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English is taught every day from Reception to Year 6.  We use a variety of teaching and learning styles to develop our children’s ability to read, write, speak and listen actively in English for different purposes and across a wide range of genres. Our children develop new skills through daily English lessons, enjoying whole class, small group and individual activities.


Our Vision for Reading:

  • Every child will love books
  • Every child will become a fluent reader
  • Every child will become an active, lifelong reader

    Throughout their time at Finchingfield CE VC Primary School, our children are exposed to a carefully selected range of rich and challenging texts with a view to developing their love of reading and their knowledge of a wide range of genres, in line with the new Primary Curriculum and our whole school commitment to placing reading at the centre of learning.  

    The teaching of reading covers two distinct areas: 

  • technical reading skills (decoding)
  • reading with understanding (comprehension)


    Our children are taught a range of strategies in order to help them read fluently, including whole word reading and phonics using Letters and Sounds. Phonics lessons are taught daily at a level appropriate to each child's learning from Reception to Year 2, where they learn to recognise and apply the sounds made by individual letters, e.g. s, a, t, i, p and by groups of letters e.g. -ay, -ee, -oo.

    Our children gradually learn to practise and apply their knowledge of sounds through reading a range of carefully written texts - including Storyworlds, Bug Club and Oxford Reading Tree books - and by writing simple sentences.

    All children are given a statutory phonics test to assess their single word reading skills at the end of Year 1. Those who are still not secure with decoding after the end of Year 1 are given additional small group support.


    Comprehension is central to reading and our children are given opportunities to improve their comprehension skills throughout their time at Finchingfield Primary School. This happens through a range of whole class (shared reading) and small group (guided reading) activities. Our children read and listen to a range of carefully selected high quality texts, which stimulate them as readers, writers and thinkers. We are an Accelerated Reader school and our more confident readers enjoy completing online quizzes when they finish each book, to check their understanding of texts and ensure the right level of challenge.


    We believe that our children write well if they are stimulated by high quality texts and genres that are modelled for them. Our English curriculum has been written to ensure that our children have high quality models to draw on in their own writing, and that they learn to think as writers, working with audience, purpose and composition in mind.

    Where appropriate, writing is linked to topics, for example the graphic novel – The Iron Man – links to Cat Class’ Stone Age to Iron Age learning.

    Our children are taught a variety of writing styles, such as narrative, persuasive, journalistic, recounting and reporting. They learn how to vary sentences, make interesting and ambitious word choices, and use grammar and punctuation correctly. Each piece of written work is carefully supported through the use of learning objectives and success criteria to enable the achievement of these. Work is then marked by highlighting real successes (purple for ‘perfect’) and areas for improvement (green for “growth”). The children ‘polish’ their work with a pink pen.

    Spelling and grammar

    Our curriculum fully reflects the more rigorous emphasis on the teaching of spelling and grammar in primary schools. Children are taught explicit grammar and spelling skills in weekly lessons. Grammar skills are then practised during writing lessons, and spelling rules and conventions are taught before being learnt and practised for homework.


    Our children are taught a cursive handwriting style from Reception. They are encouraged to join once their handwriting is correctly formed and of a consistent size. Constantly neat and joined writing is rewarded with a Pen Licence.

    Whole school English Events

    We further promote a love of reading through the use of our library, author visits and AIR – Adopt an Infant Reading - time. We hold in-school reading challenges, as well as encouraging our children to take part in national events, such as National Poetry Day, World Book Day and the public library service Summer reading challenges.



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