English Team

Mrs N Haveliwala, Miss J White & Mrs K Bicknell

Curriculum Intent


 Reading is one of our core drivers, as we believe that reading is an essential life skill and the key to unlock all learning. Through our engaging English curriculum, we promote a love for reading and help children to develop the reading skills necessary to equip them as lifelong learners. It is our aim for our pupils to comprehend, enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety, whilst also reflecting and developing empathy towards others.  Through our carefully selected texts, we introduce key themes and reinforce our PRIDE values and British Values. 



 We also believe that writing is an essential skill to enable our children to develop into articulate and imaginative communicators. Alongside reading, it is an essential life skill needed to become life-long learners. We aim to ensure all of our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach in our English curriculum. Links are made across the curriculum to enable children to apply their writing skills and ensure learning is relevant and meaningful.


Speaking and Listening

 Pupils’ spoken language underpins their development of reading and writing. Through our engaging curriculum and stimulating range of genres, we provide experiences for children to hear a variety of high quality spoken language and give opportunities for children to use and embed new vocabulary across the curriculum.  We intend our children to have the confidence to speak clearly and coherently for a range of purposes and audiences.  



In order to develop fluent, confident readers, we:

EYFS and KS1

  • Follow a systematic approach to teaching of phonics (Read Write Inc)
  • Deliver a daily, high-quality phonics lesson in small groups from Nursey to Year 2.  The children will be given a chance to re-read phonetically decodable books
  • Deliver an additional whole class phonic lesson in Reception and Year 1
  • Ensure the children take one reading book home that is accurately matched to their ability.  This gives children an opportunity to develop fluency.  In Nursery and Reception, the children can also take an additional book home for the adult to share with their child
  • Send phonetically decodable reading books home on a daily basis and all children are encouraged to read at home and this is monitored in school. We consider daily reading as an intrinsic part of developing the essential reading skills, so we have introduced ‘strive for five’ commitment.  The children are rewarded for achieving this.   Children who are not reading at home will be given an opportunity in school


  • Ensure all classes have an inviting, accessible book corner, where the children have access to a range of high-quality books
  • Allow children to browse in the reading area where they can re-read or retell stories
  • Provide at least one shared story time session per day, where a high quality text is shared; this may include stories, non-fiction texts, poems and rhymes.
  • Give children access to reading comprehension, once they have become a fluent reader. 
  • Allow for reading to be an integral part of our curriculum. Lessons are sequenced to allow a range of reading skills are built in, through shared reads, guided reads, group reads and class reads.  This helps children to understand that reading is important across the curriculum. 
  • Implement a regular, consistent approach to assessment to ensure the children are given the correct reading experience at their level
  • From Nursery, WELCOMM is used to support language and understanding.
  • Parental engagement – Reception host reading meetings that introduce parents to how we teach reading at GEMS. We emphasize the parent teacher partnership in helping children learn to read. We highlight the importance of the daily dialogue through the Reading Diaries between teachers and parents to support the children. We host a Year 1 parent meeting explaining the phonic screener. EYFS Stay and Play sessions enable parents to come in and read with their children.


Key Stage 2


Individual Reading

At Godfrey Ermen, we have high expectations of individual reading - through an accurately pitched choice of reading material to encourage breadth and depth. Our individual reading books are selected to encourage pupils to develop an understanding of their reading preferences by having access to a broad range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Our Strive for Five reading initiative encourages parents to read with their children at home 5 times a week.  We develop the parent /teacher partnership with dialogue in the home reading diaries, that are monitored regularly in class. Our reading sessions provide further opportunities for pupils to read widely and often across subjects, as we provide a breadth of reading material to engage pupils and to extend their own learning. For example, weekly children’s newspapers are provided for pupils to keep abreast with current affairs; atlases, geography, history and science books are selected to extend topic research. Engaging, age-appropriate texts are provided in class libraries, and pupils are also able to read around an author. Books are displayed in attractive reading areas, with some books forward facing. Children have the opportunity to browse and select books independently.


Reading in the English teaching sequence

Our English lessons are planned around quality texts, which are mapped on our Curriculum document. The teaching sequence starts with reading, immersing the children in the text, analysing the author’s craft and developing reading for meaning. These sessions involve discussing new vocabulary; how the author presents character; describes setting; introduces themes.


Additional daily reading sessions are planned in the timetable, with a balance or 3 Reading for Pleasure sessions – using a carousel to ensure children have the opportunity to access a variety of texts.  The other 2 sessions are focussed on developing comprehension - children practise reading skills using VIPERS reading activities, which focus on the NC Reading domains. The skills taught are: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise (KS2)/Sequence (KS1) Additional reading comprehension resources used are First News, Cracking Comprehension and CPG in Year 6 .



Reading in the wider curriculum

In addition to planning for reading skills in English, teachers are now planning for the application of higher order comprehension skills in other subjects. Each class has a selection of broader curriculum books, which children have access to for independent research. In curriculum lessons children have the opportunity to apply reading skills in a variety of ways, for example: comparing historical sources to identify similarities and differences in the lives of the rich and poor; making inferences on the lives of influential people; summarising the main events of an historical event; using skimming and scanning skills to locate scientific vocabulary.





