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At the bottom of this page, you will be able to access the policy for English. You will also find where the National Curriculum objectives are taught.



English is a fundamental and extremely creative part of the whole school curriculum at Castle, which develops pupils’ abilities to speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings in an inspiring and purposeful way.


Our pupils are taught in a safe, secure and stimulating environment enabling them all to achieve their potential in the areas of English regardless of their ability, gender or ethnic background.


Our pupils will:


      • Read, write and speak competently.
      • Express themselves through speech and writing.
      • Foster a love of reading.
      • Independently apply their skills throughout the curriculum and in real life.
      • Have experienced a wide range of stimulating, memorable opportunities.




Our English curriculum is achievable for all. 


Pupils in EYFS and KS1 are taught in small cohort groups and KS2 as mixed-age classes together on the same lesson content at the same time. This ensures that all children can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to fall behind. If a pupil struggles to grasp a concept, this is identified quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson. Although the teaching of the concepts is the same for all, the outcomes in terms of application and scaffold may be different. 


Quality first teaching along with setting high expectations for all pupils is found in every classroom. Scaffolding / resources of support are purposeful, enabling the pupils to develop secure levels of independence within the lesson.



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Our school has chosen Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our systematic, synthetic phonics (SSP) programme to teach early reading and spelling on a daily basis in the EYFS and Year 1 classes.


Click the link below to access the programme's overview:



At Castle, children are taught to make connections between the sounds of our spoken words (phonemes) and the letters that are used to write them down (graphemes). Our Nursery children use Little Wandle's Foundation for Phonics. Children who require more support in their learning of phonics, follow the 'Keep-Up' and 'Catch-Up' programmes provided by Little Wandle.


Spoken Language


At Castle, we ensure that the skills below are an integral part of all subjects throughout our curriculum. 

Listening Skills

Following Instructions

Asking & Answering Questions

Drama, Performance & Confidence

Vocabulary Building & Standard English

Speaking For a Range of Purposes

Participating in Discussion




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Our school reading schemes are:

  • Collins Big Cat Phonics for Little Wandle for Nursery to Year 1 children
  • Collins Big Cats and Oxford Reading Tree for children from Year 2 upwards.

These schemes offer a wide range of texts suitable for all ages and abilities. This ensures pupils have every opportunity to access a range of genres, and to ultimately develop a confidence and love of reading for life. 


Word Reading & Comprehension


At Castle, we focus on the mechanics of reading initially:


Phonics & Decoding: taught through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme, beginning in EYFS and throughout Year 1. For those children who are falling behind their peers in Year 2 and beyond, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Rapid Catch-Up programme.


P   Prosody: an integral part of the reading process. Children develop reading with appropriate meaning, stress and intonation. It provides an opportunity to explore characters’ feelings, what words mean and how punctuation adds to the meaning.


Fluency: developed and refined before moving onto comprehension-based reading. 


Comprehension skills are taught and practised within the Little Wandle Reading programme, however the following skills provide the main focus of the reading curriculum within key stage 2. We use the acronym VIPERS as an aid to teacher planning and pupil recall of the reading domains as part of the national curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. 

Our reading curriculum consists of - whole class reading, shared reading, modelled reading, guided or group reading and independent reading.


Vocabulary (V): enabling children to identify and explain the meaning of words in context. Supporting them in expanding their vocabulary and creativity skills in readiness for writing. 


Inference (I) and Prediction (P): enabling children to read for clues / find evidence within a text and apply their own knowledge of the world and other books they have read.


Explain (E): enabling children to understand why and how authors make particular choices with language and structure of texts. They then explore the effect these choices have on them as a reader.


Retrieve (R): enabling children to locate key details from fiction and non-fiction texts. Encouraging the use of skimming and scanning a text at speed.


Sequence / Summarise (S): enabling children to fully understand a text by ordering events or main points. Putting longer sections of text into their own words in order to shorten or simplify them.



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Writing: Transcription, Composition & Vocabulary, Grammar & Punctuation


At Castle we focus on the following skills to encourage our children to express themselves creatively:


Spelling & Phonics: taught alongside reading. EYFS and Year 1 follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme. Year 2 – 6 use the Spelling Shed scheme of work alongside the Rapid Catch-Up programme within Little Wandle where required.


Handwriting: taught discreetly and within spelling sessions. Guidance of the letter formation within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is followed within EYFS and Year 1. Cursive writing is taught from the Spring term in Year 2 and throughout KS2 following the Spectrum programme from Level 3 onwards. Once a fluent, legible style of handwriting is consistently used children in KS2 can gain a ‘pen licence’.


Planning, Writing & Editing: enabling children to understand the whole writing process. Children are made aware of their own mistakes and taught to proofread; the concept of correcting and improving their own work is modelled as a positive stage of writing.


Awareness of Audience, Purpose & Structure: taught through the use of language and text structure, children’s experience of writing is put into a context. Real-life experiences are used where appropriate.


Sentence Structure & Tense: taught within SPaG sessions. Developing the use of Standard English within pupils’ writing and learning how that differs from spoken language.


Use of Phrases & Clauses: taught within SPaG sessions. Extending sentences, experimenting with syntax and widening vocabulary choices, enabling children to become creative writers.


Punctuation: taught within SPaG sessions, enabling children to understand and follow rules of demarcating sentences correctly


Terminology: highlighted and shared with pupils from the start of the sequence of lessons, encouraging pupils to use the correct terminology when discussing concepts. Displayed in all classrooms (and books, where appropriate)


Writing genres are taught through the use of text-based units of work based around Topic or Science subject areas where appropriate.  Film-based units are used to vary the text type and to 'hook' children in with a new genre or topic. We use Literacy Shed Plus as a basis for these units of work.




When our pupils leave each key stage, they will be fully-equipped with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary necessary to progress to the next stage of their learning. Because of high-quality teaching, pupils will make sustained progress in English and develop the competence to speak, read and write confidently and efficiently. Their memorable experiences here at Castle will enable them to become lifelong learners that enjoy their education and who can work through challenges.



For further information please contact the school on 01782 433218 or email [email protected] with your request.


Files to Download

Contact the School

Castle Primary School and Nursery

Mow Cop Road, Mow Cop, Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire, ST7 4NE

If you wish to request a paper copy of information on our website please use the school email.

Main Contact: Miss J Mason

Tel: 01782 433218
[email protected]

SEN Contact: Miss J Mason

SEN Email: [email protected]