Skip to content ↓

Whixall C.E. Primary School and Nursery



English at Whixall CE Primary School

At Whixall CE Primary School, we intend for all our children to experience an inspiring, language-rich and motivational English environment. We aim to foster a love of books and reading, alongside a positive culture of writing, for a variety of purposes and audiences and across all subjects within our broad curriculum.

Our youngest children will begin their early reading and writing development supported by excellent synthetic phonics teaching, giving them the skills needed to confidently segment, decode and build words. During their time at Whixall CE Primary School, all children will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide variety of texts. Through shared texts and explicit teaching, they will experience a wide range of vocabulary, giving them the understanding and power of language that they need to flourish.

Our intention is that every child will leave our school as an able and independent communicator, with the confidence and skills required to read and write fluently. They will be well prepared in all aspects of English and fully equipped to become life-long learners.

Our intentions in writing are for children to:

  • write for a purpose;
  • see themselves as real writers;
  • take ownership of their writing;
  • see writing as an interesting and enjoyable process;
  • acquire the ability to organise, plan and edit their written work.

Our intentions in reading are for children to:

  • have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read;
  • become enthusiastic and motivated readers;
  • have a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure;
  • develop confidence in reading a variety of genres and acquire a wide vocabulary.

Our intentions in Speaking and Listening are for children to:

  • be encouraged to speak with confidence, clarity and fluency.
  • recognise the value of listening;
  • be encouraged to have the self-esteem to be confident in the value of their own opinions and to be able to express them to others;
  • be able to adapt the use of language for a range of different purposes and audiences, including using Standard English;
  • learn to converse, sustain a logical argument and respond to others appropriately.


In EYFS, reading is an integral part of the day. It follows the EYFS curriculum to ensure that children develop their reading skills and a love of reading. Adults read to their classes daily, using a variety of texts ranging from fiction and non-fiction to rhymes and poems. Drama and role-play are actively encouraged to develop these stories.

Phonics is a fundamental part of the teaching of early reading. In Reception, teachers follow Floppy’s Phonics, which is a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. Children are regularly assessed to ensure progress. Parents and carers receive information to support their children at home.

Throughout school, we develop children’s reading skills through individual and guided reading sessions.  During guided reading, children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and discuss texts in detail. At an age-appropriate level, they are taught skills for retrieving and inferring ideas from a range of texts. Suitable follow-up tasks are provided to further support children in developing specific reading skills. As children move through the school, opportunities to read independently for a sustained period are afforded to them. Teachers and other adults model reading through individual and guided sessions, as well as by sharing stimulating class texts.

Home reading books and phonics reading books are organised on a banding system ensuring the children read appropriate books to develop and challenge them.  From Reception, every child takes home a decodable book matched to the phonics taught in class and a book of their choice.  These books are sent home on a daily basis for families to read with their children.  Each parent/carer is given the opportunity to liaise with teachers through reading record books. Children who have moved on from the reading scheme have access to free reading from the class book selection and the School Library.

Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, including visits by published authors, skilled storytellers, performances by professional theatre groups, and by making books.

Children throughout school are given a range of purposeful opportunities to promote and support writing. When planning, staff develop writing opportunities rooted in high-quality literature or first-hand experiences.

Children develop the ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Throughout school, attention is given to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation, and spelling.

Teachers model different writing strategies during shared writing. Guided writing sessions are used to target the specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children also have opportunities to write at length in extended writing sessions.

Opportunities are also made for cross-curricular links, which make writing more meaningful for children. Teachers plan for the children to practise and apply the skills, knowledge, and understanding acquired through English lessons to other areas of the curriculum.

To develop our children as writers we:

  • treat children as writers, from the earliest stage, who have ideas that they want to communicate, building on writing skills they have acquired and their knowledge of print from their environment;
  • provide experiences where children can acquire confidence and a positive attitude to writing;
  • develop and sustain writing skills by providing opportunities for children to write for a range of purposes and audiences;
  • use guided writing sessions to model writing skills, teaching children how to compose, amend and revise their writing;
  • teach children to become critical readers of their writing by using self-evaluation and checking their work independently for sense, accuracy, and meaning;
  • teach grammar and punctuation in the context of children’s own writing, as well as through discrete lessons;
  • teach children to develop their ability to organise and present imaginative and/or factual writing and poetry in different ways;
  • teach strategies for spelling to enable children to become confident and competent spellers;
  • develop a legible, neat, cursive handwriting style with increasing regard to presentation.

In EYFS and KS1, daily phonics is the key to children’s learning of spelling. This is taught using Floppy’s Phonics. Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time, they learn words that are not phonically regular (common exception words).

From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology and etymology of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle common exception words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers.

Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening feature extensively in both our English lessons and other curriculum areas. We promote the development and extension of children’s spoken vocabulary which, as well as giving them the tools to articulate themselves effectively, builds their understanding of written text and their written language skills. Children are given opportunities to take part in role-play, participate in debates, and learn and perform texts. This helps them to build self-confidence and effective communication skills.

The impact of our English curriculum is a community of enthusiastic readers and writers, who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children achieve highly in the phonics screening check, and at the end of the EYFS.  Data for the end of Key Stage 2 assessments shows that our children are consistently meeting, or exceeding, the national percentage of children achieving the expected standards in Reading and Writing. Outcomes of work in both English and topic books evidence the high expectations of written work - selecting cross-curricular texts supports this writing as well as competencies across the curriculum. Children write successfully across a range of forms and adapt their writing considering the purpose and audience.

Writing Long-Term Plan