To develop children’s writing we deliver:

  •  Pre-writing sessions to support gross motor and fine motor development - Squiggle while you Wiggle – dancing to music. It is a kinaesthetic approach to stimulate early writing. Through Squiggle While You Wiggle, children begin using 'Flipper Flappers' to rehearse a range of shapes, which lead to children mark-making with chunky pens, in preparation for mark –making leading into writing.
  • Crossing over the midline – dancing to music whilst using both sides of the body together and working on both the left and the right sides of the brain. This develops the part of the brain that is needed for handwriting.
  • Dough disco - manipulating playdough to music – supporting fine motor development.
  • A learning environment set up to provide plenty of opportunities for the children to make marks and write independently.
  •  Outdoor mark making opportunities to support writing development.
  • Weekly writing challenges to provide opportunities for the children to apply their learning independently.
  •  Conversation, story-telling and role play, children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, which provides building blocks for language development leading to writing.
  • Helicopter Stories give the children opportunities to tell their own stories - They “offer a bridge into the world of creative writing, as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.” Tricia Lee Artist Director Make Believe Arts.
  • Working memory plays an important role in concentration and in following instructions. These skills support learning in many different subject areas including reading and writing.
    To support working memory development, challenges will be set up in the provision, with auditory and visual memory activities.
  • Weekly focus writing session with an adult.


KS1 and KS2


The English teaching sequence is delivered through a whole text approach, using quality texts. After engaging the children in the initial reading sessions, we move on to developing the children’s writing. This process involves choosing text types that are linked to the themes or content of the book. Pupils learn writing skills through analysing the author’s craft, imitating the teacher’s modelled writing and then developing the confidence and understanding to innovate and invent their own writing.  They are supported in planning, editing and improving their writing with differentiated Steps to Success, appropriate scaffolds, feedback in marking and pupil/teacher discussion. 



Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation


  • Daily phonics – teachers in Reception and KS1 follow a systematic phonics scheme (RWInc) to teach children phoneme-grapheme correspondence, as well as children’s blending and segmenting skills which support spelling.
  • In KS1 Common Exception words are learnt, practised and applied throughout the week – these are displayed in class to support children’s writing and shared with parents on Seesaw
  • In Y2 and Y3 children have daily RWI Spelling sessions
  • In Y4 – Y6 children are taught spelling patterns and strategies from No Nonsense Spelling
  • In KS2 children also practise and learn how to spell the National Curriculum spellings in their spelling sessions
  •  Grammar and punctuation are taught both discretely and at the process of writing, through shared and guided writing sessions
  •  Examples of good writing are shared so that the children understand what a good piece of work looks like.
  •  New/ambitious vocabulary linked to the reading or writing task is developed through ‘Fab. Vocabulary’ (KS2) or ‘Fab Words’ (KS1) sessions




  •   In EYFS we deliver pre-writing sessions to support gross motor and fine motor development - Squiggle while you Wiggle – dancing to music is a kinaesthetic approach to stimulate early writing. Through ‘Squiggle While You Wiggle’, children begin using 'Flipper Flappers' to rehearse a range of shapes, which lead to children mark-making with chunky pens, in preparation for mark –making leading into writing.
  • Crossing over the midline – dancing to music whilst using both sides of the body together and working on both the left and the right sides of the brain. This develops the part of the brain that is needed for handwriting.
  • Dough disco - manipulating playdough to music – supporting fine motor development.
  • Letter formation is introduced in daily RWI sessions and practised throughout the week.
  • In KS1 Fine motor skill activities are implemented in KS1 (Dough Disco, threading, peg boards) to allow children to strengthen their fingers ready for writing.
  • In KS1 and KS2 Penpals handwriting scheme is implemented at least twice a week.
  • Correct letter formation is displayed to support the children during writing activities.


Speaking and Listening


Children are taught to express their feelings and opinions coherently, and listen to and respond appropriately to a range of situations. In the Early Years setting, children develop speaking and listening skills through role play, and teacher modelling. Rhymes and poems are shared weekly. The repetitive language supports the practice of speaking and listening. Circle times sessions are planned for news/Wellcomm activities/talking about stories we have read/discussions of topics/following instructions with 2 or more parts/asking and answering questions linked to topics and themes and showing an awareness of the listener when talking. As children move through KS1 and KS2, they will participate in a variety of speaking and listening experiences; learning to present their ideas and understanding with confidence, whilst valuing the views of others. Activities such as sharing their work to the class; explaining maths understanding; performance in drama and class assemblies; participating in debate and discussion. 


In the long term the pupils at Godfrey Ermen School will:

  • Succeed in English lessons, due to appropriately matched support
  • Be able to read fluently, both for pleasure and to aid their understanding of learning
  • Enjoy writing across a range of genres
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary, with ambitious choices in their writing
  • Adapt their writing to suit the audience and purpose
  • Effectively edit and improve their writing
  • Effectively apply spelling patterns and grammar rules in their writing
  • Demonstrate fluent and effective handwriting skills
  • Be confident in the art of speaking and listening, communicating confidently and effectively
  • Make good and better progress from their starting points to achieve their full potential


We measure the impact of our curriculum through regular formative and summative assessments. Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and is used to provide children with clear and regular support and feedback, and inform teachers’ planning.

Assessments that take place are:

  •  ‘The Phonic Screener’ at the end of Year 1 and 2.
  • Regular individual reading
  • Marking of reading skills/comprehension
  • RWI assessments
  •  ‘The Salford Sentence Reading Test’ – reading ages – twice a year
  • Cornerstones Termly Reading Assessments – reading comprehension
  • Gap Analysis of Cornerstones Reading tests to inform planning
  • Clive Davis Writing Assessments
  • Penpals – Handwriting Scheme
  • Marking and feedback of writing
  • Rising Stars Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Termly Assessments
  • Schonell Spelling Tests – twice a year
  • Weekly spelling dictation

Other forms of measuring the impact of our curriculum are:

  • Pupil voice questionnaires
  • Parent Voice
  • Book scrutiny
  • Lesson drop-ins
  • Pupil Progress meetings
  • Teacher Performance Management

Curriculum Overview

Special Events

National Story Telling Day

World Book Day

National Poerty Day

Parent Guide to Read, Write INC

Click on the link below to find some tips on reading at home with your child!

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