Grazeley Parochial CE (Aided) Primary School

'Be courageous; Be strong; Do everything in love'


At  Grazeley Primary School, we believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as members of society.


National Curriculum Purpose of Study

English has a distinguished place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who learn to speak, read and write fluently, confidently and effectively will be enfranchised to succeed.

Whole School Definition of English

English is the study of language (spoken and written) and literature (reading). We break this into separate lessons: phonics, spellings, handwriting, reading and writing.

“You can make anything by writing.” – C.S Lewis

How English is taught at Grazeley

Our curriculum intent:

Our Writing curriculum will enable pupils to:

  • 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; understanding 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
  • Be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop skills to read as writers (looking analytically at author’s choices) and write as readers (considering their impact on the reader).
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • To be motivated to read and write independently for purpose and pleasure.

Curriculum Implementation:

At Grazeley, we believe that the English curriculum we offer is exceptional. It provides children with enriching and engaging experiences of English, which subsequently supports children in becoming masters of the English Programme of Study.

Our objective is to ensure that as well as children enhancing their knowledge, they gain a secure understanding and love of a variety of text types and genres. We understand that reading and writing go hand-in-hand.

Our writing curriculum promotes a love of reading and writing with our children through the various opportunities to become an author, write for a range of purposes, audiences with accuracy and have the pleasure of publishing and celebrating these pieces. We stimulate children with high quality literature and nurture them to find their creative, authorial flare.


At Grazeley, our curriculum is carefully designed to instil a love of reading and writing, which encourages children to express their thoughts, views and ideas on real and fictitious worlds and to create a variety of text types and genres.

We use CLPE’s Power of Reading to provide a diverse range of high-quality children’s literature, which cover a wide variety of different topics. By covering a range and breadth of authors, illustrators and genres, we give children a rich and diverse experience of literature, the motivation and willingness to read. Each lesson is delivered with confidence and enthusiasm to model a love of literature and authorial experiences.

Text-based activities and approaches develop children’s imagination and language and vocabulary prior to writing, supporting planning and ideation for writing.

Purposeful short and long writing tasks, stimulated by the texts across a range of genres, take children through an authentic writing process from ideation to publication, proven by CLPE’s research to improve writing outcomes. For more information, please click here:

To view the text choices and extended writing outcomes, please see the whole-school English overview document.

Purposeful links to other curriculum areas where the learning from English lessons feeds core subject topics and core subject learning enhances the literacy.


Grammar and Punctuation

At Grazeley, we develop children’s knowledge of language and grammar, through context-fed and embedded work which highlights where grammatical concepts and terminology can be seen in reading and taught in context to be purposefully applied in writing. This can help children to explore their own use and application of grammar to improve ideation and self-efficacy for independent writing. We ensure that grammar is taught in progressive manner, building on prior knowledge as shown in the table (Grammar and punctuation progression).



At Grazeley, we use Kinetic Letters to teach handwriting.

The outcomes that we will strive to ensure all our pupils achieve are:

  • Having fluent, legible and speedy handwriting that can be performed automatically, so that the attention of the brain is on the content of the writing.
  • Having the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
  • Having competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition.
  • Writing clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Having a comfortable and efficient pencil hold and working position.

The programme has four threads:

  • Making bodies stronger
  • Holding the pencil (for speed, comfort and legibility)
  • Learning the letters
  • Flow and fluency

Pupils in Reception and KS1 will spend at least 20 minutes a day on activities that are part of the Kinetic Letters programme.  Handwriting is taught in discrete sessions, separate from Phonics or English.  Thereafter, time allocation to maintain handwriting development and increase speed and flow, will be regular but at the discretion of the class teacher so long as appropriate progression continues to be made. Handwriting practice takes place on the 6-lined (or 3-lined or 9-lined if appropriate) Kinetic Letters whiteboards, with a transition to books via the “practice patch”.

By the end of KS1, each pupil should be working at the national standard, and most should be working at a greater depth.  Children will be using some of the strokes needed to join letters; teaching this will start in Year 2.

By the end of KS2, most pupils should be working at a greater depth than the expected standard.  Pupils should be clear about what standard of handwriting is appropriate for a particular task (e.g., quick notes or a final handwritten version).



At Grazeley, we follow the Read, Write Inc Spellings scheme from Year 2.

Spelling rules and/or patterns will be explicitly taught in lesson 1 of the week and opportunities to follow up and practise the patterns taught through dots and dashes, Word changers, choose the right word, four in a row, dictation as well as teachers own planned activities will form the basis of the additional three lessons.


