English – Phonics, Reading and Writing

English – Phonics, Reading and Writing

English in EYFS

In our Foundation Stage, English is supported throughout all areas of provision, both indoors and outdoors. English incorporates both reading and writing. We ensure that children’s learning is purposeful and we encourage opportunities for them to read and write using real life experiences, such as cards, postcards, invitations, shopping lists and labelling their own pictures and models.

By the time children leave our Foundation Stage, we expect them, in reading, to be able to use their phonic knowledge to read and understand simple sentences. They will be able to read common irregular words and demonstrate an understanding of what they have read by talking about it with others.

In writing, children will be expected to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways, which match their spoken sounds, including some common irregular words. They will also be able to write sentences which can be read by themselves and others.

Our child centered approach ensures that children develop a love of reading and writing because they have the opportunity to follow their own interests.

English Intentions (whole school)

At Horbury Primary Academy we are committed to promoting high standards of language and literacy by engaging all children in an English journey that provides them with a strong command of spoken and written language and the necessary skills to become confident and competent readers and writers. It is our belief that our English curriculum will teach our children to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.

We believe that reading is the key to unlocking the potential of every child and it is at the heart of our curriculum. We are passionate about fostering a love of reading both in school and in the home environment.  Through our teaching of phonics, we support children to become early readers and writers. In addition, our book led curriculum ensures that children are engaged and stimulated in writing.

When planning topics throughout the curriculum, teachers carefully consider opportunities to enthrall children in reading and writing. Educational trips and visits are planned with English in mind; giving children the chance to read and write in context.

In both reading and writing, we aim to expose children to a variety of genres; ensuring that they can access texts in all curriculum subjects and in society.

The teaching of English is fundamental to our children’s development. Therefore, it is at the forefront of everything we do and a high priority on the School Development Plan.

When children leave Horbury Primary Academy, we aim to for them to have developed:

  • A love of reading.
  • The habit of reading widely and often; for both pleasure and information, at both school and home.
  • The ability to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, in a range of genres, using well established phonic knowledge to decode unfamiliar vocabulary when required.
  • A comprehension skillset, which includes an understanding and the ability to use the following reading skills: literal, inference, summary, prediction, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, vocabulary and author response.
  • A satisfaction in producing high quality written pieces of work in a variety of genres and for different purposes, including cross-curricular writing.
  • A rich and varied vocabulary to use in spoken and written form.
  • An understanding of key grammar terms and conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • The ability to follow and apply spelling patterns and common exception words in their written work.
  • An appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • The ability to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • An ability to contribute effectively to class discussions in order to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Competence in speaking and listening in a range of contexts.

English Implementation

In order to succeed in the delivery of a vibrant and engaging English curriculum, we will implement a thorough and consistent approach across school that has been carefully planned with the involvement of the English team, Senior Leadership Team, class teachers and support staff. Our teaching will enable children to achieve the outcomes outlined within the national curriculum.

At Horbury Primary Academy, we will:

