English at Cowling Primary School


Intent: English at Cowling is the foundation for our whole curriculum. It is embedded in all other lessons as we intend to equip our children with the necessary linguistic knowledge, skills and understanding for them to feel confident to communicate creatively and imaginatively and to leave us as articulate individuals.

We strive to ensure they will have acquired the fundamental tools in reading, writing, speaking and listening to achieve here and beyond; therefore our intention is to teach an English curriculum that is ambitious and inclusive for all of our children and engages them in the wonders of high quality texts, images, picture books and film to: foster a love of reading and being read to; immerse them in a vocabulary rich environment; open their eyes to the world beyond their immediate environment, promoting the rich diversity of Britain and an inclusive and tolerant of all ethos; inspire a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their own imaginations.

We believe that all our children should achieve their personal best and as such it is pivotal to be aware of the differing and particular needs of each of our children to ensure we teach English lessons that all our children can access and make progress in so all can celebrate success. Where children are not meeting their expected progress in English, they will be identified quickly and strong interventions will be put in place.

English will be taught as discrete daily lessons ensuring curriculum expectations and the progression of knowledge and skills is met in creative, fun and engaging ways. It will also be embedded within all our lessons as we endeavour to maintain high standards and expectations of English knowledge and skills across all subjects.

We believe that writing should have a clear purpose and for children to see themselves as real writers. We want them to have ownership of their writing and view it as an enjoyable and interesting process

It is our intent that children will meet expected or be working at a deeper understanding of the Lancashire KLIPs (Key Learning Indicators of Performance)in Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 the TAF (Teachers Assessment Framework) in years 2 and 6.. Where they are not meeting expectations they should at least meet their personal best and make expected progress for them.


Implementation: Children will be exposed to a variety of text types throughout a school year. These can be largely grouped into the following purposes ‘writing to entertain’, which covers more fiction texts and poetry, and ‘writing to inform, persuade or discuss’, which provides non-fiction writing opportunities.(See Micheal Tidd ‘Writing for a Purpose’ for further guidance) In Key Stage Two, children also write to persuade and discuss. Teachers consider the texts and genres that they are going to work with each term to ensure that children are exposed to a variety of genres. Children should cover both fiction and non-fiction work each term.

Teachers use professional judgement to link writing opportunities to their class book, topic, current events and children’s interests. Writing is a flexible process at Cowling; some units may take longer than others. Teachers are not restricted to a time limit for a writing unit but ensure that children have multiple opportunities to write within a unit, and to produce several ‘finished’ pieces of writing per term. These are to be published in Strictly Writing books. In the long term plan, text types are examples and other examples can be used if they fit the domain focus (writing to entertain, inform, persuade or discuss). More than one text type should be taught each half term for the children to associate the links between the text type and domain.


EYFS: Our Early Years Literacy Curriculum provides the foundations for writing through the following:

  • Interactions with skilled adults, opportunities for play in well-planned provision areas and the use of high quality texts are used to develop language skills and enable children to formulate ideas for writing.
  • The teaching of reading and spelling using a systematic phonics programme.
  • The teaching of handwriting through the development of mark-making, gross and fine motor skills and letter formation.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets literacy as one of the seven areas of learning for children, and this includes beginning to write.

Writing ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be ready by others.

Comprehension ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

 Word Reading ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

Fine Motor Skills ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases

Speaking ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present, and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Year 1 – 6:

At Cowling in Year 1 to 6 we use the Lancashire KLIPs (Key Learning Indicators of Performance) which have been developed  in order to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum. They are used to provide:

  • detailed assessment information for the teacher to use to inform their future planning of next steps (formative);
  • overall judgements which can be made more summatively (at the end of Block 1, Block 3 and Block 4)
  • a means of informing parents about attainment and progress.

In addition to the KLIPs we also use the LAPs (Learning and Progression Steps) that are designed to scaffold the learning required in order to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum. LAPS are numerically ordered from LAP 1 to LAP 3, to reflect the gradual development of the skill/s involved. For whole class teaching, LAPS may be used to support differentiation.

