English at Almondsbury is taught through a variety of approaches. Children are exposed to good quality texts to engage them in their learning and encourage them to understand what makes a good writer. We often use subject knowledge gained from Topic or Science as a hook for writing and provide them with real-life contexts for their work. In addition to this, children enjoy the opportunities that we offer to perform and showcase their finished pieces.


Across the school the children take part in discrete phonics, spelling, grammar and reading sessions, as well as applying their skills in English and Topic lessons. This allows for differentiated delivery of key skills.



As stated in the National Curriculum, the overarching aim for English in primary schools is 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. It aims to ensure that all pupils:

§ 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.


Teaching and Organisation

Spelling and Phonics -Reception and KS1

Phonics Teaching

We teach phonics from Reception using the government recommended Letters and Sounds programme. From Year 1 we group the children according to their need and work our way through the phases throughout key stage 1. In Years 3 and 4 a similar approach is taken allowing teachers to provide the children with the teaching and learning they need. There is a move towards to teaching spelling and usage of key strategies. These are developed further in Year 5 and 6.

The children in Year 1 take the Phonics Assessment Check in June. In 2017/18 (June 2018) 93% of our children reached the expected threshold. We use a variety of resources including many websites. These are provided to parents on the letter which can be found on the class pages.

Children take part in daily differentiated phonics sessions in which they are taught the age appropriate objectives using Letters and Sounds. In Year 1, this works towards the phonics screening test and in Year 2 it prepares the children for the end of key stage Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test (SPaG). Spellings are sent home and tested on a regular basis.

Spelling - KS2

For Years 3 and 4 the teaching of spelling and phonics follows the same format of that in KS1. In Years 5 and 6, spelling is taught within the English lesson and allows the children to consolidate their understanding of spelling patterns through regular application. Spellings are sent home and tested on a regular basis. We also prepare the Year 6 children for the national end of key stage Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test (SPaG).



Reading is very important to the staff and children of Almondsbury. We have very high standards and encourage reading for pleasure and information each and everday. We use a mix of Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club books from Reception up to the end of Year 3. This is when the majority of the children become free readers and are able to read books from the school library and from home. We operate a reading reward scheme where children who read frequently are rewarded with stickers, certificates and prizes.

This is the link to the DFE website for those who would like to know more about the  National Curriculum and the programme of study for all year groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum . I hope that the meeting and workshops were useful last week. We will be continuing to focus on this next academic year and providing more information for you as parents. If you do need more information please contact me or your child’s class teacher.  on the class pages.

Differentiated daily Guided Reading sessions take place throughout the school, organised as a carousel of activities. This is to include text preparation, independent follow-up tasks and grammar and spelling activities alongside weekly teacher-led sessions for each child. A reading scheme is used across the school for children to access at their own level. These books are available for children to take home, forming part of their weekly homework tasks. As well as this, each class visits the school library on a weekly basis.       



Cursive handwriting is taught from Reception and develops as the children progress through the school.

Text composition is taught as a writing process, allowing the children to use the skills of planning, writing, editing and evaluating their work in many contexts. This takes place in the English lesson as well as through other curriculum areas. Children are supported in the application of their skills through the use of modelled, guided and shared writing. Age-appropriate grammar objectives are also included within these sessions to teach the specific skills relevant to different text types. 

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