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At Shaw-cum-Donnington we believe that the English curriculum should develop a child’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We want children to harness a lifelong love of reading for pleasure with a range text types, genres and authors. We aim for children to write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching across all subjects; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum.  Our staff develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.  We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary so that they are able to decipher new words and use them when speaking. Children will be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently with grammatical accuracy and to be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat handwriting style. 

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.

Underpinning our pedagogy, is the belief that all children can learn to read and write with confidence and that high-quality English education provides a foundation for understanding the wider world and a tool for life.


Early reading is supported by the teaching of phonics, which begins in Reception.  Staff are equipped to teach the knowledge and skills required to promote good progress as well as a love of reading.  At Shaw, phonics is taught daily until the children are fluent readers.  We follow the Supersonic Phonic Friends programme.

In Reception and Key Stage One, there are a wide range of planned and incidental opportunities for children to develop their oracy, reading and writing skills.  To provide adequate time for developing English skills, each class teacher will provide a daily hour-long English lesson. Guided reading sessions and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons are timetabled on a weekly basis.   Links, where possible, will also be made to reading and writing within other subjects so pupils can develop and apply their English skills.

Lessons are planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. Teachers use the objectives taken from the National Curriculum statutory guidelines and follow the school’s Long-term Curriculum overview for English to ensure a continuation and progression of skills.

At Shaw-cum-Donnington Primary School, we use Pie Corbett's Talk 4 Writing skills, while incorporating various class texts and other high-quality literature.  The Pie Corbett Talk for Writing and Storytelling techniques are one tool used throughout the school as a model with which to teach writing. The principle of being able to speak their writing before writing it, is embedded through both fiction and non-fiction writing and involves techniques such as story maps, boxing up ideas into paragraphs as well as literacy games to develop vocabulary. All classes follow the structure of imitation, innovation and independent writing to ensure progression.  This format is complemented by the use of a wide range of writing prompts, such as: school trips; visiting speakers; hands on experience with artefact objects; music and film stimuli; cross-curricular links and other entry point opportunities to capture the imagination of the writer.  

Informal assessment is on-going and forms part of every lesson, feeding into teacher’s planning. Pupils are involved in self and peer assessment. Teachers provide feedback to pupils on a daily basis, either in written or verbal form. This feedback focuses on how their steps to success have been achieved and the next steps.

Termly assessment weeks, which validate on-going judgements, provide an opportunity for summative assessment and a judgement of their progress and attainment in line with ARE. Work from Assessment week is used by the class teacher, discussed within Pupil Progress meetings, reported to parents and analysed for areas of development to ensure continuity and progression across classes.  Attainment is recorded in terms of working towards, working at and working at greater depth of the year’s objectives in school data grids. Analysis of progress will be regularly carried out by the English Co-ordinator throughout the year. Where children appear to be making little progress, the English Co-ordinator will discuss interventions to support the teacher that will help the children to accelerate their learning.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) sheets for writing are kept in the front of the children’s English books and are updated with the date of an example of that KPI to allow teachers to track pupil progress.  Written “Hot Tasks”, completed at the end of a writing unit, will inform individual target cards and future planning.  One piece of written work, for each child, is filed in the class “Writing Evidence Folder” each term (three times a year).


See the Marking, Feedback and Assessment Policy


At Shaw-cum-Donnington we expect that by the end of Year 6 pupils will:

  • Talk and perform confidently and fluently in a range of situations, using formal and standard English as appropriate.
  • Listen to and consider the views and opinions of others in discussions.
  • Be confident to take risks in their reading and writing and love to discuss and share their ideas.
  • Write for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • Take pleasure in an increasingly wide range of texts and authors.
  • Infer and deduce information such as characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their
    actions using evidence from the text.
  • Maintain legibility, fluency and speed in handwriting through choosing whether
    or not to join specific letters.
  • Proof-read and edit work in line with the Year 6 curriculum expectations for
    spelling, grammar, punctuation and spelling choices.

Management of English

In order to achieve this, the English co-ordinator and the Senior Leadership Team take responsibility for the monitoring of the English curriculum and the standards achieved by the children. The English co-ordinator will monitor for appropriate pitch and progression every term. This monitoring takes the form of one or more of the following:

1. Lesson observations and feedback.

2. Learning walks and pupil voice conversations.

3. Planning scrutiny followed by support where necessary.

4. Book and writing evidence folder looks on a frequent basis.

5. Termly data analysis.

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