Teachers plan how children will best learn the knowledge and skills involved in English. This leads to some stand-alone units of work as well as to some lessons that link to other subjects, such as History and RE. We use The National Curriculum as a guide to ensure a clear pathway of progression for our pupils as they advance through the school. A secure basis in literacy skills will give them the tools they need to succeed.

The National Curriculum: English Key Stage 1 and 2


Many of our units focus on an age-appropriate book, sometimes picture books and sometimes longer novels. These provide a jumping-off point for children to write their own compositions as well as appreciating the writer’s craft. Our pupils learn the grammar, punctuation and spelling skills used in a variety of genres enabling them to adapt their writing for specific purposes. Children complete extended writing pieces weekly and are encouraged to plan, write and edit these carefully. As a result, our pupils create pieces of writing of which they are rightly proud.


We aim to inspire an appreciation and enthusiasm for reading and a habit of regular reading. Reading is taught daily throughout the school.

In Foundation Stage and Year 1 the focus is on daily phonics sessions using Letters and Sounds. This knowledge is embedded through the use of books from the Oxford Reading Tree.

From Year 1 upwards, children have whole class guided reading lessons in which children engage with relevant and often complex texts. Class discussions will focus on the skills needed to ensure the pupils develop into good, independent readers: vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary.

All children are read to by adults every day following a specific class story. We ask that this is replicated at home through the use of reading diaries.

Visit our We Love Reading page to find a range of texts brought to life for you by members of our staff team.


Spelling rules are taught in conjunction with The National Curriciulum requirements for each year group. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, spelling is taught through phonics alongside high frequency words. In Key Stage 2, teachers use the key word lists produced by the government. Spelling forms part of our weekly homework.

The National Curriculum: Spelling

First 100 High Frequency Words

Next 200 High Frequency Words

Spelling Word List Years 3 & 4

Spelling Word List Years 5 & 6


We use the joined handwriting style known as ‘continuous cursive’. We follow the Debbie Hepplewhite Handwriting scheme. In EYFS, the focus is on developing the gross and fine motor skills required for good handwriting and the children are introduced to printed letters. From Year 1 onwards, the pupils are expected to begin joining their letters. Children use a handwriting book for handwriting lessons and transfer of skills is expected across the curriculum.

HPFS Handwriting Policy 2020