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Davyhulme Primary School, Davyhulme

English is integral to all aspects of school life, in addition to the timetabled English lessons. As our language, it is fundamental to communicate both orally and through the written word. It is therefore our aim to develop all children to their full potential, giving equal opportunities to every child.

We believe that successful teaching of English is essential if children are to achieve in all areas of the curriculum. We believe that developing a love of our language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life. We aim to develop our pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of speaking & listening, reading and writing. Pupils are given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught English skills.

Pupils are still working on the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage as they enter Year 1. There is a period in the Autumn term where the majority of children progress to the National Curriculum. Throughout this period and beyond, all children are still developing their phonic knowledge through the Letters and Sounds Programme and developing their fluency in reading through the use of the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and other explicitly taught reading strategies such as ‘Book Talk’ (Guided Reading) and Reading Explorers, which focuses on teaching children the skills of reading.


Phonics is a means of teaching children to read skillfully and successfully. Children are taught to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes and identify the sounds that different combinations make - such as 'sh' or 'oo'. They are then taught to blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can use this knowledge to 'de-code' new words they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Phonics lessons are taught every day for 20 minutes in Year 1. At Davyhulme Primary school, we follow the Letters and Sounds scheme which splits the teaching of phonics into phases. Alongside Letters and Sounds, we use Phonics Play.

We believe all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read a range of texts fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

Phonics works best when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading a wide range of books.

Speaking & Listening

Talking is fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. We encourage pupils to read out loud with good expression and intonation and all pupils are given the opportunity to do this during Book Talk, assemblies, during English lessons, and also through performances and our choral speaking competition.

We also impress on our pupils the importance of listening carefully to others and responding in appropriate ways. At Davyhulme Primary School, pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their speaking and listening skills, in paired, group, or whole class situations. Therefore, role play, poetry recital, and drama are key elements of speaking and listening across the school.



Reading is promoted as an enjoyable activity and a life skill throughout Davyhulme Primary School. We instil a love of reading in our pupils through well-taught, engaging lessons, author visits, allocated reading time and two well-stocked libraries.

Our aims are to enable children to:

  • develop positive attitudes towards reading, so that it is a pleasurable and meaningful activity;
  • use reading skills as an integral part of learning across the curriculum;
  • read and respond to a variety of texts whilst gaining increased levels of fluency, accuracy, independence and understanding;
  • develop different strategies for approaching reading and be able to orchestrate the full range of strategies.

In order for children to access the rich range of literature available, the children are taught to read by:

  • listening to texts that are read to them on a regular basis in school. Parents are also encouraged to read to their children at home;
  • identifying letters and words in the environment;
  • learning to recognise digraphs both in isolation and in real and ‘psuedo’ words;
  • reading books with adults both at school and at home;
  • answering comprehension questions about a text they have listened to, or read themselves;
  • identifying new vocabulary and using dictionaries to help them discover its meaning;
  • high quality discussion about books during ‘Book Talk’ guided reading sessions;
  • practising and extending reading across the curriculum.

Children have a wealth of reading opportunities throughout the course of the school day, in which to develop and extend their skills, confidence and interest. These include:

  • guided reading – taught through ‘Book Talk’ (see attached policy);
  • regular independent reading;
  • listening to books read aloud on a daily basis – we are committed to reading every day to pupils for a minimum of 10 minutes;
  • pupils selecting their own choice of texts;
  • regular reading of shared texts during English lessons;
  • reading in other subjects across the curriculum;
  • daily or regular reading with an adult, dependent on the assessed need for pupils who are working below the expected standard.


Reading Scheme

In Key Stage 1, pupils are placed on the appropriate book band level after a benchmark assessment, and work through the colour bands as their reading skills progress. Home reading books are changed on a weekly basis, and pupils also choose a library book to take home from the school library. In Key Stage 2, pupils select appropriate texts under the guidance of the teacher or Teaching Assistant from the Oxford Reading Scheme, for independent and home/school reading. As pupils progress through the school, they are given more responsibility for making their own reading choices from the excellent resources we have in school.

Pupils’ reading age is assessed on a termly basis using the Salford Reading Test to constantly monitor pupils’ progress and to ensure that pupils continue to be on the appropriate book band level for their reading ability. Teachers and teaching assistants monitor independent reading and discuss progress with individual pupils on a regular basis. Where pupils are working below age-appropriate objectives, they will be identified for intervention programmes such as the Boosting Reading at Primary intervention programme (Br@P).

Promoting Reading

Reading is an important part of the Curriculum and helps children access learning in all subjects. Children who read for pleasure gain a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, critical thinking skills and become independent learners. As well as this, research also suggests that reading helps to improve the mental well-being of children. Put simply, children who read a lot tend to be happier! It has also been proven that children who are fluent readers tend to do better in their adult lives. It is therefore vital that children find learning to read and write a rewarding and successful experience. Reading is promoted as an enjoyable and enriching experience to both children and parents via a wide range of activities:

  • Valuing home reading – we place great importance on encouraging parents to listen to their children read. Ideally, we would like parents to read with their child every day for at least 10 minutes, however, to ensure that this is manageable, we ask that parents listen to their child read at least 3 times per week. After much discussion and consultation, we have also reduced the amount of homework that we give in Key Stage 2 in order to place more focus and emphasis on reading. Reading at home is valued by all staff and is regularly monitored by teachers in pupils’ planners. To incentivise home reading, we use a book mark reward scheme. Stickers are awarded on a weekly basis to those pupils who have read at least 3 times per week at home and certificates and prizes are awarded during assembly for pupils who successfully complete bookmarks.  Our reading schemes are regularly reviewed and updated; a brand new reading scheme was purchased for Key Stage 2 in 2018 (Oxford Reading Scheme). Please see attached letters sent to parents about our home reading scheme.
  • Cassie: our reading dog – Cassie visits our school every Friday afternoon during our Fabulous Friday. Children are selected each week to go and read to Cassie in Mr McDowell’s office. This is offered as a reward to those pupils who have read regularly at home, or as a means to boost confidence and raise self-esteem of some of our pupils who may be struggling with their reading.
  • Author visits – we are fortunate to have close links with our local bookshop, Urmston Bookshop. As a result, we regularly welcome visits from authors who talk to our children about their books and reading in general. This really helps to promote the importance of reading and the pleasure that can be gained from reading.
  • World Book Day – we are committed to supporting World Book Day every year and arrange a wide range of activities for our pupils to celebrate reading. This is heavily promoted around our school in many of our vibrant displays.
  • Libraries – we are fortunate to have two well-stocked libraries in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 which are run by our school librarian. All pupils enjoy a weekly library visit and are encouraged to select a library book to take home, as well as their home reading book.
  • Daily Reading Pledge – we ensure that all pupils are read to everyday by our teaching staff. This time is highly valued and protected.
  • Demonstration Reading – pupils are actively taught how to think like a reader during demonstration reading which involves the teacher ‘thinking out loud’ his/her thoughts as a reader when reading a sentence. The idea is for the teacher to wring out as much meaning as possible from a sentence when reading aloud.
  • Reading Assemblies – the importance of reading is heavily promoted during our assemblies. Pupils in Key Stage 2 are encouraged to complete book reviews when they have finished a book and prizes of book vouchers are awarded on a half-termly basis to the best review.
  • High Quality Texts – we use high quality texts to deliver our English curriculum, for example Skellig by David Almond in Year 6 and Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo in Year 5. We subscribe to the excellent website ‘The Power of Reading’ which is run by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. We provide children with rich reading experiences within the English lessons and encourage them to appreciate the author’s use of language and writing techniques in order to develop their own writing skills
  • Homework – we have recently reviewed our homework policy in order to place greater emphasis on the importance of reading at home with an adult. Pupils are encouraged to complete book reviews and reading journal tasks.
  • Reading Buddies – pupils in the infants enjoy sharing a book with an older pupil in Key Stage 2. This is enjoyed by all children across the school.
  • Book Clubs – as part of our commitment to extra-curricular activities, we have a number of book clubs running that are available to our pupils. This is an opportunity to share a high quality text and to talk about it with their peers.
  • Reading Corners - every classroom has a reading corner or ‘book nook’ to promote and value the importance of reading.
  • Book Bus/Book Fairs – we regularly welcome the Scholastic’s Book Bus to school, so that parents and children can buy books which in turn raises funds for our school to help restock class and the school libraries. The P.T.A. also run book fairs for the children, offering them the opportunity to purchase great books at a much reduced price.
  • Book Swaps – these are held annually to provide children with the opportunity to exchange books with their peers.


We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling. A structured programme of spelling extends across the whole school, beginning with Jolly Phonics/Letters and Sounds in EYFS and Letters and Sounds/Phonics Play in Key Stage 1. There is a natural transition to the Support for Spelling programme at the end of Key Stage 1 and beginning of Key Stage 2, and this continues to be used through to the end of Year 6. Pupils from Year 2 onwards follow the Read, Write, Inc. spelling programme which is a daily spelling programme, lasting 15 minutes, based on proven strategies of teacher modelling followed by partner work, to embed learning.  The programme covers all the National Curriculum word structures and spelling requirements. It is built around a series of short, progressive activities and it uses partner work to help children learn effectively and recall what they have learnt.


At Davyhulme Primary School, we aim for children to be independent writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence in any given genre. We teach them to use punctuation and grammar accurately in a meaningful context, to be able to proof-read their own work and make amendments and improvements. We recognise that quality writing is a product of following a highly structured process of looking at a great example; planning; crafting a range of engaging sentences; using success criteria; teacher modelling of the writing process through Shared Writing; drafting and editing.

We place value on the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented handwriting and these skills are explicitly taught during regular handwriting practice. We give children a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display work of which they are proud. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives. Teaching spelling, punctuation and grammar is an integral part of our English lessons, and pupils’ proficiency is developed through imaginative, stimulating and interactive activities, for example Talk for Writing and through drama and role-play activities.

End of Year Expectations

Please see the attached document for the end of year expectations for each year group and link to National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Key Stages 1 & 2.

 At Davyhulme Primary School, we strive to make sure every child fulfils their full potential by meeting their individual learning needs. Although every child is different and will be successful in different areas, the information attached is the national expectation for each year group. We have also provided the link for the National Curriculum guidance on the specific vocabulary, grammar and punctuation terminology.


Curriculum Overview

Suggested Reading List

Some Of Our Amazing Work