  • Promote a love of reading in school by: having attractive and engaging corridor displays, having designated reading areas in classrooms, implementing the home/school book swap, having a clear, organised and appealing library space, using reading records and rewards to encourage reading in the home environment, encouraging the use of different reading platforms i.e. Fiction Express.
  • Listen to children read regularly in line with the non-negotiables and document their progress in reading records.
  • Involve parents in their child’s reading and support any reading initiatives taking place in school i.e. bedtime stories, phonics meetings, extreme reading competitions.
  • Highlight priority readers (SEND/PP) and designate additional 1-1 reading opportunities for these children each week.
  • Share books regularly with each class in designated story times.
  • Use age-appropriate texts; beginning with phonetically decodable texts and progressing with reading scheme books in line with their progress (ORT). When children are ready, teachers should aid children in selecting their free reading texts in order to ensure they are appropriate and offer sufficient challenge. Project X should be used to provide children in Key Stage 2 with additional, structured support in reading if required.
  • In Key Stage one, follow a systematic, synthetic phonics approach to enable children to decode and blend a greater number of words and place emphasis on the reading of common exception words.
  • In Key Stage two, build on children’s phonic knowledge and ensure that children refer to this when tacking unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Choose appropriate texts for whole class reading, which are a balance between familiar vocabulary and that which is new and challenging. Cross-curricular links should be made when selecting texts.
  • Provide opportunities to practise the different reading comprehension skills, through the use of teacher planned tasks and questions; using the reading skills dogs to highlight these to children.
  • Provide feedback to children during whole class and 1-1 reading through a mixture of teacher feedback (verbal and written), self-assessment and peer assessment and to use this to inform future reading planning.
  • Prepare children for termly assessments and familiarise them with test style comprehension questions. PIRA tests are administered termly in years 1,3,4 and 5. SATs papers are administered in years 2 and 6.
  • Use the above (1-1 reading, whole class reading comprehension and test standardised scores) to make formative assessments against their year groups Key Assessment Criteria. Teachers will then use these formative assessments to make end of term summative judgements (B, W, A, GD).
  • Discuss and explain their children’s progress in all areas of English in termly Pupil Progress Meetings; highlighting any children who need additional support in the form of intervention.
  • Have high expectations of the presentation, spelling and content of children’s writing and encourage them to take ownership of this through proof reading and self-editing.
  • Directly teach cursive handwriting in line with Key Stage non-negotiables.
  • Use working walls to display key learning and promote examples of high-quality writing produced by children.
  • Use stimulating texts to engage and hook children in to their writing.
  • Plan a sequence of lessons that begin with a hook and progress through: reading the text, looking at and identifying grammatical features, vocabulary and spelling and applying this to a written piece for a specified audience.
  • Model high quality writing to children i.e. talk for writing, shared write.
  • Model grammatically correct spoken and written English and have high expectations that children do the same.
  • Encourage children to widen their vocabulary through the use of Wow Words, which may be gathered from reading and other curriculum subjects, and Word Jail displays in the classroom.
  • Teach the relevant grammar and vocabulary skills for their year group; using the PAL document as a reference. Each year should build on the skills taught the previous year.
  • Directly teach the relevant spelling rules for their year group using the Purple Mash (years 2-5) quizzes, LSCWC grids and dictations.
  • Administer a weekly spelling test and encourage the application of these in all writing.
  • Administer a half-termly consolidation spelling test with a range of words from the half term.
  • Expose children to a range of authors and genres. Promote this during special events such as Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day and visitors in to school.
  • Provide feedback to children during and after writing sessions through a mixture of teacher feedback (verbal and written), self-assessment and peer assessment and to use this to inform future writing planning.
  • Allow children the opportunity to plan and write independent pieces of writing in a range of genres and assess these in line with the Key Assessment Criteria for their year group.
  • Use the above (class work, spelling tests and independent pieces) to make formative assessments against their year groups Key Assessment Criteria. Teachers will then use these formative assessments to make end of term summative judgements (B, W, A, GD).
  • Plan opportunities for stimulating class discussions and debates; using techniques to ensure that every child contributes (lollipop sticks, random name generators).
  • Provide opportunities for children to speak in different contexts and to wider audiences through: Christmas/end of year productions, show and tell, homework presentations, school council/house captains, church visits, Good Speaking competition.

Class teachers are supported in a range of ways:

  • Clear non-negotiables for reading and writing and guidelines for the progression of their subject in their year group
  • Termly Pupil Progress Meetings to discuss children’s progress and achievement and address any concerns
  • A dedicated English team that drives their subject, keeping up to date with new initiatives and developments in an ever-evolving subject.
  • Training sessions for staff on key grammar concepts.
  • Opportunities to moderate with year group partners, across the MAT and with Pyramid schools.

