English Overview

Our Vision

Our aim, at East Claydon C of E School, is to expose the pupils to a rich and stimulating learning environment which fully supports every child on the journey to becoming a confident reader and writer.

 From the very beginning of their learning journey with us, we encourage all children to build a passion for writing, spending a lot of time with our youngest pupils on developing the ability to simply write letters and sounds in a variety of engaging ways. Children enjoy lots of multi-sensory letter formation fun using playdough, magnets, pipe cleaners and even sand and herbs, in addition to regular mark making using pencils, chalk and paint. While learning the practicalities of word writing through progressive phonics lessons, the children are also exposed to a range of fun and inspirational texts. Enjoying these stories helps them to understand what it is to be a reader and writer.

Alongside this, we also encourage children to talk about and plan their ideas before embarking upon the writing process. We provide the children with lots of discussion opportunities during English sessions. These include taking part in practical activities, the use of drama and the arts, and where possible, linking school trips or visitors, which provide the children with exciting and engaging personal experiences from which to draw. These opportunities continue into more specific practical tools to develop their imaginations such as hot seating characters to interview them, reinventing dialogue, acting out parts or creating freeze frames to represent key events in a story. This style of learning allows the children to truly enjoy the process of planning their own writing and visualise it before they sit down and record their ideas.

As they develop their skills, children begin to confidently prepare for independent writing. They become excited to develop their own texts and we encourage them to be bold and imaginative. While maintaining an understanding of what is expected from our children according to the National Curriculum, we expand our lessons to include a wide selection of text types including narrative, letters, instructions, non-chronological reports, information texts, recounts, poetry, plays, songs and diaries. These often stem from our termly themes and are always linked to a quality text that provides a starting point for learning and helps motivate and involve all our pupils. In both Key Stages children will have weekly grammar focus areas that support and enrich the writing process.

The final step in their English journey is often the most challenging; the ability to review, edit and improve work. Through our school ethos and practice of ‘growth mindset’, our children are continuously learning how to become better learners and we encourage this whole-heartedly throughout our English lessons. We provide the children with the techniques they need to become reflective, reviewing their own work and supporting peers in this process, encouraging them to identify what has made their work fantastic or requires improvement. We teach them that it is fine to make mistakes and go off track. The children know that the worst thing about making a mistake is being afraid to make one! Giving children the confidence to make mistakes and reflect upon them, allows them to become resilient writers who are excited to edit and improve their work every time.

The core learning and knowledge comes from the Primary English curriculum:

  • Reading:

    • Emphasis on phonics, comprehension, and fluency.
    • Encourages decoding skills for unfamiliar words.
    • Reading for pleasure and exposure to diverse literature.
  • Writing:

    • Development of spelling, composition, and grammar skills.
    • Encourages creative and structured writing.
    • Emphasis on handwriting and organization of ideas.
  • Spoken Language:

    • Developing effective spoken language skills.
    • Participating in discussions, presentations, and group interactions.
    • Fostering listening skills and response comprehension.


Underpinning our English lessons are daily phonics sessions that help children build a repertoire of skills from which they can confidently draw when reading and writing. In order to plan the most effective phonics lessons, we are in the process of implementing 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' as our DfE approved phonics programme.


From Reception to Year 1, the children are taught in 30-minute sessions each day to meet individual learning needs. Daily lessons follow the weekly grid and we follow the repeated practice approach to learning is reinforced and applied. We only use direct teaching and the teacher only uses physical grapheme and word cards. We follow the programme progression and teach the graphemes in the same order.

In Key Stage 2 children have a daily spelling session. We work on a two-yearly cycle and follow a specific spelling programme. Children from Year 2 through to Year 6 follow the 2Simple Spelling Scheme from Purple Mash.

Learning environment

Around the school, we ensure there is a consistent focus on English within the environment, surrounding the children with encouraging displays and resources that will continually develop their skills and understanding. Our use of working walls in each classroom allow the children to review their weekly learning in core subjects and help build their own bank of useful tools, which will support them throughout their learning journey. Displaying children’s writing in classrooms and around the school is also a fantastic opportunity to praise, encourage and motivate them and has a substantial effect on their motivation and self-confidence, as well as allowing visitors and staff to see how well our children are developing.

