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English Policy

Date by which the school adopted the policy: February 2013

Anticipated review date: January 2016   Amended January 2015

Signed by Chair of Governors:

Signed by Staff:



We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking & Listening, Reading & Writing.  Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.

Pupils at Burlington CE Primary School will leave Year 6:

reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;

with a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment;

with an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms;

understanding a range of text types, media types and genres;

able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation;

using their developing imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness;

having a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.


Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum English Document (2014) and in the Communication and Language and Literacy sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012).

In the Foundation Stage (Reception) children are given opportunities to:

speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;

use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;

become immersed in an environment rich in print and opportunities to communicate.

At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They learn to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They learn to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

At Key Stage Two (Years 3-6) children learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.


The Governing Body, in particular the Curriculum Committee, receive regular reports on the progress of English provision.


Foundation Stage

In Reception children have daily discreet phonics lessons.  Children have opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis in both adult led and child initiated activities.  

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 daily discreet phonics lessons continue and are taught in ability groups, while children have daily mixed ability Literacy lessons with an emphasis on real texts.  Children take part in both guided and individual reading sessions and have regular story times to develop a love of reading.  Literacy skills are developed across the curriculum.  Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes (e.g. Early Literacy Support) and differentiated class teaching.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 children have daily Literacy Lessons including Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation.  Additional literacy sessions include guided reading, handwriting, class novel and spelling.  Literacy skills are developed across the curriculum.  Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes (e.g. Additional Literacy Support, Further Literacy Support, Toe By Toe) and differentiated class teaching.


The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.

Opportunities to develop these skills include: speech competitions, debating, commendable and class assemblies, talk partners, drama and shows. Children who require extra support in speaking and listening benefit from small group sessions and draw on the expertise of a Speech and Language Therapist.

We recognise the need for all pupils to speak, read and write Standard English fluently and accurately, while acknowledging that a pupil's own dialect, or other language is of prime importance.  


Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Independent reading provides time for both assessment and 1-1 teaching.  Daily discreet phonics lessons in FS and KS1 enable children to decode efficiently.  This is continued into KS2 where necessary.

A range of reading schemes are used to support early readers as well as book banded ‘real books’ used for guided reading and independent reading books. Teaching assistants support reading activities to ensure that children have more frequent opportunities to read with adults.  

Children are offered a rich diet of texts including fiction and non-fiction, classic and modern literature.

Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, i.e. ‘Book Week’. Book Weeks include visits by published authors,  story tellers,  performances by professional theatre groups, making books, using drama, dance and music to illustrate texts.

Children in the Foundation Stage classes take home a book from ‘The Oxford Reading Tree’ or a levelled easy reader chapter book according to their ability.  In addition to this children have the opportunity to choose a book from the class library.  Each child has a reading journal and a home school reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading.  Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. Information is given on how to support their child in reading at reading workshops, phase meetings and also in curriculum letters.    

In Key Stage 2 children choose books to take home and read. We also have a selection of banded books in each book corner from Years Two to Six to support appropriate text choices.

We still encourage all readers to share a book at home with their grown-ups. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also supports a lifelong love of reading. Throughout the Key Stage children become more independent in recording what they have read in their reading journals.

We recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.


We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. To support our teaching of writing we use Big Write and draw on a range of other pedagogical approaches as appropriate.  Teachers model writing strategies and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in regular extended independent writing sessions.

The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. There are many opportunities for children to improve their writing inspired by drama techniques and film clips. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group. Children will also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing. We follow a cursive handwriting scheme (Appendix 1) in school to help children develop fluent, clear and legible joined up writing. Lead-ins are modelled from Reception upwards.  Children work hard to achieve a handwriting pen award, this encourages them to take care in their presentation and pride in their work.


Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum.


We recognise the important role ICT has to play in our school in the development of Literacy skills. We also recognise the importance of being cine-literate in the 21st Century – each year group studies a film as their ‘text’. ICT is used on a daily basis to enhance the teaching of literacy and to give all children the opportunity to experience, read and write multimodal texts and develop visual literacy.

Children can access a secure online library of e-books at home and school.


Work will be assessed in line with the Assessment Policy.


We aim to provide for all children so that they achieve as highly as they can in English according to their individual abilities. We will identify which pupils or groups of pupils are under-achieving and take steps to improve their attainment. Gifted children will be identified and suitable learning challenges provided.


Burlington CE School has universal ambitions for every child, whatever their background or circumstances. Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged.

In order to engage all children, cultural diversity, home languages, gender and religious beliefs are all celebrated.  Our curriculum includes a wide range of texts and other resources which represent the diversity and backgrounds of all our children.

We believe in ‘valuing what the child brings to school’ and recognise the importance of supporting a child’s first language, not only to foster self-esteem, but to assist in the learning of English.


The Subject Leader is responsible for improving the standards of teaching and learning in Literacy through:

monitoring and evaluating Literacy:-  

- pupil progress

- provision of Literacy

- the quality of the Learning Environment,

taking the lead in policy development,

auditing and supporting colleagues in their CPD,

purchasing and organising resources,

keeping up to date with recent Literacy developments.

Monitoring of marking and planning takes place on a termly basis, with evaluative written feedback provided, while standards of learning and teacher are monitored and evaluated both through analysis of tracking as well lesson observations (with Phase Leaders).  

Standards are monitored and evaluated through analysis of the school tracking system and of SATs results.  See Monitoring Policy.


We aim to involve parents directly in the life of the school, and thus in the development of children’s skills, knowledge and understanding in English. Parents are involved in hearing children read, and are encouraged to discuss books with them.  

There are opportunities each term when parents can discuss their children's progress with their teacher. Parents are encouraged to read both with and to their children at home in order to promote reading. Parents are welcomed into school to support reading in the classroom.

Strategies for supporting children are shared at phase meetings and reading workshops as well as at parent helper training sessions.

SATs results are published in accordance with Government legislation.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:

- Teaching and Learning Policy

- Assessment and Record Keeping

- Marking policy

- Special Educational Needs Policy

- ICT Policy

- Equal Opportunities Policy

- Health and Safety Policy

- Continuing Professional Development Policy

This policy will be reviewed every three years or in the light of changes to legal requirements.