At Kingsmead Primary School we strive to develop the confidence in reading and writing that children will need to make a difference in the world. We recognise that an ability to read is a passport to new knowledge and the key to enjoyment across the wider curriculum. In terms of writing, we want all children to leave Kingsmead Primary School as flexible writers who are able to write effectively across a range of genres with a sound understanding of purpose and audience to equip them for real-life situations later in life. Our English curriculum intends to equip all children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, a wide and varied vocabulary and a love of literature that will serve them well in whatever path they choose.

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 language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

• Use discussion in order to learn

• Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening

"Reading and writing is amazing as it lets you explore your imagination and get lost in a book. My favourite thing is writing a story and letting your mind run wild" - Daisy 

"Reading is amazing because it expands your imagination and gets you ready for the future" - Lottie 



All children in EYFS and KS1 receive daily phonics sessions through the Twinkl Phonics DfE approved teaching scheme. Beginning with single letter sounds at the start of EYFS and building up to fluent and confident reading of unfamiliar words and texts at the end of Year 2. The teaching is cumulative and carefully sequenced across 3 years. In Year 1 and 2, children begin to take part in weekly guided reading sessions in a small group, giving the teacher the opportunity to give more individualised reading feedback and to foster early reading comprehension skills.


In both LKS2 and UKS2, children engage in daily taught reading sessions.  These may occur in the format of guided reading with small groups or whole class reading of a shared text or a combination of both.  A variety of genres are utilised, including short stories, picture books, traditional tales, myths and legends, poetry, nonfiction and whole texts.  Children are explicitly taught comprehension skills to improve their understanding and expand their vocabulary.  Children who are struggling readers are given additional opportunities for either 1:1 or small group support as needed.  Additionally, all children are given opportunities for independent reading and regular Book Banter sessions occur to offer children the opportunity to learn about different authors and text types and to identify as a lifelong reader.  Children’s decoding ability is assessed in KS2 using benchmarking until fluency is achieved.  Reading comprehension is assessed termly in KS2 using NFER reading assessments.  

All children at Kingsmead benefit from reading 5 times a week with an adult at home. In EYFS and KS1, children read a decodable book linked to their phonics sessions in school. Children are also encouraged to take home books to ‘read for pleasure’ - in EYFS & KS1 this is called ‘Book for Bedtime’ and is changed weekly. Reading for pleasure is a key priority for us so daily story-time and opportunities for book talk and free-reading are woven into our day. 

Spelling, Handwriting and Grammar:


Children learn how to form letters using pre-cursive in EYFS, progressing to cursive handwriting in Year 1, leading into joined handwriting in Year 2. Handwriting is taught discretely, through small group sessions, taking place on a weekly basis. Grammar is taught during 1x weekly in our phonics sessions and in English lessons as part of our Pathways to Write scheme. 


At Kingsmead, we utilise Spelling Shed to teach spelling throughout KS2.  These lessons incorporate morphology, etymology and phonics to build on children’s prior phonic knowledge and help them to make links between word families and develop vocabulary.  Spelling is assessed through low-stakes weekly quizzes and a SWST (Single Word Spelling Test) assessment annually. 

Children continue to practise handwriting skills through brief handwriting sessions. Often these include the weekly spelling words or the statutory spellings for each phase.  Grammar is taught during our English lessons as part of our Pathways to Write scheme.  Grammar is assessed both in writing moderation and using NFER grammar assessments.

"I really like English because you can imagine yourself in the stories you read and I love making up my own characters!" - William 

"English is fun - you get to write stories, myths and so much more." - Edward 


At Kingsmead, we utilise Pathways to Write by The Literacy Company to teach children how to write a variety of text types, including fiction and nonfiction.  Units of work are delivered in Years 1-6 using high quality, engaging texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities to write a variety of text types, including fiction and nonfiction texts. Skills are built up through repetition within the units and children apply these skills in the writing activities provided.  Grammar is taught explicitly within these units with extensive modelling and practice. 


At Kingsmead Primary School, we follow the Voice 21 Framework for oracy, covering four key strands: Physical, Cognitive, Linguistic, and Social/Emotional. Oracy skills are integrated into our broad curriculum, fostering confident, clear, and fluent communication across all subjects. Our approach provides opportunity for discussions, debates, role play, reasoning, and sharing experiences. We emphasise the importance of expressing individual opinions, while also teaching children to consider and respond to the perspectives of others.

Progression across Year Groups

Phonics & reading:

In Phonics, we follow the Twinkl Phonics scheme which runs from EYFS to the end of Year 2. The scheme teaches children to read and write sounds and ‘common exception’ words (words that are not phonically decodable).

In EYFS, children begin to learn the foundations of phonics, developing listening skills and discriminating between sounds in the environment. They quickly move onto Level 2, 3 and 4 sounds and are given opportunities to practise reading and writing these sounds throughout the curriculum. 

In Key Stage 1, children continue to revisit and review sounds from Level 2, 3 and 4 and are introduced to Level 5 sounds. By Year 2, it is expected that the majority of children will have secure phonics knowledge and will be able to move on to Level 6, focussing more on spelling patterns and rules. Those that are not yet secure continue to receive additional phonics support to ensure all children keep up.

In Key Stage 2, the vast majority of children will be ready to move beyond phonics. Those that don’t will have significant SEND and will receive appropriate reading support. Children in KS2 read colour-banded books (books that increase in complexity and difficulty) up until Grey. After this, children become free-readers and are taught specific reading skills during whole-class guided reading sessions. Our spelling programme, Spelling Shed, builds upon children’s phonics foundation. 

"I love English and reading because the teachers always make the lessons fun and we learn lots of different things" - Amy 

"Reading expands your life to a bigger world. I love when you get lost in reading - sometimes I can't get back out of it!"- Sophie H 


The Voice 21 framework allows us to focus on specific skills in oracy across the phases at Kingsmead and ensure progression year on year.


In Key Stage 1 and 2:


We will be able to see that the children are enthusiastic and confident about reading and writing. We will see that they are able to recall prior learning and apply it in a range of contexts, for example, when demonstrating their understanding in our foundation subjects. We will see that children will have developed automaticity in the required skills they need by the end of each year. This will ensure children start their next year of learning with the necessary skills and knowledge.

If you were to walk into an English lesson at Kingsmead you would see: