At Buryfields we are passionate about equipping our children with a love for all aspects of English. Through our teaching, we aim to develop the abilities of all children to promote high standards of speech, reading and writing. Children are encouraged to enjoy and develop a keen attitude to ensure they progress and strengthen their learning during their time with us at Buryfields. We strive to provide a language rich environment, which promotes a culture of speaking, reading and writing both inside and outside the school setting.


We follow the principles set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Curriculum. Reading, writing and phonic skills are taught on a daily basis from Year R to Year 2. These skills are then applied in exciting and varied cross-curricular learning opportunities with individual next steps planned to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Spoken Language

Spoken language has a huge focus in our school. Children are taught to develop the vocabulary needed to express, persuade, debate, explain, entertain etc. Speech and language are essential elements of our teaching and learning activities throughout the curriculum and are always incorporated into English lessons as a 'rehearsal' for writing.

  • Reading &  Phonics 

We follow a systematic and rigorous programme of phonics called ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is supplemented by ‘Jolly Phonics’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage, with children learning a song and action to accompany each phoneme. By the end of Year 2, children progress onto the ‘Support for Spelling’ programme. Phonic lessons take place daily and are taught as discrete 20 minute sessions. Each lesson follows the structure of review, teach, practise and apply.

Our primary reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, including ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ and ‘Traditional Tales’. We have a large selection of books for reading and sharing at home, which include non-fiction and poetry texts, as well as familiar stories. Parents support for reading at home and reading for pleasure is valued greatly and is a huge factor in a child's success and love for reading.

Children are taught skills such as decoding, comprehension and inference through whole class and guided reading sessions, using books chosen carefully to match both their interest and their level of reading. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies, oral response and high levels of collaboration.

  • Writing & Spelling 

Children are taught to spell using their phonic knowledge and by learning common exception words, known to the children as ‘tricky words’. Spelling strategies are taught throughout Key Stage One and weekly spellings are set and tested to encourage children to retain and use their 'tricky' words in their writing with some automaticity. Children are taught to use punctuation and grammar, following the guidelines set out in the National Curriculum.

Handwriting is taught and practised regularly. The Early Years Foundation Stage uses ‘Writedance’ in the Autumn term to develop children’s fine and gross motor skills through stories and music. Our chosen handwriting scheme is ‘Penpals’, and begins in Spring term, Year R and continues through to Year 2.

Children are encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing. By writing for different purposes and in different genres, children are taught to plan, edit and evaluate their writing. A weekly 'Star Writer' award is given by each teacher to celebrate effort and achievement in writing. Higher order thinking is encouraged through effective use of questions which focus on the objectives set for the lesson.