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Primary Academy


Intent statement
At Wantage Primary Academy, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion and enable them to access and explore big ideas about the world. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We aim to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We recognise that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. Through our English curriculum, we support children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.


Our English curriculum at is delivered using the National Curriculum English Programme of Study. The Early Learning Goals are followed in the Foundation Stage and become more formal ensure continuity and progression from the Early Years Foundation stage through to the National Curriculum. We use the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education as a basis for our English texts and structural ideas for lessons. This gives each year group a vast range of enriching texts to choose from, all suggested by CLPE for their ability to deepen their appreciation and engage with a variety of writers.  The children have an English lesson every day with these high-quality texts driving the themes of their learning. They are exposed to a wide range of adventurous vocabulary, increasingly sophisticated and diverse, which in turn they then incorporated in their writing.


We have a rigorous English curriculum which provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.


Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English which aims 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
 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
 are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

In addition to daily English lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of SSP (Supersonic Phonic Friends) phonics programme from Nursery – Year 2 and continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through guided reading sessions and book share (see our Reading overview for full information).


As a result of our well-developed curriculum, we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Our children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our ongoing assessments and attainment at the end of EYFS and KS1 demonstrate our impact and our well-planned curriculum will ensure this continues throughout KS2. Pupil voice carried out shows children are enthusiastic and confident within English.


See our approach to reading and phonics on our ‘English Reading curriculum’ document


WPA’s English Writing Curriculum


Our Writing curriculum is rooted in reading, with all writing opportunities linked to a high-quality class text. Our writing lessons ensure that our children have exposure to a wide range of genres and learn to write for different audiences and purposes. In order to make secure links between writing and reading, pupils are made aware that they should ‘read as a writer’ and ‘write as a reader’. In grammar sessions, the children are taught the knowledge of grammatical features they will need to apply to their writing; these then feed into the unit. This ensures that they make purposeful links and build on the skills they have learnt in order to progress. Our use of core books to drive each term’s learning means that purposeful cross-curricular links can be made with children have extended writing opportunities in other subjects. Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, narrative, non-fiction and poetry. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be a Hot Write which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria.


The Writing Process

As a school, we draw on examples, extracts and models from high-quality texts and use discussion and reading so that the children absorb and use exemplary models of writing. They will dissect and evaluate these models, analysing the grammatical features, language and tools that make the piece of writing a success. The rules for writing are the non-negotiable year group expectations we expect the children to include in their pieces of work, whilst the tools are the genre specific grammatical features that the children should include.


The next step in the writing process is the planning stage, where the children formulate their ideas, vocabulary and secure their understanding of the grammatical concepts they will need to use. 


As the writing process continues, the teacher models writing and the children take part in shared and guided writing opportunities. When the children write independently, they may use strategies of imitation or innovation, where they change some elements of an original piece or where they are expected to have planned a new piece of writing based on the model genre. Through KS2, we expect that the children will be confident in selecting their own writing genres to present their work based on a given stimulus, whilst keeping their audience in mind. 


Editing within writing is a key skill taught to all pupils and the children use editing pens and success criteria to support them with this. They are encouraged to explain and reason why they have edited particular parts of their work.


Classrooms are inviting, vocabulary rich environments, where pupils feel comfortable to ask questions and share ideas; they are places where great examples and hard work within writing are celebrated. 


At WPA, we aim to teach children to become confident and competent writers. Throughout EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, the children are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes, genres and audiences. The children have the chance to revisit writing for a certain purpose (in English lessons and in foundation subjects) to demonstrate progression and application in their writing.

The four writing purposes used are writing to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss. In KS1, we focus on the purposes of Writing to Entertain and Writing to Inform. As they move through KS2, pupils write to: Entertain, Inform, Persuade and Discuss.


The text types are broken into three genres: Narrative, Non- fiction and poetry. Each of these genres has then been sub-divided into specific text types such as adventure stories, explanation text or a specific form of poetry, e.g. haiku.

Writing to Entertain includes: a range of narratives, setting descriptions, character descriptions, a range of poetry, speaking in role and character monologues

Writing to inform includes: recounts, letters, instructions, non-chronological reports, newspaper reports and explanation text

Writing to persuade includes: letters, campaigns, speeches and advertisements

Writing to discuss includes: balanced argument, reviews and reports


When planning and teaching, staff use our ‘Progression in different text types’ document to ensure they are teaching to the required learning and there is clear progression throughout the school from year-year (including EYFS).



In EYFS and KS1, the children learn to spell as part of their daily phonics lessons where they learn to apply the sounds taught (see phonics planning). In all other areas of the curriculum, the children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge when writing independently.


For Year 1-6, we have a clear progression of spelling expectations in line with the National Curriculum. The spelling objectives are taught initially through Supersonic Phonic Friends (Nursery – Year 2). In the summer term of Year 2, the children then move onto ‘No Nonsense spelling’ which focuses on the teaching of spelling: knowledge and conventions, patterns and rules and the learning of spellings: statutory words, common exception words and personal spellings. The structure of each ‘No Nonsense’ lesson is: Revise, Teach, Practise, Apply, Assess. Each week, the children will complete a weekly spelling test. For those children on SEND plans, spellings may be personalised to individual children's needs and objectives. 


Word lists and visual prompts are used in classrooms to assist children with their spelling.  In all work, spelling is given a high priority. Children are encouraged to use different strategies to help them spell correctly including phonics, use of word lists or mats and dictionaries. When marking work teachers pick out spellings for children to correct based on spelling patterns and non-negotiables. Children will then select the spellings from the resources provided to self-correct.



Our aim is to ensure that every pupil develops a neat, fluent style of handwriting using continuous cursive letters as this will lead to them producing letters and words automatically in their independent writing. For most this will happen by the end of Year 1 and for those with specific difficulties, interventions will take place.

Handwriting is taught daily, in Early Years and Key Stage 1, through explicit teacher modelling of letter formation and building to a cursive style. We use Letter Join script. The individual letters are taught first, with their correct sound and letter name, before the children apply this knowledge to cursive joins. Lead-in lines are taught once pupils are secure in the correct letter formation. We recognise that handwriting is closely linked with spelling, therefore, the practising of key word/rules and year group statutory and non-statutory words also occurs in the context of handwriting lessons, once children are competent in the correct individual letter formation.








Belong, Believe, Achieve