Glebe Primary School


Glebe Primary School

English Policy


Aims and Objectives

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.


The objectives of teaching English at Glebe Primary School are:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate


The National Curriculum aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.



The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • Word reading
  • Comprehension (both listening and reading)


At Glebe Primary School, teachers promote and value reading as an enjoyable activity and a life skill. In shared reading the teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader providing a high level of discussion.  Whole class books are carefully selected for level of challenge and, where appropriate, linked to the class topic. These are read with the class daily and key concepts and unfamiliar vocabulary is discussed. Reading for pleasure is a priority and this is promoted through class libraries which include books selected by the children, key authors and recommended reads for their year group. Children will have an opportunity to revisit familiar texts that they have previously studied and enjoyed. Enrichment activities, designed to foster a love of reading, include events such as the Travelling Book Fair, book swaps, paired reading across key stages and author visits.  Both libraries are audited regularly to ensure that all reading material is of a high quality and there is a wide variety of books to choose from. 



Children are encouraged to read 4 times per week at home and are rewarded with an extra outdoor session and chance to win a raffle prize. All reading books are colour banded and pupils work their way through the bands until they reach the ‘free reader’ books. In EYFS and KS1, children read books which are matched to their phonic ability; there is no one scheme and reading books consist of Collins Big Cat, Read, Write Inc, Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops and Pearson books.  In KS2, read books matched to their ability, largely from the Collins Big Cat scheme.




The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two elements:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)


At Glebe Primary School, teachers promote writing and look for ways to inspire and motivate pupils so that they see themselves as writers, using a wide range of high quality texts and a range of stimuli. The children are involved in discussions regarding the purpose of their writing and are made aware of their intended audience.  Shared and modelled writing is an essential part of the writing process and teachers model their use of language, grammar and punctuation so the children see this as a key part of being a writer.  Across the school children develop their stamina for writing across all types of genre. In year 6 a range of text types are revisited throughout the year and there is a large focus on the effect of language and grammatical structures on the reader.  Children are given opportunities regularly to write independently and cross-curricular writing is encouraged.


Spoken Language


Teachers provide a wide range of contexts for spoken language throughout the school day. Teachers and other adults in school model speaking clearly. This includes clear diction, reasoned argument, using imaginative and challenging language and use of Standard English.   Listening is modelled, as is the appropriate use of non-verbal communication, respecting the views of others.  Learning takes place in a variety of situations and group settings. For example, these could include reading aloud as an individual, working collaboratively on an investigation, reporting findings as a newscaster, interviewing people as part of a research project, acting as a guide for a visitor to school or responding to a text in shared or guided reading.




It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. As soon as the children are ready, they should be taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct tripod grip and develop a legible and joined handwriting style.  The teaching of handwriting is delivered through a mixture of whole class, small group and individual teaching according to the age and the need of the children.  It is expected that all members of staff, class teachers and teaching assistants, model the school handwriting style at all times i.e. when writing on the board or in children’s books.  By the end of key stage 2, all children should be displaying an efficient, quick, neat and legible handwriting style that is effective in recording their ideas. Children in KS1 and Year 3 use pencil across all subjects. From Year 4 onwards, most children will be expected to use a handwriting pen for written tasks.




 Spelling is planned for and taught within English and Skills lessons in accordance with the National Curriculum spelling lists. Children are given the opportunity to rehearse and apply spelling patterns and rules using a range of strategies.




Our phonics teaching and learning is based around the Read, Write Inc. programme. Children from Nursery through to Year 2 participate in daily phonics sessions.  We aim for all children to become confident, fluent readers. As a result, they are taught to recognise each of the phonemes, decode and blend effortlessly and read with fluency and expression. A typical phonics lesson will begin by revisiting past phonemes and words. New phonemes and words are then taught and the children are provided with the opportunity to practice these using interactive and practical resources. Children are then encouraged to apply these skills within their reading and writing.

Regular assessments take place and early intervention is provided if and when required. The National Phonics Screening Test for all Year 1 pupils takes place in June of each year. Any child not meeting the threshold will be re-tested the following year. 



Skills Sessions


Skills sessions are planned for on a weekly basis for each class in KS1 and KS2 and are intended for the delivery of new concepts or the reinforcement of objectives across the English Curriculum. In KS1, it is expected that one group per day has a guided reading activity led by the teacher and the remainder of the class work on a reading, writing or GPS skill. In KS2, skills and guided reading activities are delivered through whole class and group activities.



English Curriculum Planning


We use the National Curriculum for English alongside the Jonathan Bond English Planning Kit objectives as the basis for our English lessons. The long term plan maps the coverage for the year and the short term plan focuses on the current week. Each class teacher creates a plan for the week with specific learning objectives and expected outcomes for each lesson. This plan shows whole class teaching, expectations for different groups, deployment of adults and provision for SEND pupils.





Within the EYFS framework English forms the following elements:

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations. 

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. 

Children will be given the opportunity to enjoy story time, singing and rhymes/poetry daily.


Children are also supported with their physical development to ensure they have developed the gross and fine motor skills needed for writing accurately and mark making.


Links to other subjects


English is a subject that links well with many other subjects and teachers are encouraged to give children plenty of opportunities to write in cross-curricular ways for example, investigations in science and maths or a range of writing linked to history, geography, R.E. and P.S.H.E. 




Children have individual targets for reading and writing and are assessed on a regular basis through discussion, marked work and ongoing assessments. The children’s learning is assessed against the age related objectives as below, developing, secure and working at greater depth. Teachers use their daily assessments to inform their future planning and teaching.




When children begin at Glebe Primary School, we aim to build on the positive experiences that they will have had at home and in pre-school settings. We focus on immersing the children with a range of good, quality children’s literature. Children are provided with the opportunity to listen to and participate with stories, rhymes and poetry. Within phonics sessions, the children will read and recognise phonemes in words and apply these when looking at books. They will begin to build a basic sight vocabulary of high-frequency words. Our reading books are structured and colour-coded to ensure children are able to select from a range of suitable materials, which meet their phonological needs. We use a variety of published schemes, including predominately Collins Big Cat, Floppy’s Phonics and ORT Songbirds. Books are introduced within the Nursery and Foundation Stage, which provide illustrations for children to talk about and use their imagination to provide the dialogue and action. When ready, books with simple story structures are introduced. As children become more confident readers, books will become more challenging to enhance progress and develop vocabulary.


By Year 3, many of the children are confident readers and are able to choose a range of fiction and non-fiction books. At this stage, they are encouraged to develop a life-long love of books and reading. Being a successful reader underpins all areas of learning, so the children are expected to read in all areas of the curriculum. In Foundation Stage and KS1 they will also read their books at school to an adult regularly, thus providing clear assessment of their needs and ability. We encourage all children to read at home, at least four times a week. This links with a reading reward scheme. Within their reading record books, there are key suggestions for parents in order to support with the reading process. Guided, and whole class, reading sessions allow the teacher to discuss books in greater depth and provide opportunities to assess the children’s comprehension and reading skills. We also ensure that the children have the opportunity to listen to an adult read aloud on a regular basis.