English Impact

Children will leave Horbury Primary Academy with a positive and enthusiastic approach to English. They will be confident readers and writers and ready to continue their English journey at their chosen secondary school.

Impact will be evidenced by:

  • Active participation in English lessons.
  • Children speaking positively about reading and writing.
  • Reading records regularly completed with a range of texts types read.
  • Pupils accessing and enjoying the newly launched online reading platform.
  • Children reading fluently and confidently; demonstrating sufficient phonic knowledge to decode unfamiliar words accurately.
  • Above national phonics screening results in year 1; ensuring that children are prepared for the challenges of year 2.
  • Key Stage 1 data in line with national average; readying children for Key Stage 2.
  • Key Stage 2 data in line with national average; readying children for secondary education.
  • An increase in children attaining in reading, writing and maths combined to ensure they are secondary ready
  • Children will make progress in line with or beyond their previous Key Stage.
  • Targeted vulnerable groups will make progress in line with or beyond their previous Key Stage.

Curriculum structure


At Horbury Primary Academy, we believe that the key to our pupils’ success is their ability to read so it is vitally important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible. We therefore ensure that systematic, synthetic phonics is taught on a daily basis in Reception and Key Stage 1. The systematic nature of our phonics programme – Letters and Sounds – ensures that children are taught sounds and words at a pace which enables them to meet or exceed age related expectations. It is our intention that all children learn to read early, regardless of their background. Through regular assessment of pupils’ phonic progress, we identify any pupil who falls behind and they are given extra help to catch up. Our reading books contain sounds that children have been taught in phonics sessions and are well matched to their reading stage.

Phonics in Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we start the phonics journey in LFS – Nursery. We work upon Phase 1 – environmental, instrumental, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending.  Some children in LFS – Nursery, will move onto Phase 2 in the later stages of their nursery journey in preparation for UFS – Reception.  In UFS – Reception, the children progress through phrases 2, 3 and 4.  Additional phonics interventions are in place for those children that require further support in their phonics journey.

In the Autumn term, we hold a phonics meeting for parents in our Foundation Stage. During the phonics meeting we look at:

  • The basic skills covered in our phonics teaching
  • The phonic phases children go through to learn to read and write well and confidently
  • Handwriting in Foundation Stage
  • How providing additional support at home can help children achieve the best results
  • Sharing videos of how phonics is taught in our Foundation Stage
  • Opportunity to look at phonics resources and activities and speak with members of EYFS staff.

EYFS Phonics Presentation

Useful websites and information booklets to support you with phonics at home.

Oxford Owl

ICT Games

Phonics Play

Letters and Sounds

Aspect 1 Environmental

Aspect 2 Instrumental

Aspect 3 Body Percussion

Aspect 4 Rhythm and Rhyme

Aspect 5 Alliteration

Aspect 6 Voice Sounds

Aspect 7 Oral Blending

Phase 2: Reception Autumn Term

Phase 3: Reception Spring and Summer Term

Phase 4: Reception Summer Term

Phase 5: Year 1

Phase 6: Year 2

KS1 Phonics:

There a strong emphasis on phonics with daily whole class sessions taking place in Year 1  – Phase 5 and Year 2 – Phase 6.  Year 2 use the resources from the Oxford Owl scheme – Read, Write Inc. Additional phonics morning interventions are in place for those children that require further support in their phonics journey.

KS2 Phonics and Reading support:

In KS2, support is put in place in the form of afternoon/morning interventions for those children that do not achieve the phonics pass mark by the end of Year 2.  These interventions provide structured activities to support children in their phonics and reading journey.

