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The English Curriculum

Our vision

At Locking Primary School our English curriculum promotes language development which enables pupils to communicate effectively and to appreciate the richness, magic and power of the written word. It enables children to see language as a source of pleasure and enjoyment and use it to develop powers of imagination, creativity and inventiveness.

The English curriculum at Locking Primary School will:

  • promote a culture of and a love for reading, writing and oracy
  • equip pupils with the confidence, desire and ability to develop their voice so that they may express their views and opinions both orally and in writing
  • equip children with the necessary reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to prepare them for the next stage in their learning and life beyond education
  • expose children with rich and varied vocabulary to help prepare them for life outside of their home town and allow them to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

English teaching at Locking Primary School will:

  • be progressively sequenced drawing and building upon prior knowledge and skills
  • immerse children in high quality, language rich texts
  • grow a love for reading where children choose to read frequently to seek information and for enjoyment
  • ensure children master the basic skills of writing – grammar, spelling, handwriting and punctuation – so that they can communicate precisely and effectively and to liberate their creativity
  • actively involve children in the integrated skills of oral language, reading and writing and in discussing and comparing a wide variety of texts and forms of English on a daily basis
  • provide children with opportunities to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding by writing at length for a range of audiences and purposes across the curriculum

Assessment of English at Locking Primary School will:

  • provide two summative assessment points for reading, grammar and punctuation, phonics, spelling and writing

                     NfER and statutory end of key stage assessments for reading,   

                     phonics and GPS

                          Comparative assessment for writing

  • be underpinned by rigorous cross-school moderation
  • allow ongoing formative assessment that identifies what children have learned and allow teachers to adapt the ongoing learning journey accordingly
  • support children in becoming increasingly self-aware
  • provide responses for the children that compliment, not necessarily match, the teaching sequence in order for next steps to be most relevant for the individual child and ensure rapid progress



Curriculum Rationale: ELAN English Curriculum

We follow the Primary National Curriculum for all aspects of the English Curriculum. Developing a love of reading, and the importance of this for our children both now and in the future, lies at the heart of our English curriculum.

  • Learning journeys are led using a quality text as the stimulus, this may be fiction (including poetry) or non -fiction. In Early Years, English is planned around early reading, early writing and phonics.

Timetabling: English is taught daily with additional sessions for the discrete teaching of phonics, spelling and guided reading



Our reading curriculum is shaped to provide children with the skills to read easily, fluently and with good understanding as well as growing a love for reading. It develops children’s understanding of vocabulary and the techniques authors use to show meaning, build atmosphere and add clarity



We have daily guided reading sessions and story time. In addition to this children are provided with opportunities to read during the day both within and distanced from the English lesson.


Reading at home

At home, we expect children to read at least 5 times a week (this could be reading aloud or sharing a story). In upper key stage 2 children complete a weekly online padlet linked to their home reading.


Through reading and well-chosen literature pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Children are provided with opportunities to read aloud and to share books, becoming immersed in language and hearing and experiencing a wide range and depth of language.


Daily guided reading sessions encourage children to read and analyse a variety of quality texts in small groups as well as providing children with opportunities to respond to what they have read and to read for pleasure. Text choice is used to differentiate comprehension and matched well to children’s needs and interest.

Our home/school reading scheme is progressive and in line with the steps of our phonics programme. Children are assessed regularly to ensure progression is accurate.




We believe in immersing our children in texts through reading and analysing the skills of an expert writer. This is important as through this emersion, children become aware of the language skills of a writer and use this as a model for their writing. Using this model, children develop greater competence in the conventions of spelling, punctuation, sentence structures and text organisation. Through our curriculum, children will develop:

  • a strong command of the written and spoken word
  • the ability to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • the confidence and competence to produce high quality writing
  • a good understanding of grammar and punctuation and its use in effective written communication Outcomes are planned with a real purpose in mind. The learning journey is shared with children and they understand how each step of their learning will contribute to the outcome.

As part of daily planning, previous knowledge and next steps within our progression are identified and shared with the children.

Opportunities for proof-reading and editing written work is planned daily and children are encouraged to take an increased responsibility for proof-reading for mistakes and editing their work, with the reader in mind, as they progress through the school.

The teaching of grammar is planned for and taught through the learning journey. Where necessary to introduce a new concept or cement understanding, additional discrete grammar sessions may be planned.