LAPS should be selected according to the learning needs of the individual or group. Some children may need to progress through LAPS 1, 2 and 3 in order to meet an age related expectation, whereas others may have a different starting point, perhaps beginning at LAP 3, thus meeting the age related expectation sooner. Emphasis however, should always be on developing breadth and depth of learning to ensure skills, knowledge and understanding are sufficiently embedded before moving on.

They link to the KLIPs used for assessment in Block 1, Block 3 and Block 4.

Speaking and Listening: 

The National Curriculum for English 2014 states that:

‘Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.’

At Cowling Primary School, oracy is developed through all areas of the Early Years curriculum and specifically through as part of Communication and Language and Literacy. High quality provision areas stimulate conversations and discussions between pupils and adults and rich language experiences are provided through the use of carefully chosen texts and activities. Pupils who are not achieving age related expectations in communication and language are supported through interventions such as EYBIC (Early Years Based Information Carrying and  NELI as required.

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, oracy skills continue to underpin the English curriculum. Children are taught to orally rehearse sentences before writing them, by saying them aloud to themselves or a partner. When reviewing and evaluating their writing, children are encouraged to read it aloud to check the syntax and punctuation. Drama techniques such as hot-seating are used to develop an understanding of character in reading and writing lessons. Some aspects of the English curriculum specifically develop oracy, for example, through poetry which is learned and performed.

Cooperative Learning is used throughout Cowling Primary School in every curriculum subject area. This is a system which provides a structure for children to communicate frequently during lessons, improving their communication and language skills. Children are encouraged to work together with a partner and as part of a team using skills such as active listening and explaining their ideas to each other.

Oracy skills are enriched through regular opportunities to perform and speak in front of others; each year EYFS and Key Stage 1 children perform a Nativity play for parents and carers, while Key Stage 2 children perform readings at the Carol Concert and stage a production for parents and carers in the summer term.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar:

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught throughout school from EYFS to Year 6. In EYFS, children are taught the graphemes for the 44 phonemes they will learn in Phases 2,3 and 4 of Little Wandle. This continues in Year 1 with Phase 5. From Year 2 to 6, Spelling is delivered through discrete lessons. For year 2 this will be 4 times a week, starting from the Spring Term. For years 3 to 6 Spelling is delivered 3 times a week.

Grammar and punctuation are taught in context during English lessons and where appropriate are taught as discrete objectives.


Pupils with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities are expected to the full curriculum offer in writing. This may take place with adjustments to meet the needs of individual pupils. Examples of adjustments which may be made in order for pupils to access the same curriculum as all other pupils:

  • activities to develop gross and fine motor skills
  • breaking the task into smaller steps
  • writing frames and scaffolds
  • prompt cards to support children to remember specific vocabulary, high frequency words, phonemes and graphemes
  • Use of ipad voice recorder or dictation feature
  • pencil grips
  • use of laptops or ipads to type work rather than writing by hand
  • coloured overlays and/or coloured paper
  • ACE dictionaries


All our interventions are time appropriate and do not involve taking children out of core subjects.

Interventions in EYFS:

  • ‘keep up’ support for phonics Little Wandle
  • EYBIC – Early Years based Information carrying word pack run by TA speech and language intervention
  • Launchpad to literacy

Intervention in Key Stage 1:

  • ‘Keep up’ support for phonics (Little Wandle)
  • Rapid Catch Up (Little Wandle)

Intervention in Key Stage 2:

  • Rapid Catch Up (Little Wandle)
  • Pathways to Write

Additional Support:

Additional support for individual pupils may also include use of special pens, pencils, writing slopes., Clickr, touch typing, individual word banks and story planners. This support will be recorded on an individual Support Plan.

Impact: Through our high quality teaching of English, we aspire for all children to reach age related expectations or above by the end of each year group. Our data shows that we are exceeding the National Average in Writing in KS1 and are broadly in line with the National Average in KS2.

In each lesson, teachers assess pupils’ understanding through marking and feedback and verbal communication. Teachers then assess if pupils have met the objective and then act appropriately through small group catch up, 1:1 support or an additional lesson on a skill.

In Years 1 to 6, Writing is assessed against the KLIPs at the end of Block 1, Block 3 and Block 4 and data is recorded on our tracking grids. The assessment is made against the Independent pieces of writing collected in Strictly Writing books. SPAG is assessed termly. Children in EYFS are assessed through adult-led activities and observations.