At Hillbourne Primary School learning English is of the highest priority. We believe that learning to read, write and communicate effectively underpins all other learning.

How English is taught at Hillboune Primary School

All of our children have a daily English lesson focused around writing and grammar. Reading comprehension is taught separately throughout the week.

In addition to this, there are daily opportunities to practice and enjoy reading, including in our structured reading lessons when all children read independently, as a group or with the teacher every day.

Reading occurs at other times of the day too. We strongly promote reading and writing across the curriculum so children have a sense of purpose and can apply their learning.

We teach all our children to become effective communicators, working with them on their speaking skills in a range of contexts so that they can express themselves with clarity and confidence.

Our staff value the importance of speech and language development and are supported to articulate clearly with close attention to accurate grammar and pronunciation in speech at all times of the school day.

Reading at our school

A selection of books is kept in each classroom and children choose their own books from the library. Books are regularly swapped around so that there are more books to choose from.

We also have a range of topic books which children can read. This is in addition to the home-reading scheme and is to broaden the children’s knowledge of authors and topic related texts.

‘Whole class reading books’ are read to the children and shared by the whole class. This enables adults in the classroom to model reading aloud as well as exposing children to more challenging texts that they might not be able to access themselves.

If children are reading on a Phonics phase they are given appropriate phonetically decodable books to encourage overlearning and independence.

Reading at home

It is our aim that all children at our school read at home every evening.

Reading records allow children and parents/carers to record comments about how well and how often reading has taken place.

It is our aim that reading records are signed and brought into school every day so that staff in the class can do the same. We have a reading reward scheme for home reading.

Children are able to collect a coloured badge depending on the number of reads they have completed. Those children receiving a badge are celebrated in assembly each week and their photograph is placed on the reading corridor display.


Writing is always underpinned by experience and creativity. 

Our children are increasingly motivated writers who enjoy the process of reading into writing to create stories, poems and a range of non-fiction texts.

Children in our school are exposed to a range of high quality texts, which exemplify the new skills they are expected to use, in a meaningful context.

We believe that children should be able to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas clearly. At XXX, we want our children to be creative writers.

Children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary in order to be able to express themselves in interesting and exciting ways and vary their vocabulary according to the audience and purpose of writing.

Grammar teaching is a core element of our English curriculum. The characteristics of spoken language are very different from written language.

Writing needs to be more concise and explicit, whereas spoken language often relies on context, facial expression, intonation and pause and gesture to convey meaning and create effect.

As part of grammar study, it is important that children learn the conventions of Standard English so that they can adopt an appropriate level of formality in their writing appropriate to audience and purpose.

Phonics - Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised

At Hillbourne Primary School, we believe that phonics should be taught in an engaging and systematic way, using a multi-sensory approach to our youngest children. The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme enables us to do this.

By Year 2, most children can read and write a wide range of graphemes (the letter or letters that match a sound in English). Children then move onto the reading comprehension programme.

You can find our full English and Phonics policies on our school policy page.

The Little Wandle website has resources to help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters.   There are also useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home.

Read more about our curriculum.

Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement for English