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English at Hullavington CofE Primary and Nursery School

Our Curriculum Intent for English.

At Hullavington CE Primary and Nursery School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop chilldren’s love of reading, writing and discussion.  We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literacy heritage as well as using texts from other cultures.  We want to instil a love of reading and a habit of reading widely and often.  We want our pupils to be confident speakers and good listeners.  We want them to use discussion to communicate their thoughts, feelings and to develop their critical thinking skills, deepening their learning further.  We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where pupils take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and be able to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.

We believe that pupils need to develop a secure knowledge base in English which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum.  We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our pupils the tools they need to participate as a member of society. We have listened to our pupil’s voices and we have created a curriculum that encourages them to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We have worked hard to provide our pupils with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners.


Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening.mp4

We have regular theatre companies in to model speaking, listening and performance.

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Talk and drama are extremely important tools in the teaching and learning of writing.

It is essential that pupils have opportunities to explore ideas in this way in order for them to produce effective, high quality written work.  Drama is a core part of our English curriculum.  Our Early Years classes have vibrant role play areas which are linked to their learning contexts and changed regularly.  We involve the children in the creation of these.


At Hullavington we believe that reading is the best gift that you could give your child and we recognise that reading is an essential part of all areas of learning. Pupils read in daily guided reading session and when possible individually to teachers, TA’s and volunteers.

Reading skills are considered a priority, thus enabling pupils to read fluently and with understanding, to read for information and to use with confidence a wide range of printed material. We have a range of attractive books and a variety of reading scheme books, which we add to and update regularly. Pupils are encouraged to believe in themselves as ‘readers’ and to enjoy all books; by reading and being read to at home and in school. The school library has a large selection of both fiction and non-fiction books which the children may borrow.

At Hullavington we aim to develop children who read fluently, independently, critically and widely.

We want children to have a love of reading for pleasure as well as being able to read for imformation. Good reading skills empower the learner and are essential for accessing all other curriculum areas.

In order to become successful readers, pupils need to develop a range of strategies such as being able to apply phonics, key word recognition and the use of grammatical and contextual knowledge. We teach and practise these and other reading skills through daily reading opportunities both individual and in guided reading sessions. We discuss texts with the children.

The children then practise these skills through their individual reading books, which they take home.  We grade these books at Key Stage 1 using the Book Bands system.  We also have a large stock of books which are purely decodable to give the children lots of opportunity to apply their blending skills.

At Hullavington all teachers read aloud to their class on a daily basis and regularly discuss theirs and the children’s responses to their reading. We actively encourage the children to read for pleasure through;

·        picture books sharing at Reception

·        access to our school library which contains a large stock of fiction texts as well as information books;

·        author and storyteller visits;

·        author studies as part of the English curriculum;

·        the promotion of the summer library reading challenge.


The Reading List.

Please click on the list below to find a recommended list of books children of all ages should read.  There is a summary of the books listed too which is useful.




Children are taught various strategies to help them learn to read, including phonics (sounds), whole word recognition and picture clues. In reception and Key stage 1 we use the `Letters and Sounds’ programme as a basis. Some words however are more difficult to decode. The children learn these `tricky’ words alongside their phonic activities and we often given them actions to make them easier to remember.  Learning these words is essential for fluency in reading and spelling and so they are sent home for practise.

Involvement from home is encouraged right from the start where parents are invited to see how Phonics is taught and how they can help their child by asking questions about the text.

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How we teach phonics: an overview of the 'Letters and Sounds' programme.

These are great websites for parents to use at home:









Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each.  Blending sounds together to make words.  Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each.  Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters.  Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for one phoneme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase.  Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, jump, and clap.

Phase Five

Now we move on to the "complex code".  Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


At Hullavington we believe that the ability to form letters correctly and join is fundamental to becoming a fluent writer.  We teach the correct formation of letters in Reception and pupils learn to join whenever they are assessed as being able to apply the correct formation and we believe they are ready.


During daily phonic sessions, pupils learn strategies to spell words and to formulate sentences. In reception and Key Stage One children are given daily opportunities to write freely within a particular genre and across the curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to become emergent writers.

We ensure our writers spend time preparing, mulling ideas over, finding out information, generating ideas and organising their thoughts before they start to write. They can then create simple, manageable plans to help them with the writing process. Pupils draft out their ideas, ensuring they rehearse sentences and parts of sentences to ensure it makes sense and to ensure there is a good flow. Pupils are encouraged to read aloud their writing and to work together to decide how writing can be improved.

We establish a positive climate for writing by providing pupils with,

  • Access to a wide range of quality reading including non-fiction, stories, poetry and playscripts,
  • Inviting authors, story tellers and poets into school,
  • Spreading enthusiasm for all sorts of reading and writing,
  • Creating frequent opportunities to publish writing,
  • Writing about subjects that matter to the pupils,

We teach key spelling rules and introduce pupils to vocabulary that allows them to write imaginative and creative texts. Our teaching of sentence structure and grammar encourages pupils to become competent and mature writers.  Opportunities for writing occur throughout the curriculum so that pupils learn to write for different purposes and audiences.

We are good at creating writing themes which are vibrant, fun and interesting for the writer – we like to involve the pupils when deciding writing topics.

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We like to involve our parents so that we work together as a team to develop their children’s literacy skills.  We run workshops to explain how we teach specific aspects of literacy.  

We have run puppet making workshops and had authors in to talk with children and parents.

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