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At West Acton we believe that a high-quality curriculum in English will support pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development.

The key purpose of English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by giving pupils a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

In early reading and writing, children are taught to develop their phonological awareness through the Read Write Inc program, which is a systematic and structured approach to phonics. These daily phonics lessons enable children to use their phonic knowledge to read and spell. Once children have acquired the skills to segment for spelling and blend for reading they are taught to develop their comprehension skills.

Year Group

Examples of English skills


  • Develop listening skills and attention in order to discriminate between different sounds.
  • Build their awareness of the way in which stories are structured and describe main story settings, events and characters.
  • To begin to ascribe meaning to marks they draw and paint and those which they see in different places.


  • Develop blending of simple sounds for reading and segmenting for writing
  • Read common irregular but high frequency words
  • Develop reading for meaning
  • To write simple sentences which can be read by others


  • Build vocabulary
  • Build up their fluency and confidence in word reading
  • Sequencing sentences to form short narratives


  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered
  • Answering and asking questions about books
  • Writing for different purposes – about real and fictional events and poetry


  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • Begin to organise paragraphs around a theme
  • In narratives, creating settings, characters and plot


  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning
  • In non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices [for example, headings and sub-heading


  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • In writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed


  • Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through formal presentations and debates, maintaining a focus on the topic and using notes where necessary
  • Using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs
  • Proof read and edit their work

We expect that children will take pride in the presentation of their writing developing a handwriting style that is legible, joined and fluent. We use the Nelson handwriting script across the school.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar is an important part of a child’s increasing confidence in reading and writing. We teach spelling patterns from year two onwards. We integrate learning about punctuation and grammar into our English lessons, allowing opportunities for the children to apply their learning independently in their writing.