Subject Overview

English lies at the heart of everything we do at Pine Ridge and Lorraine Schools (PRL).  We endeavour to provide all children with the oracy skills they need to become confident communicators and writers.  At PRL, we understand the importance of empowering our children to speak, read and write fluently and confidently to unlock their full potential.  Children are exposed to high quality, new and inclusive texts to inspire writing opportunities throughout English and foundation lessons.  Teachers carefully plan sequenced lessons to build on prior knowledge and have daily opportunities to extend the children’s learning ensuring no child is left behind.  We use a range of strategies from role play, external visits, trips and real-life opportunities to ignite the children’s love for writing and reading.  When a child leaves us, we want them to be able to share their ideas, feel confident writing for different purposes and have developed a love for reading and listening to a range of stories.  

Curriculum Intent

At Pine Ridge and Lorraine Federation, we believe that every child should be able to express their knowledge, ideas, and feelings in their writing with confidence.  We want all children from Nursery to Year 2 to acquire a wide range of tier 1, 2 and 3 vocabulary, a secure understanding of grammar, and the ability to correctly spell new words by effectively applying taught sounds and rules learnt within RWI and spelling lessons.  It is important that as a school we provide daily writing opportunities alongside next steps to help all children write clearly, accurately, coherently, and creatively, adapting their language and style for a range of meaningful contexts, purposes and audiences.

The explicit teaching of handwriting, spelling, and grammar helps the children in our schools to develop a toolkit that they will use throughout their life.  We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing.  Children will present their writing in a range of ways and write for a variety of genres for both English lessons and the wider curriculum.  Through a scaffolded writing process and the use of deliberately chosen, high quality texts, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work overtime and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.  By the end of Key Stage 1 (KS1), all children will edit their work with a purple pen using the Steps to Success to identify the areas they should be looking at.  This helps to provide children with some of the important skills they will need to apply independently at junior school. 

Our school priority is ensuring every child leaves us with skills to enable them to become independent and confident readers.  Children read to an adult every day in small groups and on a 1:1 basis.  Our reading books are matched to the children’s RWI phonics level.  We encourage all children to read the same book three times, we call this book the children’s celebration book.  We celebrate every child being able to develop their accuracy, fluency and comprehension skills. 

At PRL, inclusive practice is at the heart of what we do.  Every teacher will work hard every day to provide an inclusive education for their learners with equal opportunities for all.  We understand that everyone has a right to access learning and teaching and that inclusivity requires us to think about, celebrate and focus on what our learners can do and not on what they can’t do.

Curriculum Implementation

Across the curriculum and particularly in English Lessons, deliberately chosen high quality texts are used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum using the following pedagogical approaches:

  • Oracy strategies, including story mapping and imitating 

  • Reading and deep analysis of high-quality text models 

  • Whole class modelled writing

  • Shared writing

  • Independent writing

  • Writing different text types and narrative styles

  • Writing across a variety of curriculum areas

  • Explicit instruction of Letter formation using RWI Mnemonics and Letter Join once this is secure.

  • Explicit instruction of spelling through RWI phonics and spelling scheme, as well as common exception word instruction.

  • The common exception words are taught each half term from Reception to Year 2.  This allows for progression, consolidation and application of rules.

  • Dictation

  • Explicit grammar instruction in every lesson

  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting

Children have a daily phonics session for 45 minutes every day.  This is followed by a 50-minute English lesson where the children are exposed to age-related expectations for writing within a range of texts.  Writing and reading are closely linked, and we ensure that children are reading daily in order to build on their knowledge of different genres of writing and develop their vocabulary.  This is further built upon as they move into Year 2, with daily writing used to further develop tier two vocabulary.  In Reception, our children are exposed to writing opportunities throughout the day.

