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.

Reading Learning Journey

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Writing Learning Journey

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Our English Curriculum

At The Devonshire Hill Nursery and Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for English. Below are details of specific elements of our practice:


Phonics is taught daily in Reception and Year 1.  Children build up to being taught how to sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly. The school follows the Letters and Sounds programme in Nursery and the children then transition onto the Read, Write Inc. programme in preparation for Reception.

Reading Scheme & Guided Reading

Guided reading is taught every day from Year 1 – Year 6.  The school uses the Collins Big Cat scheme to plan and teach targeted guided reading lessons. All children are heard read at least once a week by the class teacher during these sessions. They then take home their reading book to practice across the week. Children in Reception, years 1 & 2 take home three books, each week, their reading book, a book of a similar challenge and a book of their choice. Children in years 3-6 take home their reading scheme book and a library loan book. Once a child has completed the reading scheme and are confident, fluent readers they then access books freely from the school library.

Reading for pleasure

Children have many opportunities to read for pleasure at school. All children have regular access to a well-stocked library whereby they can loan a book of their choice to read in class and take home to read.  All classes have books in their classroom that support the learning across all subjects each half term. So there is always something for everyone to enjoy!

Reading comprehension

Teachers model a range of strategies in English lessons to enable all pupils to effectively comprehend text.  We use a high quality key focus text for each half term that provides the starting point for English lessons. All children in years 3-6 are taught reading comprehension using the Destination Reader Programme.


We follow the Penpals Handwriting Scheme and use explicit teacher modelling as well as interactive teaching software to support and demonstrate the correct formation of each letter and join.


Writing has a well-developed profile at our school and is actively taught in addition to the English lesson through cross curricular writing during other subjects.  We use both shared and guided writing and include brief, frequent mini-plenaries to encourage children to self-assess and amend their writing composition accordingly.

Spelling, punctuation & grammar (SPAG)

SPAG lessons take place daily in Years 1 – 6 and children are taught to identify, apply and evaluate concepts set out in the National Curriculum.

Spoken language

We promote children’s’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills throughout the curriculum. We maximise opportunities to ask pupils to explain their understanding of books and other reading materials, and to talk through their ideas before they write. Children are always encouraged to speak in full grammatically correct sentences.

Literacy development in The Early Years Foundation Stage

In The Early Years Foundation Stage Literacy development involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children are given access to a wide range of reading and writing materials both in the indoor and outdoor environments and we actively promote early development and fostering of these key skills.

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