Assessment of spelling

Assessment of spelling is built into the activities for every unit of spelling, the following are fun and motivating partner and team games:

  • Speed-spell tests children’s knowledge of words from previous units
  • Team teach and Four-in-a-row help children assess their own progress
  • Jumping red/orange words tests children’s knowledge of red and orange words (words from the word lists in the National Curriculum in England).

Other tests are used to assess children’s ongoing progress at the end of each half term. Teachers then use this information to identify gaps and plan next steps for consolidation.

End of year practice tests are used termly as summative assessments.


Assessment of writing:

Writing is assessed using a triangulated approach. We use Focus Education judgement criteria, alongside national exemplification and moderation materials alongside teacher assessment to determine whether children are working at age-related expectations.

We moderate writing internally and externally in-line with the Local Authority expectations.




At Grazeley School we use the Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a confident start with their literacy and language. RWI is a teaching method based on phonics (the units of sound within words) and we teach children to recognise and apply the phonics in both their reading and spelling.

Evidence suggests that fidelity to a well-structured and systematic phonics scheme is the best, and fastest way of teaching children to decode. Read, Write Inc also supports children’s ability to read high frequency, common exception words as well as teaching the skills required for effective comprehension of a text including vocabulary knowledge, reading fluency and inference and deduction skills. The ‘build a sentence’ part of a lesson also supports children’s spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.

All phonics teachers are specifically trained in delivering RWI. They have a strong knowledge of the program and how to deliver it, which is cultivated by regular CPD opportunities. Children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2, where needed, are taught in groups by these phonics teachers, in a ‘stage, not age’ approach, ensuring all children are accessing learning pitched at the correct level for them to make the best possible progress. Children begin phonics from the very beginning of their school journey, engaging in whole class speed sound lessons in EYFS, and then are assessed and moved into the most appropriate group when they are ready.

Every phonics lesson contains a speed sound session where children learn a sound and then use it to read and write words as well as a storybook reading session, where children read and explore books which contain sounds we know children can access. Children read these books multiple times through the week ensuring they are confident and successful. These are then sent home along with a linked text to read and consolidate. Parents are encouraged to hear children read regularly at home and their ‘Reading Record’ allows for clear communication about children’s reading between home and school.

Every child who is accessing daily RWI is assessed every half term. They are shown speed sounds, checked on their oral blending skills, decodable ‘green words’ and ‘nonsense words’ and are also assessed on their ability to ‘speedy read’. When ready, children are then also assessed upon their ‘word per minute’ reading speed. Children who are near the beginning of the scheme (learning to blend) and those noted to be making accelerated progress, will be assessed sooner than this so their progress is not stalled. This robust assessment process ensures children are making at least expected progress through the scheme.  Knowledge of individual children, their reading journey and their specific needs are also considered when deciding which group would be most appropriate for them.

To ensure phonics teachers are teaching to the exact needs of the children in their group, a data gap analysis is made and shared along with any other relevant notes and assessment points. Through this careful analysis, ‘spotlight children’ are identified who phonics teachers will monitor closely and focus teaching towards, to accelerate their progress. The ‘What to Teach When’ document is also used to ensure teaching is tailored to their needs.

Through careful tracking, children are also identified who would benefit from ‘Fast Track Tutoring’ a RWI program which is implemented to help ensure children make rapid progress. This is undertaken by a member of support staff each afternoon either 1:1 or in very small groups. These opportunities for over learning and consolidation are invaluable in helping to secure children’s sound recognition and reading skills. Online video resources, as well as pinny time sessions, are also used both in class and sent home, to support children further with sound retention and speedy reading.

Once children have secured their phonics knowledge and are reading with fluency, pace and expression, they will graduate from the RWI phonics scheme (usually during the first term of Year 2) and have daily reading lessons using Master Reader. Teachers use RWI grey books at first, to bridge seamlessly, the gap from phonics to the Master Reader scheme.


Master Reader

Master Reader lessons are built on strong foundations (such as the EEF’s Improving Literacy in KS2 research and cognitive load theory). This systematic approach aids the transition from phonics and decoding to fluency and comprehension. 

We have mapped out high quality children’s texts for pupils to read (please see whole-school Master Reader overview document).

Master Reader lessons follow a cycle of shared reading, teaching vocabulary, direct teaching of key reading skills (prediction, retrieval, inference, vocabulary, author’s choice) and fluency practice. The focus will continue to be on pupils’ comprehension of what they have read. The knowledge and skills that pupils need to comprehend are very similar at different ages. The complexity of the text choices and the writing therein increases the level of challenge.

Assessment of reading (formative) takes place weekly during the sessions. Summative assessment takes place termly.

Curriculum Overview

Grammar and Punctuation Progression