These programs include:

IDL – this program consists of approximately 1000 graduated exercises, commencing with recognition of the alphabet and finishing with comprehension

Read Theory – a computer based reading comprehension activity which meets learners own individual ability levels

Rainbow words – the colours relate to the phase a child is working upon (reading/spelling). Some words can be sounded out (listening words – we can segment them and blend them back together to hear what the word says). Some words are looking words – they cannot be sounded out they just have to be learnt by sight

SaLT – Speech and Language Therapy appropriate to child’s needs

Reading Buddies – Members of staff read with Year 6 children to develop fluency and comprehension skills

English Curriculum:

In Early Years children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS)

This is made up of 7 areas of learning.

The areas linked to Literacy are:-

  • Communication and Language (C&L)
  • Literacy (Reading and Writing)

In Key Stage One and Two, children follow the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum divides English into:


  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

Children in Early Years and Key Stage One are encouraged to take their reading books home each night to share with their parents/carers. This is known as Home/School Reading.

At Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to read widely, and to discuss and write about the books they have read with increasing perception. Parents can provide valuable assistance with this development process. All the children in Key Stage two have a home reading record. The children also have yellow in school reading record which is used for independent school reading and 1:1 reading sessions.

KS1 Reading Schemes

Early Years

In Early Years we introduce letters and sounds and books that the children can read themselves. The books are all fully decodeable in line with the child’s current phonic phase.

These books help the children to build upon the phonics work that they complete in class each day and see themselves as successful early readers.

Key Stage One

In Key Stage One, the good work in Early Years is continued. Reading is taught through:

Whole class reading – sessions in the last term in Year 1 and continued in Year 2.

Individual 1:1  reading – children read their reading book one to one with an adult.

Phonics: There a strong emphasis on phonics with daily whole class sessions taking place in Year 1  – Phase 5 and Year 2 – Phase 6.  Year 2 use the resources from the Oxford Owl scheme – Read, Write Inc. Additional phonics morning interventions are in place for those children that require further support in their phonics journey.

Currently, a combination of different reading schemes are used in school in EYFS and in KS1. These are matched to children’s phonic phase and reading ability.

E.R.T – Everyone Reads Together promotes our love of reading.  When this activity takes place, everyone reads together including the teacher and teaching assistant.

KS2 Reading Schemes:

Whole Class reading: In Key Stage 2, the children take part in a whole class reading each morning between 9:00 and 9:30am. The children record their work in a reading activities book. These reading sessions consist of a range of question types including:

  • retrieval and inference
  • true and false
  • similar words
  • description
  • meanings of words
  • ordering
  • predicting
  • summarising

Individual 1:1 reading– children read their reading book one to one with an adult.

E.R.T – Everyone Reads Together promotes our love of reading.  When this activity takes place, everyone reads together including the teacher and teaching assistant.


  • handwriting
  • punctuation and grammar
  • composition
  • spelling

All classes from Year 1 – Year 6 have adopted the book-led writing curriculum.

Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation

Grammar and punctuation are taught within writing sessions. Children are taught specific grammar/punctuation terms and apply these to their written work. Grammar and punctuation terminology is introduced in different year groups. A glossary of all the grammar and punctuation terms used within the primary school curriculum can be downloaded by clicking on the link.

Children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 6) sit a spelling, grammar and punctuation test.

Children are provided with age-appropriate spellings to learn each week and the children are tested upon these spellings.  We use Read, Write Inc in Year 2 and Purple Mash in Years 3-6.  These spelling lists are displayed on a weekly basis upon year group web pages.

  • Grammar and Punctuation Glossary

  • Writing non negotiables 2019-20

  • Reading non negotiables 2019-20

English – Phonics, Reading and Writing
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The Accord Multi Academy Trust is an educational charity established in September 2016 that is currently made up of four academies who were the founding members of the Trust. In September 2016 Horbury Academy and Ossett Academy & Sixth Form College came together, moving away from their stand-alone Trust status and were joined in December 2016 by Horbury Primary Academy and Middlestown Primary Academy.

The overarching vision for the Trust is to work in one ‘Accord – celebrating the differences of each academy through strong collaboration in order to inspire all members of our learning community to be the best that they can be.

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