Phonics and Early Spelling

Our phonics scheme is Extend Letters and Sounds (a DFE validated programme) as a systematic, synthetic phonic programme .  This programme offers a systematic approach to teaching of phonics and early spelling skills by following the 9 step approach to systematic teaching of phonics.

The core principles are:

•             Children having knowledge of the alphabetic code;

•             Children having the skills to blend to read;

•             Children having the skills to segment to spell;

•             Children understanding these as a reversible process.



The programme allows children to become confident with the correspondence between graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds).


Timetabling: phonics is taught two daily in 20 minute sessions.

  • Children are taught the alphabetic code; how the 26 letters of the alphabet represent approximately 44 sounds in the English language in approximately 140 different ways. This code allows them to spell approximately 85% of root words and form the foundation of their spelling knowledge as they progress through the school.
  • Children are given equal opportunities to practise and apply their phonics skills in writing and reading tasks so that they can understand the relationship between decoding skills for reading and encoding skills for spelling
  • Learning is underpinned by the modelling and teaching of good listening skills, combined with frequent opportunities to improve visual and auditory memory and ability to sequence.
  • Correct enunciation, essential for children to develop the skills of blending, is modelled by all adults and expected from children.
  • Daily phonics sessions include an opportunity to revisit previous learning, acquire new learning about spelling rules and finally to practise and apply this learning.
  • Grapheme mats used to support spelling follow children through the school and can be seen in various forms, depending upon a child’s developmental stage, from EYFS to Year 6.



As a school we use The North Somerset Learning Exchange’s ‘Year 2 – 6 Spelling Programme’. This programme meets the requirements of the Year 2; Year 3 and 4; Year 5 and 6 National Curriculum, 2014, programmes of study (transcription and English appendix 1 - spelling) with reference to Year 1 spelling requirements to ensure clear progression.



Timetabling: Spelling is taught daily in 20 minute sessions.

  • We recognise the importance of teaching children the knowledge needed for them to become competent spellers. Writing ideas down fluently relies upon effective transcription: (the relationship between phonics, word structure (morphology) and spelling structure (orthography). The teaching of spelling helps children to understand the history that has, and continues to, shape our spelling system and to unlock the mystery of spelling.
  • The basis of our teaching is through morphology, grouping English words families (words which are related to each other by a combination of form, grammar and meaning). Mastering basic morphological principles allows children to have a way of working out the spelling of over half a million words.
  • In order to support children with the spelling of root words we revisit, reinforce and draw upon their prior knowledge of phonics through reading and spelling.
  • Through etymology, children are exposed to the stories behind why irregular words are spelt that way. Graphic strategies are applied to assist with the memorisation of these words.
  • Vocabulary linked to projects, technical words, new language is taught through English lessons and subject specific lessons.
  • Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of grapheme phoneme correspondence when making choices about how to spell unknown words.
  • Daily spelling sessions include an opportunity to revisit previous learning, acquire new learning about spelling rule and finally to practice and apply this learning.
  • Our responsive teaching MOU ensures that children apply their learning of spelling in writing tasks across the curriculum.


Speaking and Listening

  • Spoken language underpins children’s development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. It underpins the development of reading and writing. This is reflected in our genre progressions.
  • Opportunities for oracy, including discussion, explanation, persuasion and instruction, are offered throughout our wider curriculum.
  • Children are given regular opportunities to elaborate on and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, build upon each other’s ideas and discuss what they know and how they know it (these methods are supported by research on effective learning strategies and cognitive science).
  • We promote a common respect for others' opinions.
  • We provide children with opportunities to recite poetry by heart.
  • We prepare children for the next steps in their education by ensuring they are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



We work towards children developing a continuous cursive script where handwriting is legible and fluent when writing at speed. Children move from writing simple printed letters to joining, forming a more flowing script. This process is tailored to the maturation and developmental stage of the individual child.

  • In Early Years, the children are taught to print letters alongside the phonics being taught. letter formation may be modelled alongside this. Teaching simple individual letters as a first step allows emergent writers to develop an abstract internal representation of each letterform.
  • In KS1, when the children are ready, they will begin to move into learning the horizontal and diagonal joins for each letter
  • By the end of Key Stage 1 into Key Stage 2, the children are taught to maintain these joins to produce joined handwriting with correct horizontal and diagonal strokes.
  • When children are first introduced to letter formation, this is modelled within phonics sessions. This encourages grapheme-phoneme correspondence.
  • In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, handwriting is taught allowing children to understand the common letter formation and type of join shared by certain groups of letters so that joined handwriting increases in fluency, speed and legibility.