The English curriculum comprises the inter-related areas of:

  • Speaking and Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening are at the heart of children’s learning. Children need to be confident communicators and careful listeners in order to learn about the world in which they live. Language skills are crucial to access the curriculum and before children can read and write they need to be confident in their speaking and listening skills.

Through taking part in a wide range of activities in both Literacy lessons and throughout the wider curriculum, we support children in developing the ability to speak with confidence and clarity. We encourage them to develop their understanding of new words and enjoy using language to share ideas and communicate with their peers and adults. We want our children to be increasingly able to choose the most appropriate ways to speak in different situations and to different audiences. Children will have the opportunity to take part in drama sessions, class discussions and circle times, performing in assemblies and concerts, all of which help develop their speaking skills.

We also encourage our children to be active listeners, learning from others and responding to the ideas of  their peers and adults.


At Ferryhill Station Primary, we want reading to be a positive and rewarding experience for every child and we aim to support our children in developing a long- lasting pleasure for reading. Children need to be able to read to access learning in all other subjects.

Quality class books and novels are used as a basis for teaching our English curriculum. Teachers understand that the choice of text is key to engaging pupils and motivating them to read and learn from books. Texts are mapped out across school to link with topics where appropriate and to ensure coverage of a range of genres, themes, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, authors, classical texts and popular authors. Our planning shows progression of texts through the school.

Learning sequences around stories are varied and cater for different learning styles. Active learning is promoted and story boxes, props, drama, etc, are used to interest children and develop their understanding of texts. Questions are planned and are used to involve children and extend their understanding of story language and structure. Importance is placed on story-times, reading aloud, sharing books and ensuring children have the opportunity to celebrate books and stories, taking part in national initiatives, such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day.

Key Stage Two Reading Buddies, trained by staff, support younger pupils in developing their reading skills and interest in books.

As outlined in the National Curriculum, we teach children to develop their skills in:

  • Word reading and fluency
  • Comprehension


Read Write Inc         

Our aim is to support every child in becoming a fluent and successful reader. We believe that a strong and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics is vital for our children to learn to read and spell accurately. The teaching of reading begins with our youngest pupils. We support Nursery and Reception children in tuning into the sounds around them and developing an awareness that letters represent sounds which go together to make words.

We use the systematic Read Write Inc program for our phonics teaching. Sessions run daily in small groups where children are taught to recognise sounds and read decodable ‘green’ words. They are taught how to write each letter in the appropriate way. Alongside this, children are taught ‘red’ which occur frequently in books but cannot be read phonetically.

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As part of the scheme, we use books that contain words with the spellings being taught. Teachers carefully select scheme story and non-fiction books with words that are phonetically decodable, meaning that children can successfully blend the words in these. They are taught to apply their phonics skills and improve their reading fluency when reading Read Write Inc books.

  https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTTWCw0_zvMUcA-jF_laOPmmsKV9Cl-VTwgsaP-KU6Jtvhb9Qu_mz6RHb-Glt1uoq7f8yFS6EhN&usqp=CAc   https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRvhyAmduzd0udYiHoqKFsY5uoQLpwSPMcO2dTIRMdlqGyViLNW5xK26VDomJmttp60W6E1uyM&usqp=CAc  Read Write Inc. Phonics: RWI Non-Fiction Set 4 (Orange): Horses ...

Children also develop their understanding of spelling and writing words by breaking words down into their constituent sounds, ie segmenting words. Phonic sessions are delivered daily by trained staff, with children grouped appropriately to ensure teaching is targeted at needs.

Children are regularly assessed in their sound recognition and decoding skills to ensure progress is maintained. We identify children who require 1:1 intervention and implement short, focused sessions to support children in keeping up.

Read Write Inc sessions are delivered by trained staff, and children who need extra support in Key Stage Two access small group intervention work. Children are taught to apply the decoding skills they have acquired when reading throughout the curriculum.

Guides for parents can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/reading-schemes-oxford-levels/read-write-inc-phonics-guide/



Once children are have reached an appropriate level in Read Write Inc phonics and have completed the Phonics Program there is a natural transition to the Read Write Inc Spelling Program which continues into Key Stage 2, supporting children in becoming confident and competent in their spelling of words.

At Key Stage 2, in addition to RWI Spelling, children also focus on the National Curriculum Word Lists for Years 3/4 and 5/6 to ensure coverage of spelling concepts. Children are given regular spelling tests and their progress is monitored closely.

Home Reading

We recognise that parents and carers play an important role in encouraging children’s interest in books and helping them practise word reading skills. We aim to engage parents and develop their understanding of how they can support their child’s learning at home. Parents are invited to a Reading Meeting when their child joins us in Reception and thereafter in KS1. During this, our phonics approach will be explained and parents are given guidance about how to support their child with their reading at home.

Children take home a reading book at a level in which they are able to decode most words. Along with this, pupils take home a reading record. In this, parents can then pass on information about their child’s reading to the class teacher.

Foundation Stage children have access to a library, comprising a range of attractive and enjoyable picture books that they can take home to read with their families. To promote reading for pleasure, children in Key Stages One and Two also bring home books that they have chosen themselves from a selection of library books written by a wide range of authors.

KS2 Independent Reading Books

From Key Stage 2 onwards, children use ‘Accelerated Reader’ to track progress and ensure they are accessing books of an appropriate reading level. Online ‘Star’ tests identify children’s current reading levels and guide children to choosing books at the correct level. On completing books children take a short comprehension quiz to check their understanding of what they are reading.

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Books can be chosen from our well-stocked library, class reading corners, or books from home. Reading diaries are used as a communication between teachers, parents and children.


Regular assessment is carried out by teachers and this is used to help inform planning and identify gaps in learning. As well as monitoring children’s progress across sequences of lessons, teachers use half-termly phonics assessments and reading test papers in Key Stage 1 and 2 to ascertain children’s attainment and progress in reading. Teachers also carry out SATs tests at the end of Key Stage One and Two and the EYFS Profile at the end of Reception. The Phonics Screening Test is used to assess children’s ability to decode words and this takes place at the end of Year One.

Websites to support reading:




We want children to be able to communicate their ideas and emotions effectively to others through the written word. Over time, children will increasingly make links between their reading and their writing and use models and language developed from reading a wide variety of books to compose their own texts. They will identify the purpose and audience for their writing and choose the appropriate form and voice for their written work.

Class texts are the main stimulus for the teaching of writing. Through these children develop their skills of  composition, transcription and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in line with national end of year expectations. Over time, children will increasingly develop an understanding of how to write for different purposes and for different audiences and they will use styles, word choices and techniques that have been acquired from studying a range of authors and genres in reading.

As with all subjects, able children are extended further and those requiring support receive intervention. All children from Foundation Stage through to Year Six are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum.

By the end of their time in primary school, we want our children to:

  • Make good progress in their writing skills.
  • Enjoy writing and take pride in their work.
  • Be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a high standard.
  • Be confident to write for a range of purposes.
  • Produce clear, legible hand writing.