Learning at home

How you can help:

There are so many ways to support your child at home to help them develop key English skills.

  • Make reading a key part of your daily routine. Sometimes, particularly after a tiring school day, your child may not want to sit and read their school reading book to you. Reading with, or even to, your child can still be beneficial, helping children to learn pronunciation and expression through hearing the story read aloud.
  • Make it fun. We do hope that parents will find time to read with children at least three times a week. However you decide to approach reading at home, it is important that it is an enjoyable activity and not a chore, so above all, enjoy what you read together!
  • Be a role model. Spend time discussing reading choices, sharing books and other texts you are reading. Helping children to understand the pleasure that can be derived from reading plays a key part in shaping their attitude as they progress on their own reading journeys.
  • Play with phonics. Use sound flashcards or use the games on www.phonicsplay.co.uk to encourage your child to practice their sounds.
  • Handwriting help. Encourage your child to develop their cursive handwriting. We teach a continuous cursive style from the end of Year 1 onwards. Teachers can provide extra sheets or activities to help with fine motor control and letter formation.
  • Support with spelling. In Key Stage 2 children come home with weekly spellings, we ask that you please spend some time encouraging your child to learn these words. In school we look at not simply whether children can learn the words for a test, but whether they can apply the words correctly within their independent writing. If you would like some ideas for strategies to help with learning spellings please ask Mrs K Duxbury.

Keeping children engaged

As a school we aim to inspire our children so that they really enjoy reading and writing. Teachers work hard to ensure that myriad opportunities are provided for children to see their writing as purposeful and exciting. We take part in many external initiatives and we love it when parents get involved and encourage children to participate.  Please watch out for information about the next class/whole school writing project via class dojo.  We look forward to working together with parents to inspire our next generation of children who love to read, are inspired to write and excited about learning.



At East Claydon we want all children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential.

Our aims are to

· Guide and nurture every pupil on their own personal journey to becoming successful writers.

· Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance all pupils.

· We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary and to be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.

· We want all children to have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing.

· We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

· We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, cursive, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.

· We want every child to have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard children to becoming fluent writers.

· To plan a progressive curriculum to build upon previous teaching, with regular assessment to ensure each child’s needs are met to reach their full potential



At East Claydon, writing is taught 4x per week across the whole school. Each class studies a different high-quality text, lasting from a few weeks to a whole term depending on text type, length and year group. In EYFS the texts and stories are appropriately shorter and usually linked to the topic/theme. In KS2, this text is often the same text that is studied during weekly Guided Reading sessions. We passionately believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked therefore studying the text in both reading and writing sessions encourages children to make links and become empathetic and ambitious writers.

Long, medium and short term planning and the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school.

Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum, especially in ‘Topic’ lessons. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons and apply this learning to a topic focus.

Through the writing process, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.

Children have opportunities to reflect upon and improve writing through editing with continuous self, peer and teacher assessment providing clear next steps for learning.

Within each unit of work, sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon and that National Curriculum objectives are taught through a combination of approaches/opportunities e.g.

· Opportunities to participate in drama & spoken language activities

· Exploring the features of different text types and modelled examples (E.g. Spotting features in a WAGOLL      – What a good one looks like)

· Handwriting practise

· Vocabulary practise

· Shared writing (modelled expectations)

· Discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons

· Independent writing

· Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting

· Performing



Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.

· Formative assessment

· Constructive marking with ‘next steps’ and ‘modelling’ where appropriate. Teachers leave next steps in          books when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in        their writing and children are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen.

· Where possible ‘live marking’ during the writing session is used to help pupils address issues and ‘uplevel’ work in the moment.

· 2 pieces of ‘Best Writing’ per term are kept for every child in our Pupil Progression Folders

· An exemplar folder of writing pieces from each year group across school is regularly updated, with writing    from those pupils who are working towards, are at or exceeding age related expectations.

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2, children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.

At East Claydon we are ambitious for all our children and strive to ensure that we provide all children with the skills needed for them to become successful writers, no matter what their starting point, background or additional needs.