English Learning Strands

At Parish, children have access to a full, stimulating, creative curriculum. The children’s literacy skills are developed through an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and then extended throughout all other curriculum areas.

At Parish school we aim for all pupils to:

  • develop effective speaking, listening, group interaction and drama skills
  • read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct
  • understand phonics and regular spelling patterns, using them to read and spell accurately
  • be word aware and become confident in both written and spoken vocaublary.
  • have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary
  • become lifelong readers with an interest in books, who read for enjoyment, evaluating and justifying their preferences
  • understand a range of text types and genres and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation
  • develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
  • have fluent and legible handwriting
  • understand the structure and styles of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts
  • become independent in the process of planning, drafting, editing and improving their own writing

Organisation of Learning and Teaching

The English Curriculum is delivered mainly using The Literacy Tree planning sequences.  These schemes ensure children’s engagement with a culturally rich and diverse range of books and reading material whilst building pleasure and interest.

Literacy skills are practised and applied in context through work across the whole curriculum.  Basic skills sessions (handwriting, grammar and punctuation, phonics/spelling and reading comprehension) take place daily and precede each literacy session.  


All children are provided with equal access to our English curriculum. We provide suitable learning opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity or home background. We expect the vast majority of our pupils to achieve age related expectations in English. For those pupils who may find handwriting challenging for a variety of reasons our approaches to the teaching and learning of English will be adapted and differentiated to ensure that all pupils make progress. Provision is made for children who require extra support through targeted teaching; intervention programmes (e.g. Lexia Reading, Toe by Toe), and differentiated class teaching. 

Virtual Library

Visit our virtual library

When clicking on the virtual library you will land on the home page where you will find:

  • Three open books.  These take you to reading lists with a selection of books for different phases.  We have tried to include different genres and abilities in each list, but they do overlap so don’t feel confined to just one.
  • Three shopping baskets.  These takes you to the same book lists but as Amazon wish lists.  Book week in school allows children and members of the school community to purchase books via the Roving Bookshop and in doing so the school receives commission to buy new books.  It would be great if children could still use World Book Week as the chance to celebrate their love of reading with a new book.  If you feel able to also purchase and donate a book to the school, we would be incredibly grateful. If you are using Amazon please use and select the Pta of Parish C of E primary School as your chosen charity. Thank you
  • The numbers 1 and 2.  Clicking on these takes you to extracts from various books chosen to be read to you by different members of staff. We hope you enjoy them!

Reading and Phonics

At Parish, 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. 


In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and across Key Stage 1 (KS1) we follow the planning sequence as recommended by the systematic synthetic phonics programme, Letters and Sounds. This planning overview is broken down and expertly modified by the teaching staff in each year group to cater to the needs of the children in each cohort. Phonics lessons are prepared for and taught on a daily basis by the class teachers, with support staff offering individual and 1:1 support to those who need it. Each lesson follows the four-part planning format of; revisit and review, teach, practise, apply – with a heavy focus on adult modelling throughout each part of the lesson. We use a variety of online resources to make the lessons interactive and engaging for the children, including the use of Jolly Phonics songs, actions and rhymes to help with recalling and retaining the information and letter formation. Tricky words are introduced timely and in accordance with the Letters and Sounds planning sequence. 

The teaching of phonics in EYFS and KS1 enables children to recognise letter names and sounds. They learn to blend sounds together to read, and segment words to spell. Children progress to understanding how sounds group together as sound families and alternative pronunciations. It encourages children to develop their grammatical knowledge through the understanding of spelling rules and alternative spellings. 

Support staff run a variety of phonics interventions based on the children’s needs. These may focus on the childrens blending and segmenting abilities, confidence to apply their phonics knowledge or comprehension skills. 

Reading Schemes

Children at Parish learn to read through a banded colour reading scheme. This is based on a range of published reading schemes such as Bug Club, Oxford Owl, Rigby Star Collin’s Big Cat, Songbirds and Dandelion Readers. These schemes provide the children with a range of engaging texts which are both fiction and non-fiction. As a school we also subscribe to Active Learn Bug Club which provides each child with online access to a range of books appropriate for their level. It encourages engagement as the children can earn rewards and spend these in the virtual shop. In EYFS and KS1, most children take home a banded reading book which is changed once it has been read. In Key Stage 2, children are encouraged to progress to a ‘free reader’ status, meaning they are able to read any book that takes their interest. Each child has a reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading progress. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. As children progress through the school, they become more independent in recording what they have read in their reading records. 

