English Intent

In English at Pencoys, our aim is that children will:

  •  have a strong command of both the written and spoken word underpinned by a love and appreciation of our literary heritage.

  • develop a passion for reading through experiencing a rich range of books and authors as they progress through the school.

  • have opportunities to read and write a range of genres and become independent, imaginative and critical writers.

  • express and justify their feelings and opinions on texts with increasing confidence and understanding.

  • have an interest in words and develop their use of vocabulary for precision and effect.

  • take pride in their work; developing a neatly joined and well-presented handwriting style.

  • celebrate their reading and writing achievements with their peers, teachers and parents.

We strongly believe that practising reading at home is fundamental  to pupil's reading progress and to developing a positive attitude to reading. We encourage this through  the Reading Karate scheme in Key Stage 1 and through the use of Accelerated Reader in Key Stage 2 where children endeavour to meet challenging personalised reading targets.

NC Aims:

The national curriculum for English 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.




In F2, Yr1 and Yr2 at Pencoys Primary School, we follow a daily structured programme of synthetic phonics to get children off to a great start with their phonics and reading. We assess children regularly throughout the term to track their progress and ensure they are being challenged appropriately or given the necessary support.

Following our programme children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts

  • learn how to blend sounds

  • learn how to ‘Fred’ talk or sound out words

  • learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent 44 sounds

  • learn to write words by saying the sounds

Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake the National Phonics Screening Check. The check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo ‘alien’ words) which the children are asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before. Any pupils that do not pass this check will be given extra support in Year 2 and will retake it the following June.


Children are taught how to develop their reading and comprehension skills through whole-class reading sessions three times per week. The books used are high-quality texts covering a range of genres, authors and cultures. During these sessions, children are taught, and given opportunities to practise, a range of skills using the VIPERS acronym: Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Summarise.

To encourage children to develop a love of reading, children have opportunities to choose their own reading books from the school library.  To provide further engagement and motivation for reading, we use the Accelerated Reader programme.  Children spend time each week reading their own choice of books from a selection chosen to meet their ability. After reading each book, children complete an online quiz which gives them feedback on their reading.  Accelerated Reader promotes and rewards reading for pleasure, gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and to make informed decisions to guide pupils’ future learning.

We award Hot Reader certificates each half term to those children that reach their target (set at their own level).

Overview of Guided Reading texts



Since the spring term of 2021, writing is taught using the principles underlying the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach with texts mostly linked to either the whole class book for the term or the class topic.  This process involves children learning a text, or part of a text, so that they internalise the text pattern. This is enhanced by further opportunities for talk and drama to fully immerse children in the text type. Text genres are analysed to create ‘tool kits’ and vocabulary banks which can be used for independent writing.

KS2 pupils also participate in spelling lessons which follow the Read Write Inc. spelling scheme.

The Nessy Reading and Spelling programme is used in KS2 to support children with gaps in reading and spelling.



Through pupil conferencing, lesson observations, staff feedback and book looks we find:

  • Children of all ages are excited to talk about their favourite books and authors and can make book recommendations.

  • Children quickly adopt new vocabulary and develop their language skills which are applied across the curriculum.

  • Children can confidently write for different purposes and audiences.

  • Children can apply spelling rules and grammatical concepts in their independent writing.

  • Children are taught reading and writing progressively using inclusive approaches and at a pace appropriate to each individual child.


By the end of their primary education our children will:

  • have experienced and be able to discuss their reading across a range of modern and classic stories.

  • be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

  • make good and better progress from their starting points to achieve their full potential.

  • Understand the importance of their literacy skills to enable them to continue their learning in Secondary Education and to support them with their future careers.


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