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English at Milnthorpe Primary School

At Milnthorpe Primary School, we believe that literacy and communication, both spoken and written, are key life skills and that it is our role, through the English curriculum, to help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large. Through the love of reading, which is embedded throughout our school, we strive to help children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.

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.  The children are set targets at the beginning of each unit and are involved in reviewing the progress that has been made at regular intervals. 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.

English is taught within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, guided reading and writing.  The children’s abilities in English are developed across the curriculum.  They are taught to communicate and express themselves clearly and effectively in speech and writing and great emphasis is placed on the ability to listen and understand.  The children experience a wide variety of reading material at appropriate levels of complexity and interest so that they become competent, enthusiastic and fluent readers.

Writing and Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation Aims


At Milnthorpe Primary School children are taught to write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children develop their understanding of a range of genres and styles including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays.

Writing skills are taught rigorously across the school, beginning with teaching fine motor skills to develop mark making in the Foundation Stage, in order to enable children to have the skills and confidence to write effectively for a variety of purposes. Throughout their school career, children will have a varied diet of genres to write. We approach each genre in a systematic way, using set criteria, to scaffold pupils devolopment of skills and knowledge.  Our aim is to develop competent writers who think about "hooking the reader in" and keeping them engaged throughout the piece of writing.

Children are taught joined-up cursive style handwriting. Each child participates in handwriting lessons to practise correct letter formation.

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

At Milnthorpe Primary School we provide a high quality spelling eduction that is often multi-sensory, it engages, inspires and challenges pupils; equiping them with the knowledge and skills to spell confidently.

We use a variety of spelling programmes that enusres statutory requirements are met. Key Stage 2 year groups have a statutory list of words to learn. From Year 1 to Year 6, weekly spellings are sent home to learn.

Grammar and punctuation is taught either discreetly (in one-off lessons) or is adressed through understanding and learning about the genre being covered in class. In May, as part of the SATs, Year 6 pupils are assessed on Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation.

Reading Aims

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.

Reading plays a vital role in the development and education of your child.  At Milnthorpe we ensure that pupils have lots of opportunities to read in lots of different contexts. We continually strive to promote a love of reading  to ensure that pupils are ready for the next stages in their learning.

Reading schemes

Pupils read through a set of book banded books. Each colour in the book band is a different level. We provide a diet and range of books in different genres and interest within a book band. The pupils know which book band they are working at and recognise the level that they are working towards.

Opportunities for reading

Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:

  • Guided Reading – Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book that is sufficiently challenging.
  • Reading Across the Curriculum – Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning and have regular ‘reading journal’ lessons to look at texts in more detail.
  • Story Time – regular adult-led story times across all key stages allow pupils to hear good examples of reading and encourages them to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves.  Class books are also shared with pupils, encouraging pupils to access challenging books by reading along with the teacher.


Speaking and Listening Aims

At Milnthorpe Primary School, children will be provided with opportunities to:

  • Talk for a range of purposes
  • Communicate to different audiences
  • Listen and respond to different people
  • Observe and Participate in dramatic activities

Opportunities to develop spoken language and listening skills will be developed through activities in English lessons. It will also be developed across the whole curriculum, for example through class discussion in PSHE.

Drama will be used to develop speaking and listening skills, including opportunities for:

  • Structured, imaginative play - within role play areas and elsewhere
  • Responding to familiar rhymes and games
  • Storytelling
  • Inventing characters and exploring dialogue - with or without materials and props
  • Developing and sustaining a role
  • Devising short scences from a variety of stimuli
  • Interpreting poems, scripts etc. in a drama presentation
  • Exploring issues and dilemas
  • Paricipation in class and school productions
  • Improvisation
  • Discussion and debates


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