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English at Cropredy CE Primary School

At Cropredy School, we believe that Literacy and communication skills, in conjunction with core Christian values, are fundamental to the healthy development of all children.  We are dedicated to imparting this important knowledge effectively and creatively, installing a love of literature and a thirst for knowledge that means our pupils have a lasting appreciation and enjoyment of language both spoken and written. We expect our pupils to leave Cropredy school with the ability to confidently express themselves as they move on to the next stage in their learning journey. 


In readiness for this, we aim for each child to be able to:

  • Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.

  • Understand the sound and spelling system and use it to read and spell correctly.

  • Have fluent and legible handwriting.

  • Have an interest in books and read for enjoyment and be able to talk about their preferences and opinions.

  • Have an interest in words, their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.

  • Know, understand and be able to write a range of genres in fiction and poetry.

  • Understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts.

  • Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing.



Teaching staff at Cropredy CE Primary School use high quality children’s texts to promote a love of literature. Our approach to teaching in English aims to provide high quality teaching that is creative, engaging and develops a love of reading and writing.

Planning focuses on providing exposure to quality and classic text pieces using a range of creative teaching approaches, drawn from a range of resources such as CLPE ‘Power of Reading’, Jane Considine and Talk for Writing.

As well as this, we create an ethos of reading for pleasure and understand the importance of reading aloud and creating the right reading environment. As a school, teachers provide storytelling and drama opportunities as well as time for exploring the development of language and narrative; developing fictional narratives; reading skills and strategies; exploring non-fiction and the importance of poetry.



  • Teaching sequences are based around initial immersion of a quality text, with build up and understanding of key features.

  • We ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. 

  • In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is taught within writing lessons or as a discrete session.

  • ​​​​As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that children can also achieve at a greater depth standard.



Handwriting is taught with reference to the National Curriculum objectives. Our school uses Nelson handwriting across the school. Children are encouraged to implement their handwriting practice into their everyday writing, with a clear drives to match presentation of work with content.


We use a structured systematic approach to teaching phonics which begins in our Cygnets Class (Reception).

Children begin by learning sets of lower case letters by ‘sound’ and build on this until they are confident to use all representations of sounds outlined and ordered in the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme produced by the Department for Education.

Whilst we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' program this may be delivered using a broader range of resources and materials to maintain excitement in learning and to support with the learning progress. Children have a baseline assessment initially and then are regularly assessed to make sure they are in the correct phonics groups.

Throughout Years 1 and 2, children participate in daily phonic sessions. These can be as part of a whole class or in some circumstances as part of a small group. Any children in the school who are identified as needing further support with their phonics are then given extra teaching in groups or on an individual basis.

All class teachers are aware of the children who struggle with reading and focus upon supporting with this.

Phonics is taught in a variety of interactive ways. Children enjoy using games and ICT to enhance their phonetic understanding along with a wealth of songs and rhymes. Children are also given letters to take home so that parents can support and reinforce learning.

We also teach the ‘Tricky words’ identified in the ‘Letters and Sounds Scheme’ and High Frequency words, that are not decodable using phonics. This is carried out through the use of flashcards, reading books and a variety of games. The teaching of tricky words continues throughout Years 1 and 2. Phonics teaching continues into Key Stage 2 in the form of interventions, if there is a need for this further input.



In the early stages of reading, the focus of teaching is the development of phonics and the application of this knowledge in reading. Learning and application of phonics are inseparable and linked together through reading and writing.


Children will have a wide experience of books, and additional vocabulary. Another important strand of reading is the children’s understanding of what they are reading (comprehension). For planning and teaching, teachers focus on the content domains (as set out in the National Curriculum) for each key stage.


At Cropredy school we strive to provide the children with a variety of reading opportunities explored through three main avenues:


Reading To

  • Ongoing class novel

  • Daily story time

  • Fluency instruction

  • Informal reading opportunities and ‘book talk’

  • Teacher modelling - including phonics and explicit teaching of reading comprehension


Reading With

  • Small group guided reading

  • Whole class shared reading

  • Informal ‘reading with’ opportunities and ‘book talk’

  • 1:1 reading – fluency instruction

  • Pupil-read portions of stimulus/ teaching text

  • Literature circles/ book clubs


Reading By

  • Library reading

  • Class independent reading

  • Reading for research and background knowledge

  • Reading as part of continuous provision

  • Reading in the wider curriculum


For the teaching of reading, teachers use a variety of books and texts, which could include:

Phonics-related colour banded books, the class novel, picture led books (including for older children) magazines, newspaper articles, web pages, fiction and non-fiction books related to the current topic.

We meet regularly with English experts and advisors, keeping us up to date with age-related booklists and websites to inform our text choices.


Speaking and Listening 

At Cropredy School, we believe that speaking and listening form the foundations of all learning in English. In formal and informal situations, we create and encourage opportunities for meaningful conversation, discussion and talk around learning.

Questioning forms the basis of our teaching across the curriculum and we strongly encourage children to be inquisitive, to share their thoughts confidently in a supportive, nurturing environment where they feel safe enough to take risks and make mistakes, demonstrating courageous advocacy; championing causes that are important to them.


To implement this, we provide opportunities for:

  • Pupils to participate in discussions and debates with and to different audiences (e.g. talking partners, group and class discussions/debates).

  • Pupils to respond orally to different stimuli (e.g. radio, television, visiting speakers, music, film).

  • Pupils to be able to discuss and evaluate their own work with peers and adults.

  • Pupils to be involved in a wide range of drama activities to explore and deepen understanding (e.g. role play, hot seating, freeze framing).

  • Pupils to respond to stories, poems and rhymes.

  • Pupils to story step (learn a model text orally with actions) in the Pie Corbett ‘Talk for Writing’ style. 



Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and should be clearly linked to learning objectives:

  • Learners are actively involved, through an explicit understanding of learning objectives and success criteria

  • Target Tracker are is used to track progression, analyse what has been achieved in relation to learning objectives, direct planning and set future targets.

  • Regular marking and pupil conferencing in line with the schools marking policy offers pupils opportunities to reflect on their learning and make improvements

  • The Progression of skills for reading and writing documents, the review and consideration of when where and how writing genres are taught and the age-appropriate list of books are all used to ensure breadth of experience and learning.


Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers

All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.



To ensure the our aims are fulfilled and achieve maximum impact, clear monitoring arrangements are in place to help ensure that children’s progress is maintained. This is achieved via the following:

  • Book Looks

  • Lesson observations and learning walks

  • Moderation at assessment points

  • Supporting staff with planning via coaching model

  • Ensuring that the appropriate support is in place where issues have been identified in progress or attainment

  • Delivering CPD to both teachers and TAs in an environment where all staff are valued and feel confident to share their own ideas and experiences

  • Feeding back to staff from Partnership meetings or CPD they have attended

  • Analysing data at the 3 core assessment points

  • Organising additional reading or writing days/events/ competitions

  • Keeping abreast of external assessments and moderation for Foundation Stage, end of Key stage One and end of Key stage Two

  • Sharing and sign-posting teachers to high quality resources

  • Celebrating children’s achievements with them

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