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English at Milnthorpe Primary School


At Milnthorpe Primary School we believe that our quality English curriculum develops children’s love of reading, writing and discussion.  One of our priorities is helping children read and develop their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing 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 to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and in using discussion to communicate and further their learning.

We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in English 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 aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent subject work are woven into the programme of study.

In all Key Stages a range of genres are taught, including fiction, non-fiction and  poetry.   Each unit is an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing.   During lessons the children are encouraged to explore text through role play, freeze framing, hot-seating and many other speaking and listening activities which allow children to develop their ability to communicate as well as build on their own self confidence.

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.


Milnthorpe is a reading school, where we take pride in promoting early reading as soon as children enter our school community in Nursery or Reception.  Our phonics programme, LCP, begins in Nursery and continues until pupils are confident and fluent in the phonics code.

As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home. As a school, we aim 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

Reading development is seen as a partnership between home and school and children are encouraged to choose books to take home to read to their parents.

Throughout reception and KS1, children have access to Bug Club and an online reading record, ‘Go Read’, which allows clear communication between teachers and the pupils home.  Accelerated Reader is introduced in KS2 once children have met the phonics code and are fluent readers. This allows teachers to track progress and ensure pupils are reading books at their specific level. Throughout school, children are taught specific reading skills through small group guided reading and are encourage to read a range of genres borrowed from the school library.


At Milnthorpe, we identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can.  We run intervention reading groups and are fortunate to have parents and community members who come in regularly to hear children read.  Teachers plan and teach English lessons which are differentiated to the particular needs of each child.  We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.

We run parent information sessions on phonics for Reception and KS1 parents so that they understand age-related expectations and strategies used in school. These sessions are very well attended by parents and carers who often comment about how helpful the sessions have been.


Spelling is taught and supported throughout the curriculum and at home using an interactive programme, ‘Ed Shed’.  Children are set weekly spellings that can be learnt and practiced in school and at home. This allows teachers to track spelling progress and ensures coverage of statutory words and spelling rules with successes celebrated in weekly assemblies.


Marking is rigorous in English and across the curriculum, with regular feedback and spelling corrections to help children correct and consolidate their learning.  Regular English book scrutinies are carried out to ensure all teachers are following our marking policy consistently.


We love to celebrate success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals.  Reading is celebrated in classrooms and around school at Milnthorpe, where our bright and colourful displays celebrate children’s writing, their favourite books and current learning.  Progression in writing is clearly displayed on whole school writing board and children take pride in seeing their work displayed throughout school.  Every child at Milnthorpe is given the opportunity to participate in one of our three yearly productions, gaining the confidence and experience of performing in front of a live audience.  In addition, throughout the school year, our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, an annual Spelling Bee competition, parent and community 1:1 reading, drama workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. 


The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.  With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children become confident writers so that by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.

Termly assessment shows that most children at Milnthorpe are achieving in English at age-related expectations.  Each year we have children achieving at greater depth in reading and writing at the end of KS1 and these children are identified and tracked so that this achievement is mirrored at the end Key Stage Two.

English are an integral part of all areas of the curriculum and cross curricular writing standards demonstrate how skills taught in English lessons are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar and punctuation. 

We hope that as children move on from Milnthorpe to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.

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