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English in Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Profile is followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage.

In the Foundation Stage communication, language and literacy is taught as one of the six areas of learning covering children’s physical, emotional and social development and is incorporated in each area of learning as set out in the ‘Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage.’ We know that children learn best when activities engage many senses, when they are happy and confident. A love of books, rhymes and poems, sounds and words is developed through planned and incidental work. Structured play activities provide valuable opportunities for children to:

  • Engage in conversation with other children and adults
  • Share music, songs, poetry, stories and non–fiction
  • Experiment with writing for themselves through making marks, personal writing symbols and conventional script

English in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

English is delivered using a personalised English Curriculum based on the National Curriculum. This was devised in partnership with Chris Quigley (Specialist in Primary Education).

English is based on books from Year 1 – Year 6. The book itself, or themes from the book, are used to drive activities where objectives from the curriculum are met in composition, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

‘Books as Hooks’ captures the children’s imagination and encourages them to become fluent, thoughtful and creative writers.

Each unit starts with a ‘hook’ and then the children journey through the book completing different genres of writing with specific audiences and purposes.

Various Genres are taught regularly throughout the year appropriate to key stage 1 and key stage 2. Teachers use milestones 1, 2 and 3 to ensure objectives are taught and revisited on a two-year cycle.‚Äč


Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Children are encouraged to speak in a range of contexts and as they grow older, adapt their style of speak appropriately.

Children often work in a ‘Kagan’ groups to further develop their speaking and listening skills. This provides children with further opportunities to express their ideas, make plans and present ideas; thus encouraging them to work both co-operatively and collaboratively.

A Communication lesson is also taught each week from Year 1 to Year 6. Part of the session, children have the opportunity to explore a different book (e.g. modern or classic text) over a half term. This enables children to ‘share’ a book as a class which, in turn, provokes class discussion around the text. As well as introducing children to a variety of genres; shared reading enhances the teaching of comprehension skills and challenges children to explore a text on a variety of levels. This is used as platform to encourage wider reading, discuss themes, broaden vocabulary and answer relevant content domain questions.

The other part of the lesson is focused on speaking and listening. The teacher will use a real life event (current news) or a fictional event (possibly from a class book) to allow for the opportunity to reflect / debate / discuss a key question which is based on a spiritual, moral, social or cultural angle.

This lesson, along with English lessons, enables children to immerse themselves in reading.


All children have the opportunity to take part in shared writing, guided writing and independent writing tasks during English sessions. Guided writing is teacher lead and is an essential component of a balanced writing curriculum, providing an additional supported step towards independent writing. Guided writing is planned in regularly and is targeted towards groups of children according to their current targets or specific needs. It is used to support children during the different stages of the writing process.

In the foundation stage children are encouraged to use emergent writing and any phonics knowledge to write freely. The children see writing modelled by the teacher in shared writing sessions and phonics lessons. By the end of reception, most children should be confident in their alphabet sounds and using this knowledge to begin to spell simple words and write simple sentences.

Within Key Stage 1 and 2 children are taught to write in a variety of genres, for a variety of audiences.

Punctuation and grammar are taught discretely and within English lessons and link to the text being studied at the time. Additional grammar and punctuation sessions are planned in each week to reinforce learning and address any misconceptions.


Spelling strategies are throughout the week across school focusing on spelling patterns. These sessions are followed by a spelling test at the end of the week. The new National Curriculum Spelling Bank and Read Write Inc Spelling as a resource for this.

Please find our English Curriculum Overview below: