independent writing sessions. Children have sentence stacking books, drafting and editing books and writing books, where there ‘published’ work appears. Examples of children’s writing is displayed across the school. Children apply the writing skills they are taught across the curriculum.

Children in EYFS develop early mark marking and writing skills in a range of adult led and child initiated activities. Children are taught the skills of writing through short whole-class lessons and teacher-led small group sessions. As they move through the year, they develop their early writing skills by learning letter formations and writing familiar words and short sentences. Children are given a range of opportunities to practise their writing through focused writing tasks and independent activities through the continuous provision in both the indoor and outdoor environments.

No Nonsense spelling is used to teach spelling from years 2-6.

See our reading and writing policies for further details.

Writing Rationale
Reading and Phonics Rationale

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