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English, including phonics

The Subject Leader for English is Mrs. Raynor

Early Reading and Phonics lead is Mrs. Thorne


At Underwood the teaching of English is very important. We recognise that when children arrive at Underwood their abilities in English vary considerably. All children bring some literacy skills with them and it is our aim to build on these through careful identification, planning, class organisation and delivery.


The grasping of literacy skills is vital for success, and the teaching and learning of speaking and listening, drama, reading, writing, handwriting, spelling and presentation are all inter-related.


For children to gain the most from this and have the best chances of achieving their potential it must also be enjoyable and shared by both home and school.


The children have many opportunities to practise their skills, not just in the daily English lessons, but through all aspects of the curriculum.


Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1




Every day children in FS/KS1 have a twenty to thirty minute phonics session using the Monster Phonics programme. The children are taught as a whole class by the class teacher and then further intervention groups are delivered by the teaching assistants. 


The children also have a one hour English lesson every day.


Children are taught:


Speaking and listening and drama

How to use talk, to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events. To use drama to imagine and recreate roles and experiences.



Every child has a reading book and takes this home to practise with their parents/carers. This is an important part of the English curriculum. They focus on words and sentences and how they fit into whole texts. They learn to read independently and with increasing fluency, longer and less familiar texts. They read stories, plays, poems, information texts in print and on computer screens, and use dictionaries and encyclopedias.



  • To write stories, poems, instructions, captions, lists, newspaper articles. Learning how to use punctuation in their writing.
  • To practise handwriting and think about patterns of letters and sounds to help them spell words correctly.


By the end of Key Stage 1, most children are able to:


Speaking and listening

  • listen carefully
  • show they have thought about listeners by including details to interest them
  • speak clearly
  • tell stories, and repeat rhymes and poems
  • learn new words and use them in conversation
  • change how they talk to different people, in a range of situations.



  • Read aloud and understand what they have read
  • Use more than one way to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Enjoy reading.



  • Write stories with a beginning, middle and an end
  • Use writing for different purposes, such as lists or instructions
  • Use interesting vocabulary
  • Choose words and details to interest the reader
  • Write in sentences, using the correct punctuation
  • Spell familiar words correctly and use spelling patterns to write unfamiliar words
  • Present their work neatly using joined up handwriting.


Key Stage 2


Children are taught:


Speaking and listening and drama

  • How to speak to different audiences and use language for effect. To shape what they say with a clear beginning and ending. Listening carefully, picking out the main points of what people say, and ask questions or make comments. Working flexibly in groups, making different contributions. Presenting events and characters through dialogue to engage the interest of an audience.



  • To read a broad range of materials and use their knowledge of words, sentences and texts to understand the meaning. As the children’s reading improves they read challenging lengthy texts on their own, and discuss the meaning of books they have read.



  • How to write in a range of ways to explore feelings, explain, persuade, review and comment. To plan and draft their work, check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. They write legibly in joined up handwriting.


Every day, the children have a twenty five minute session of spelling, grammar and punctuation.


By the end of Key Stage 2 most children are able to:


Speaking and Listening

  • Listen to presentations and discussions
  • Talk about what they have heard
  • Develop and shape ideas and stories, using language imaginatively to interest the listener.


  • Understand important ideas, themes, events and characters
  • Give ideas about a text, supporting them by referring to it
  • Use different ways to find information


  • Write in a lively, thoughtful way in a range of forms
  • Organize ideas to draw them to the reader’s attention
  • Use adventurous words
  • Spell words accurately most of the time
  • Use the correct punctuation
  • Write legibly and in joined-up handwriting

Curriculum Progression in Reading and Writing- EYFS, KS1 and KS2

Monster Phonics parent information video

Still image for this video