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At Elmstead Wood Primary, we are committed to providing an exciting, engaging and progressive English curriculum for our children. We want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and writers who develop a life-long love of books and a passion for writing.  

Speaking and listening skills are built into all aspects of the English curriculum, with the aim being that every child is able to communicate their thoughts, ideas and opinions clearly and succinctly, as well as listening to and reflecting on the ideas of others. 

We have fostered the CLPE’s Power of Reading approach to teach all areas of the English curriculum. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s (CLPE’s) Power of Reading has been compiled with highly regarded classroom-based research and experience of working with teachers. Power of Reading introduces children to a range of high quality books through a curriculum which is creative and engaging. As a result, the programme develops a child's love of reading and writing.

At Elmstead Wood Primary School, we are passionate about reading, and we are keen to develop all children into successful and confident readers. We understand the importance of the early stages of reading and how fluency, vocabulary acquisition, comprehension and a love of reading are intertwined to create successful readers.  

The books selected for English lessons and whole class reading are carefully chosen to provide children with exposure to a wide range of children’s literature and authors. Our aim is that through the careful selection of texts (fiction, non-fiction, plays and poems) we develop enthusiastic and lifelong readers. We also ensure that the texts selected offer a selection of diverse and inclusive settings, characters and themes. We regularly link our texts to the rest of our curriculum, allowing children to make important links and connections within their learning.

Writing in the National Curriculum in England

Learning to write is one of the most important things that a child at primary school will learn. Children use their writing in almost all other subjects of the curriculum. Good writing also gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world.

For a child, learning to write can be tricky, not least because good writing involves handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation not to mention what we want to write and who we are writing for.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In reception, children will start to learn how to form letters correctly. They will be encouraged to use their knowledge of phonics to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. By the end of the year, they will be expected to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

In Year 1, children will be taught to write sentences by saying out loud what they are going to write about, put several sentences together and re-read their writing to check it makes sense. They will also be expected to discuss what they have written and to read it aloud.

In Year 2, children learn to write for a range of purposes, including stories, information texts and poetry. Children are encouraged to plan what they are going to write and to read through their writing to make corrections and improvements.

Key stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)

In Years 3 and 4, children are encouraged to draft and write by talking about their writing. They will continue to learn how to organise paragraphs and, if they are writing non-fiction, to use headings. When they are writing stories, they will learn to use settings, characters and plots. Children in Years 3 and 4 will be expected to use what they know about grammar in their writing and to read through what they have written, to find ways to improve it.

In Years 5 and 6, children will continue to develop their skills in planning, drafting and reviewing what they have written. Children learn to identify the audience for and purpose of their writing. They will be expected to use grammar appropriately. In non-fiction writing, children will use headings, bullet points and other ways to organise their writing. They will be expected to describe settings, characters and to use dialogue in their stories.