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.

In line with the National Curriculum, we teach children to develop their skills in:

  • word reading and fluency
  • comprehension

Reading Comprehension

We have put into place a Reading Comprehension Framework to support children in developing as independent readers who are able to comprehend what they read. We recognise pupils need to be taught comprehension skills systematically. Progression involves children using these skills and strategies with greater independence and confidence, without explicit reminders about what to do. We want our children to know what sort of reading strategy to apply to the particular reading task in which they are engaged. This applies to all texts throughout the curriculum.

Our Reading Comprehension Framework Policy is attached at the end of this section. This maps out how key skills will be taught through KS1 and KS2 and how progression is ensured.

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.

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.

We also have access to a range of on-line reading libraries, including myON and RWI ebooks, to support children with developing their reading skills.

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: