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King's Court First School

Caring, Sharing and Learning Together

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English Policy

Our Vision

The overarching vision to develop English at our school is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Our policy entitles every child to a broad, balanced and relevant English curriculum, which is tailored to the needs of each child within the school. 


We aim for all the children at King’s Court First School to develop a love of literacy in the early years, so the children progress through the school and become confident readers and writers, ready to move onto middle school.

  • 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.
  • Children are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


English is taught as a discrete subject each day, as well as, being incorporated into other subjects using the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum.  Our lessons are carefully designed to meet the needs of all learners through differentiated challenges, bronze (basic learning), silver (advanced learning) and gold (deeper learning).  To encourage independence and ownership of their learning, our children are encouraged to choose their own learning challenge, at other times the class teacher facilitates the learning. 

Speaking and listening

At King’s Court we value speaking and listening skills highly.   Children start to develop their speaking and listening skills through a range of activities at school.  During English lessons, speaking and listening activities are planned for in a variety of ways, including drama.  Within the wider school curriculum, children take part in a range of activities to enhance these skills, including class, key stage and whole school assemblies and productions. 




Our curriculum starts in the Early Years and progresses sequentially through to Year 4. In every lesson we focus on threshold concepts that ties the ambitious body of knowledge together with the characteristics children are developing.

These essential characteristics of mastery in reading are:

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.

  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

  • An excellent comprehension of texts.

  • The motivation to read for both study and pleasure.

  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts

In reading, the threshold concepts are:

  • Read words accurately - This concept involves decoding and fluency.

  • Understand texts - This concept involves understanding both the literal and more subtle nuances of texts.

Threshold concepts are taught repeatedly throughout the curriculum, linking learning into meaningful and rich semantic schemas

It is our vision to inspire a lifelong love of reading within our pupils. Reading has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

At King's Court First School, we see the importance of reading as an integral tool to expand the life opportunities of our children. This ensures that we develop individuals who can purposefully communicate and express themselves with confidence through creative and explorative learning sequences that encourage the development of reading skills alongside a love for reading.

We acknowledge that reading supports our children to review, retain and process information, making connections through their education.

Our reading curriculum is driven by our desire to improve the children’s awareness of diversity, managing the environment and a love of the arts.

Therefore, at King's Court First School, our aims are to ensure children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.

Our curriculum maps are carefully crafted and available in school. The curriculum content is available on our website.



Reading begins where the children begin: in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We maintain a high level of subject knowledge of reading in our school by regular training and professional development for teachers and subject leaders. Teachers create a positive attitude to reading learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in reading.

We have an extensive collection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts in our Accelerated Reader collection and school library, which the children visit regularly. In addition, each year group has multiple copies of Pie Corbett’s ‘Spine Books’ for use in reading lessons or as a class reader. Teachers read aloud regularly to their classes with Year 2 upward using chapter books and EYFS/Year 1 reading a number of picture books throughout the day. Books are also used as hooks into foundation subject learning.



Teacher’s assess children’s understanding of texts and reading in a number of ways.





We use the Talk for Writing approach.  The end goal of a unit of work is the independent application of language patterns and text features and mastery of the knowledge of and effective use of language to create a desired effect on the reader.

This is a fun, engaging and motivating way for children to learn how to write. Children learn to talk, discuss and think like writers. Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. Talk for Writing is made up of three stages - imitation, innovation and invention and this can be seen consistently throughout the school.


The three stages explained

Imitation: A typical Talk for Writing unit will begin with some engaging activities warming up the tune of the text, as well as the topic focused on, to help children remember the pattern of the language required. This is followed by children retelling the focus text through a text map. Children are given the chance to orally retell the focus text using actions. This helps them to remember the key language used which they can then use in their own writing.


Innovation: Once the text has been internalised, children are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This usually begins with advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of focus text so the children can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers alter the text map and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by doing one together first.


Invention: This is used as our "hot task" where the children apply everything they have learned from the first two stages and put it into action by writing independently. Where possible hot task will relate to the Chris Quigley topic for that term. Children use working walls, dictionaries, thesauruses and writer's toolkits to help them with their writing. The last stage of this process is giving children the chance to edit and improve their work, creating their final draft.



The curriculum is the progress model.  Children will make progress if they keep up with the demands of the curriculum in each year group.

Formative assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis throughout each lesson.  This may be undertaken in a variety of ways, including through questioning, observation, and assessment of work during the lesson.  The "hot task" during the invention stage of writing forms a summative assessment of the skills the child has gained throughout a unit of work.  This supports the teacher to assess any gaps in learning to address or advanced skills which need further challenge.


Summative assessment is undertaken in October, March and June: except in the early years where assessment takes place in October (Reception Baseline Assessment, RBA) and June.  In June each year, the year 1 statutory Phonic Check Assessment is carried out for all eligible year 1 children together with any year 2 children who need to re-take the assessment.  For children in year 2, statutory assessment at the end of key stage 1 (SATs) will form part of the assessment focus.  

English Whole School Resources