From EYFS to Year 6, children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult regularly, with there being a particular focus on comprehension to promote an in-depth understanding of the text. Questions progress from literal to inferential as the children move up through the school. 

There are several exciting events that happen throughout the school year to promote a love of reading. We have a Book Week focusing on all things book and story related, participate in World Book Day activities, have visits from well-known authors and enjoy ‘books at breakfast’ session. These events immerse the children in the wonder of storytelling and provide opportunities to explore different types and genres of books, class discussions, debates and quizzes. The children also have opportunities to visit the school library to take books out and to engage in class guided library sessions where books are shared for pleasure.



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. Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2014)

These strategies are embedded into The Literacy Tree Planning Documents, whereby a range of different context writing tasks are based on a text. This allows children to have the opportunity to ‘explore high quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing’. We also recognize the importance in developing spoken language, therefore opportunities to develop spoken language skills are planned for within English lessons and across the wider curriculum. These include include: talk partners, storytelling, roleplay and debating within lesson.  The teaching of this programme is flexible and class teachers apply their own creativity to cover the objectives stated in the National Curriculum. 

Teachers model writing composition skills and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Children have opportunities to write at length in regular ‘Big Write’ extended independent writing sessions; applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing. 

Discrete handwriting sessions are taught at least once a week, to help children develop fluent, clear and legible joined up writing (see Handwriting Policy for further details). 

Grammar and Spelling

Word Aware

At Parish, we have taken the principles of explicit vocabulary teaching from the Word Aware scheme written by Stephen Parsons and Anna Branagan.  A wide body of evidence shows that vocabulary learning is critical for pupils being able to move on to the next stages in their learning journey.  Therefore, we are making words a priority in our teaching to meet the needs of all pupils.  By maintaining a sustained effort in exposing children to key vocabulary, we can support pupils in making links across the curriculum and also between their oral and written language.  We do this through a process of "selecting" the key words needed, followed by explicit "teaching" of those words.  Learning is then "activated" by the pupils in their own work and regularly "reviewed" (STAR). By analysing word components (prefixes, suffixes, root words), we help pupils identify patterns in spellings and meanings so they can use this to build their vocabulary when faced with unfamiliar words. 

Whilst there might be one method for learning words that works for one child, it may not be the approach that works for another, so a mixture of strategies is used, such as word games, anagrams, mind-mapping, etymology (where words come from) etc to support memory recall.  What is also important is to work with the vocabulary a child has already and to gradually build up those links to help them make new connections in their understanding.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  It cannot be underestimated how powerful going over vocabulary children have already been exposed to can help their recall.  Once is never enough!  By also giving pupils a context for vocabulary they are learning, this also helps them to remember and apply the words they need.

The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). Grammar is timetabled to be taught discreetly for at least once a week. However, grammar skills are also embedded within Literacy lessons where appropriate. 

In Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1, our phonics teaching makes strong links between blending for reading, segmenting for spelling and handwriting. We encourage all of our pupils to apply their phonic knowledge when spelling.ʉ۬

From Year 2 onwards, children are taught the age related spelling content using a published scheme ‘No- Nonsense Spelling’. This scheme of work provides us with a manageable tool for meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year and supports our teachers with the teaching of spelling. (See Spelling Policy for further detail)

Our focus on teaching spelling embraces the knowledge of spelling conventions, patterns and rules. We also promote the learning of spellings, through the use of multi-sensory strategies, including combining the teaching of spelling and handwriting. Our teaching of spelling includes common exception words, high frequency words and topic words. 


Page Downloads Date  
Handwriting Policy 29th Sep 2019 Download
Assessment and Progression in Book Bands 07th Oct 2019 Download
Writing Progression Guide 07th Oct 2019 Download
Book List EYFS 25th Feb 2021 Download
Book List KS1 25th Feb 2021 Download
Book List KS2 25th Feb 2021 Download
Phonics Overview 19th Jan 2022 Download
Reading List for More Able KS2 02nd Mar 2022 Download
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