English teaching and learning at Leadenham CE Primary School seeks to ignite a passion for the written and spoken language in all children. We believe that our children should read and write creatively, studying and using the individual word, the phrase, the sentence, the paragraph and the chapter.

We believe that pupil’s text development is enhanced through an active, direct and challenging approach to texts of all kinds. This involves texts from a range of authors. All books, texts and extracts are read by staff to ensure that they are appropriate for the year group. Many writing journeys may also follow the children’s own interests if they are particularly excited by a film, book or clip that they have seen recently.


Our learning structure seeks to combine a variety of creative, stimulating opportunities with access to visual tools and various different stimuli which seek to engage and enthral pupils to become inspired writers. This may include images, music, stimulus clips and creative tasks.

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English: Intent 

The teaching of English at Leadenham CE Primary School is designed to instil in children a love of speaking and listening, reading and writing that will last them a lifetime. Giving pupils the key knowledge and skills in English enables them to access material in all curriculum areas, and provides a foundation for their learning throughout their school career. To achieve this, teachers are focussed on making English interesting and exciting, engaging the pupils with the joy and wonder of books and piquing their imagination and creativity. At Leadenham CE Primary School we view the teaching of English as a fundamental part of the holistic development of the pupil, fostering positive behaviours and attitudes toward learning, and providing key knowledge and skills, to benefit pupils throughout their education and beyond.


The teaching of English is split into the following areas -

The basis for the teaching of English at Leadenham begins with the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in the Preschool and EYFS classrooms. This learning is essential as it creates the foundation for every child’s learning in both reading and writing. We follow the Letters and sounds programme of phonics and all children learn together as a group with additional support provided where needed to support children learning alongside their peers. Reading books are matched with each child’s phonetic ability to foster a positive attitude towards reading as children will able to independently read and share their books in school and at home.


At Leadenham CE Primary school drama is used to provide opportunities to investigate texts from different viewpoints, develop story characters and plot, and as an occasion for performance both in class and to a wider audience. We want the children to be confident speaking in a range of situations and across all areas of the curriculum.

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Unsure what a particular Grammar term means? Click on the link:

Helpful child friendly glossary with examples

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What is phonics?

Phonics is the correspondence between spoken sound (phoneme) and the written letter (grapheme).  It is a way of teaching children to read by breaking up words into small chunks of sound. For example we can break a simple word like ‘cat’ into the three sounds c-a-t.

To become successful readers children will learn the individual sounds for each letter or group of letters. Some sounds in English are made up of more than one letter like the sound ‘ea’ in tea or team. Once children know the sounds they will be able to ‘decode’ unfamiliar words by breaking the word into sounds then read the word by blending back together. For example: sh — o — p = shop

For an audio guide on how to pronounce the sounds click on the link below:



Why do we teach phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds, progressing through to the most complex - it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful for children aged 4–7.

Almost all children who have good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

How do we teach phonics?

At Leadenham CE Primary we use the government approved Little Wandle Scheme alongside approved reading texts to support children learning their phonics.  We use a range of teaching and learning experiences when teaching phonics to ensure a multi-sensory approach.  Phonics is taught daily in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, starting in the autumn term.

Further information about 'Letters and Sounds'

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. For more detailed information, visit the Letters and Sounds website.

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, the representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.


Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.


Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.


Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.