Palterton Primary School

English, including Phonics at Palterton Primary

At Palterton Primary School, we know that good English teaching and learning is the key to our children accessing the rest of the curriculum having the skills for future life and learning. We also believe that reading, writing, talking and listening should be inspiring, rewarding and fun. 

English Intent - what is English for?

At Palterton Primary school, we believe we should give children knowledge, skills and values that will aid them in their future education and continue through their lives.

Being a competent and fluent reader is essential to current and future learning and being able to partake fully in society. Reading can open us up to new characters, places and experiences, and other points of view. We want our children to be lifelong readers.

We teach decoding skills through a systematic programme of phonics (No Nonsense Phonics).  Alongside this, we explicitly teach further decoding strategies, comprehension and inference strategies. We take time in lessons and through the learning environment to focus on and enrich children’s vocabulary. Children experience and study a range of genre. We want to give children the tools they need to read and to understand what they are reading. We listen to our children read, and we read to our children, with story time being timetabled in across all our classes. We want the children to get “hooked on books” and we actively promote this through our learning environment, reading challenges and events, as well as promoting reading at home.

We want our children to be clear and confident communicators and self-motivated learners. Children have opportunities to talk about and structure their ideas across the curriculum. They are supported in developing spoken language skills, to enable cooperation and collaboration. In writing lessons, they are taught about how different writing genre are structured and given opportunities to write for different purposes. Grammar is taught through coverage of the National curriculum objectives. They are taught how to edit and improve their work. They are supported in choosing appropriate and higher level vocabulary. Children work on developing a neat and cursive style of handwriting as they move through school, joined in Key Stage 2. We teach handwriting through the “Letterjoin” handwriting scheme. Children are encouraged to present their work in a way they can be proud of. Writing is valued through praise, reward and through being shared or displayed.

Through planning and a multi-facetted approach, we are creating a culture that is language-rich and supports children in all aspects of English learning.

English Implementation- what will children learn in English ?

We want to ensure that the children at Palterton Primary School have access to a rich and rewarding curriculum for English. Children will become familiar with a wide range of books and different genres of text. They will learn to find layers of meaning and to use understanding they gain from reading in their own writing. They will have the opportunity to write for different purposes. They will develop their abilities to write in different genre and styles. We want our children to be confident in communicating their ideas and to understand how to adapt the way they speak or write to suit different purposes.

The subject of English comprises of Reading, Writing and Spoken Language.  We believe that supporting children to develop speaking and listening skills helps them to learn to read and write, and this underpins our teaching and learning.

The teaching of early reading and writing is though Phonics. Our school follows the No nonsense phonics scheme, which is based on the Phonics International program- the two pronged approach of systematic and incidental learning. Children are also specifically taught word reading strategies. Reading strategies and Phonics teaching, revision and interventions continue through the school into Key Stage 2, to enable children to acquire the skills they need to feel confident in their learning, access the full curriculum and set them up for future life and learning.

So children can understand, fully explore and enjoy texts, we explicitly teach inference strategies for reading comprehension, building up the children’s skills as they move through the school.

Spelling is taught through the use No Nonsense Spelling program, to systematically work through spelling patterns and rules. Weekly grammar lessons follow the expectations in the National curriculum.

Our teachers teach the elements of the English Curriculum explicitly and systematically, whilst making links between different skills and learning. We aim to make our English learning enjoyable, whilst giving children the tools for lifelong learning.

Spoken Language

Teachers at Palterton, understand the importance of language skills in all aspects of learning. We plan opportunities to talk into lessons, so children can have a chance to discuss ideas, formulate sentences and work collaboratively. We have a strong focus on developing vocabulary across all year groups, and we ensure that children also develop their listening skills, through working with their peers, or listening to stories. We support a strong speaking and listening culture, through the school, that enables children to learn, and to communicate with others in a positive and constructive way. In the Early Year and Key Stage 1, the classroom is set up to support opportunities for talk. This continues in the continuous provision at playtimes for all children's. Children have opportunities to take part in School Council and act as Leaders, as they progress through the school. We endeavor to give children the confidence to express themselves clearly and appropriately.


The teaching of early reading is through phonics, and children are supported with phonics skills throughout their schooling. It is the core approach to the teaching of reading. Alongside this, we teach further decoding skills, inference and comprehension skills.

Children need to learn to read accurately and understand what they have read. We also want our children to enjoy reading, and to set them up as lifelong readers, with a love of books.

Phonics teaching follows the No Nonsense Phonics Scheme (based on Phonics International). Phonics is taught daily in Early Years and Keys Stage 1, and the children practise their reading with a carefully matched decodable text. From Year 2, children usually choose texts that are levelled within "Book Bands". In Key Stage 2  children continue on Book Bands, but when appropriate, are encouraged to choose more widely, follow their interests and develop their skills as independent readers. 

Our teachers give children opportunities to read and study a range of stories, poems and non- fiction texts. They explicitly teach further decoding skills and inference skills. Children practice and are taught reading comprehensions skills. We have a consistent approach through the school, based on "emojis". 

We make sure children have time to "read for pleasure", often sharing books with friends. We develop a culture in our school where we talk about reading, share books and make recommendations. We plan reading events that promote reading and make it fun. We encourage and reward children reading at home. We want our children to love reading and continue reading as a habit beyond when they leave our school.


We want children at Palterton Primary School to be able to write clearly and confidently for a range of purposes and audiences. We want them to take care with and feel proud of their writing.

Children at Palterton School will be taught to form letters simply and correctly in Reception and Year 1, following the "Letterjoin" handwriting Scheme for Early Years. Handwriting is linked into phonics teaching initially, and follows the "Letterjoin" scheme. From Year 2, children are taught to join their handwriting. They are taught to produce neat and correctly formed cursive writing, through handwriting lessons. Grammar is taught from Key Stage 1, and follows the National Curriculum expectations. Spelling is taught in Early Years and Year 1, through the phonics teaching, but correct spellings are taught right from the start, through the two-pronged approach of systematic and incidental phonics teaching. From Year 2, the "No Nonsense Spelling Scheme" is used to teach spelling patterns and common exception words.

In planning writing activities, teachers' starting point is reading and talking. Children read and discuss examples of genre that they will eventually produce. They are given opportunities to look at the purpose of the writing, how it is set out, and the type of words used. In Early Years, there are opportunities for writing independently, and with support. As we move through school, children may over a number of lessons, build up to producing a piece of writing that they can then edit and improve, to create a final draft. We encourage children to be proud of their work and we praise and display examples of children's writing. Teachers make sure there are opportunities to study and produce a good variety of genre, and they ensure writing in other subjects has the same care and standards as in English lessons.

Back Lane, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 6UN