Curriculum Impact

Our teachers and support staff use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.  Teachers record and track each child’s progress and use this to set future writing targets.  We use a variety of formative assessment methods and constructive marking strategies:

  • Weekly writing tasks (EYFS)

  • Cold and hot Writes (KS1) - deep analysis of progress and application of knowledge and skills taught 

  • Read, Write Inc Spelling Tests

  • RWI phonics assessments 

  • Common exception word assessment

  • O Track - tracking against the NC

  • Internal and external moderation 

  • Pupil Conferencing 

The impact on our pupils is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a specific purpose and audience.  Through our clear and consistent writing sequence pupils become more confident writers and begin to develop the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work.  We expose the children to many real-life writing opportunities, whether this is producing letters to send to members of the Royal Family, writing recounts on how the chicks have developed in their incubator or creating a new character for a story that has been inspired by one of our author visits.  These hands-on experiences allow children to be inspired and inspire others with their writing.

Prl author 1    Prl author 4

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing has the same high expectations; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.


Lorraine letter from trh prince of wales and duchess of cornwall   Lorraine letter from the queen  Duke and duchess

Img 0370   Img 0401   Img 0406

What a ‘typical’ lesson looks like:

  • Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are exposed to the explicit teaching of grammar rules.

  • All children play active roles during their daily writing, phonics and reading lessons sharing ideas, answering questions and using a wide range of scaffolded resources to support their learning.

  • Early years children are provided with activities in the wider environment to strengthen and embed early writing and reading using a play-based approach.  At PRL, we have a big emphasis on the environment playing the role of the third teacher.

  • Evidence for Early Years children is captured through observations and photos.  These are uploaded on to Tapestry.

  • Mini plenaries are implemented throughout the lesson to refocus, share and reflect on the current learning.  This time is also spent celebrating children’s work, ensuring every child is valued.

  • In KS1, work is recorded in an English book or on Seesaw through the use of photos, videos and voice recordings.

  • All lessons are suitably adapted, providing additional adapted support for SEND and EAL children.

  • All support staff are briefed prior to the lesson.  Both teachers and support staff are deployed to support, extend and deepen the children’s learning.

  • By the end of KS1, children are expected to edit their work throughout the lesson, using the ‘Steps to Success’ to support.

Teaching & Learning

  • Whole class English lessons are taught daily in both EYFS and KS1 classrooms, following our own personalised curriculum tailored to the needs of the children in our classes.

  • All lessons are presented to the children with an OLI (Our Learning Is…) and a ‘Steps to Success’ criteria.  This is created with the children for optimum impact.

  • All English plans have a designated area supporting all teachers to use a variety of vocabulary, grammar and spelling opportunities.  This is communicated and explicitly taught to the children to develop their oracy skills.  Stem sentences are also implemented into every lesson to scaffold whole class discussions and partner talk, enabling a fully inclusive environment.

  • All classrooms are required to have a purposeful, English working wall that mirrors current learning and enables the children to reflect, discuss and access the lesson.

  • All classrooms have sound mats, common exception words, talking tins and topic word mats to support children’s independence.

  • Resources will initially be provided to the children and kept within the environment to promote self-selection.

  • By the end of KS1, children are expected to edit their own work.  This helps all children to identify their own next steps.

  • End of unit assessments, tracking and moderation sessions are also embedded within our English curriculum offer.  This helps to support the running of writing, reading and phonics interventions.

  • Staff are encouraged to attend regular training sessions to ensure they are delivering high quality lessons and interventions.


We prioritise the success of every child and their development, providing the skills and knowledge to become lifelong learners.  Our whole class inputs are tailored to support the needs of the class and additional resources are provided to ensure that everyone is able to access the lesson.  Teachers work closely with the SENCo to ensure no child is left behind.  At PRL, we carefully plan to ensure every child leaves us with the skills to become a confident reader and writer.

Home Learning

Phonics videos are uploaded onto Seesaw for parents to access.  In Year 2, comprehension activities are sent home to consolidate the skills learnt in school.  Common exception words are sent home weekly.  This list will change every half term.  A weekly spelling quiz then takes place in school.

Useful Websites / Parent Guides

50 Recommended Reads for Reception

50 Recommended Reads for Year 1

50 Recommended Reads for Year 2

Reading with your child Booklet for Parents/Carers

Common Exception Word Progression

Links to Policies

English Skills Progression KS1

KS1 English Curriculum Overview for 2021/22