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At Pilgrims’ Cross CE Aided Primary School, we believe that reading is central to all our English Learning. We want our children to be enthusiastic and resilient readers. Using an abundance of quality, engaging texts, we believe our children will learn to love books and immerse themselves in the pleasure of reading from an early age. We believe that this innate desire to turn the page will, in turn, develop our children’s ability to become lively and prolific writers in English, and across the wider curriculum.  English writing themes are based on literature that is strongly linked to the Learning Adventure, or a well-known author. The children are given time to absorb chosen text, getting to know characters and plot, researching fact and opinion, which then acts as a stimulus and drive for exciting written pieces of their own. 

When the time comes for children to leave Pilgrims’ Cross, we are committed to ensuring they are equipped with the essential literacy skills and passion for reading that will fully prepare them for the learning challenges and opportunities still to come.


School Sub-intent for English


National Curriculum for English 


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

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 their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences  use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas  are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Spoken language

The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their English – key stages 1 and 2 4 misconceptions. Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate. All pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances. Statutory requirements which underpin all aspects of spoken language across the six years of primary education form part of the national curriculum. These are reflected and contextualised within the reading and writing domains which follow.


The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:  word reading  comprehension (both listening and reading). It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:  transcription (spelling and handwriting)  composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.




The school teaches phonics through the 'Little Wandle' programme. This enables us to teach phonics in a structured, fun and progressive way with the flexibility to incorporate phonics games and other phonics activities.

The learning of phonics leads onto then children being taught how to blend their phonics into words and reading phonics based books. In year R the children read individually with their teacher to personally develop their application of their phonics and as this teaching develops in to GUIDED READING from Year 1 upwards.


Guided Reading is group reading where the children are focusing on an aspect of reading that is new to them and progresses on to aspects of reading such as empathy and inference. These Guided Reading Session include direct group teaching of reading, as a whole class or small groups. This teaching is complimented by different reading activities that cover the different aspoects of the reading and spoken language curriculum. The school uses a range of books to support the children to develop their reading skills and the library is well sourced with a range of fiction and non-fiction books.


Reading Key Objectives are also taught as part of English Mini-Learning Adventures alongside Writing Objectives within English Mini-Learning Adventures - more information at the bottom of this page:







Reading @ Pilgrims' Cross