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Pilsley C of E School


English Curriculum Statement

At Pilsley CE Primary School, we believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of supporting a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want the children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. A secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.



These subject aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and throughout the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Teachers adapt the Cornerstones curriculum scheme as appropriate to their classes, ensuring that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study. Where possible, teachers link their literature selections to support the project focus for the half term enhancing cross-curricular learning. However, texts are carefully chosen to ensure they are appropriate to children’s levels of development and offer a wide breadth of high quality literature. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the Statutory framework for the EYFS 2017 and the National Curriculum for English 2014.

The Statutory Framework for EYFS aims to ensure that all pupils have opportunity to:

  • Experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.
  • Have access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● 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, adapting their 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
● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


In addition to daily literacy lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of the RWI programme from Reception – Year 2 and continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through accessing a variety of high quality texts in the classroom.
We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children.


As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is above that of Derbyshire and the national average.  




Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.

We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


How we teach reading


We start by teaching phonics in Reception using the highly successful ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.

The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

Up until the end of Year 1, your child will have a dedicated phonics teaching session to help them prepare for the Y1 Phonic screening test. Some older children will continue to access Read Write Inc groups if they need further consolidation and development of reading skills.  We check children’s reading skills regularly so we that we can ensure they are in the right group.  Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress or may have one-to-one support if we think they need some extra help.  In Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6,) the children undertake regular guided reading sessions with the staff in their class, have a wide selection of reading materials to choose from and have projects linked to reading with rewards systems for encouragement. 


ENCOURAGING younger children to read

  • Set aside some time
  • Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV / radio or computer
  • Ask your child to choose a book - sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think, that their opinion matters so they are more likely to engage with the book
  • Sit close together - encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages
  • Point to the pictures if there are illustrations and relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures
  • Encourage your child to talk about the book - talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children to understand relationships and give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel
  • Don't be afraid to use funny voices - children love this!
  • And lastly and above all - make it fun! It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you enjoy the time together.

ENCOURAGING older children to read

As children get older, there's no need to stop enjoying sharing books and reading together. Research has shown that children who enjoy reading and spend more time reading for pleasure have better reading and writing skills, a broader vocabulary, and even an increased general knowledge and understanding of other cultures. But with so many other activities competing for children’s time as they get older, how can you continue to encourage your child to read for pleasure?
Tips for encouraging reading in your home with older children:

  • Ensure that your children see you reading. It doesn't matter if it's the newspaper, a cookery book, a romantic novel, a detective mystery, short stories, a computer manual, a magazine... anything!
  • Encourage children to join in - ask a child to read out a recipe for you as you cook, or the TV listings when you are watching TV
  • Give, and encourage others to give, books or book tokens as presents
  • Visit the local library together on a regular basis and enjoy spending time choosing new books
  • Encourage children to carry a book at all times so they can read on journeys or in spare moments – you can do this too!
  • Keep reading together. There are lots of books that both adults and young people can enjoy. Read books you can all talk about but make the talk light-hearted, not testing or over-questioning
  • Make sure your home is a reading home - have a family bookshelf and make sure there are shelves in your children's bedrooms as well.
  • Don't panic if your child reads the same book over and over again - be honest, we've probably all done it!
  • Encourage your children and their friends to swap books with each other - this will encourage them to talk and think about the books they are reading.

Reading- non-negotiables by the end of each year

Through reading, children learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. They are exposed to ways of life, ideas and beliefs about the world which may be different from those which surround them.
This learning is important for its own sake however it also builds a store of background knowledge which helps younger children learn to read confidently and well. 

Below is a list of suggested books arranged in year groups.
You may find the following prompt sheet helpful when listening to your child read at home.
Welcome to our school website. We are a 3-11 year old school and have our own nursery. Please call to book a visit on 01246 583203

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