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The English Curriculum at Hurstbourne Tarrant CE Primary School


Our School Vision and Intent

The study of English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. At Hurstbourne Tarrant Church of England Primary School, our goal is to inspire a love of English language and literature. We aspire to be a school where all pupils become enthusiastic and critical readers and are able to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings with confidence, both orally and in writing. Proficiency in English empowers the individual, and is a pre-requisite for educational and social progress. We strive to create an environment where all pupils become confident in their use of the English language.


Our intention is that children:

  • read with ease, fluency and good comprehension
  • become reflective readers who read for both pleasure and information
  • develop and utilise a wide vocabulary and an understanding of the conventions of grammar and spelling
  • experience our rich, diverse literary heritage
  • participate in role-play and drama having opportunities from the early years up to improvise, devise and script drama for each other and audiences
  • write coherently and clearly with a sense of understanding of purpose and audience
  • articulate ideas and understanding in a relevant, cohesive way
  • use discussion in order to learn – be able to add to others ideas as well as challenge in a courteous manner
  • are confident speakers and listeners, making formal and informal presentations, speaking in groups and to audiences
  • are active, thoughtful listeners
  • can express themselves, their ideas and opinions in a range of creative forms
  • are able to produce effective, accurate and well-presented written work

Teachers have strong subject knowledge and a clear understanding of how English is taught across the school. Pedagogy is developed through continuing CPD, advice from the English Team, cluster work, learning-walks and feedback. A unit of English work is planned as a learning journey that includes speaking and listening opportunities, analysis of text that leads on to an extended piece of writing.
The importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum is paramount.  Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Opportunities to develop these skills are woven across all subjects and throughout the school day. Activities might include: group and class discussions and debates – including Philosophy for Children (P4C); presentations; oral rehearsal; use of talk partners; leading in class worship; drama and performances including poetry recitals.
The school teaches reading using high quality texts, through a combination of approaches. A combination of approaches to developing reading and fostering a love of literature is employed and included modelled, shared, guided/group and independent sessions. Most English units of study are centred around a key text or texts that we call 'Text Drivers'. (These can be viewed in the Long Term Overviews for English). Key reading objectives/learning intentions are linked to prior attainment of the children and reflect the objectives from the National Curriculum, objectives from the domains in the Hampshire Reading Toolkits. Whole class teaching provides an approximate balance of shared reading and writing sessions across a unit of work. Whole class texts provide stretch and challenge for the class and unpick deeper/broader issues and themes then the children would normally do on their own. Text, sentence level and word-level challenges and a rich vocabulary are encountered through modelled and shared reading. Whole class reading exposes children to all age-related expectations in terms of comprehension, whilst also making provision for varying degrees of decoding skills through differentiated support e.g. using alternative texts, pre-teaching of vocabulary and peer support. We ensure reading, writing and spoken language objectives are linked appropriately. We create opportunities for children to access complete texts and to celebrate diversity and maximise opportunities for inclusion.
The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. There are many opportunities for children to develop their writing across the curriculum including:

  • considering a range of different audiences and purposes
  • responding to stimuli such as written and visual texts across a range of media
  • building upon visits or events; using drama, role play, hot seating
  • producing writing on their own or as part of group and  incorporating opportunities to use ICT

A combination of approaches to developing writing are employed and include modelled, shared, guided/group and independent sessions.



Summative and formative assessments show achievement and progression at or above ARE across pupil groups. English toolkits are used to support assessment and identifying next steps for pupils with SEND who may not be making age related progress due to specific, complex needs.

Children enjoy reading and respond with enthusiasm, resilience and determination when presented with more challenging, rich texts within class study. Children can articulate what they want to achieve in their writing and are aware they write for not only themselves but for others as well. They are able to edit and improve their work and strive to make it engaging and accurate.

We as a staff are committed to make sure that children are ready for the next stage of their education and recognise the importance of delivering a strong English Curriculum in order to do so.

Speaking and Listening

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