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Earl Soham

Community Primary School

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    To create confident communicators who find innate joy in reading and can express themselves creatively and effectively through their writing.



Our vision when teaching English is to capture the imaginations of our pupils with exciting and high quality texts and to inspire them to become confident writers. Wherever possible, texts are chosen with the theme of the termly topic in mind and we look for opportunities to write across the other curriculum subjects. We also use resources that stimulate the children’s interest such as, newspaper articles, short films from Literacy Shed and topics that are in the news.

In key stage 1 free writing and mark making is encouraged and nurtured when children first come to us and we support children through the early writing stage and develop their fine and gross motor skills through play. Cursive handwriting is taught from reception and phonics and SPAG are taught discreetly and built into the class teaching as well, to ensure the children can apply and rehearse what they have learnt when writing. In Phonics we follow the Little Wandle Scheme. Spelling and grammar are taught through a range of resources including Vocab Ninja, the BBC Natural curriculum and the No-nonsense spelling scheme. Teachers strive to draw links back to past teaching during class discussions and reading sessions, giving the children real life examples of the grammar and punctuation that they are being taught. We re-visit areas frequently and are aware of the need for practice and consolidation of skills.


In both key stages, when introducing a new text type, we are increasingly integrating Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing style into our termly teaching.  This starts with lots of talking, rehearsing and game playing, then we imitate and write what we have learned orally. After that we innovate, by changing some aspects of the story so the children can practice the writing style and develop their composition skills, and finally we write an independent piece once we have become adept at the skills needed to write each genre. This method involves collaborative working, shared writing and a chance for all pupils to improve, whatever their starting point. We are excited to develop this engaging and inclusive teaching style further in our classes.

A wide range of writing genres are covered, balancing between fiction and non-fiction every term. The children build on the skills they require year on year, and the mixed age classes allow children to consolidate their learning in areas where they are less confident and challenge themselves where they feel more able.  We look to make writing purposeful wherever possible, creating non-fiction books for our library, the template for new school brochures and often writing the end of year play ourselves.

Reading is celebrated in our school and the children read every day in class. Children are read to on a daily basis from a class text, chosen from our Reading Spine. We are constantly updating our fiction library and place a real emphasis on the children reviewing and recommending books to each other. We use Literacy Shed comprehension plus and Vipers to improve the children’s comprehension skills at the same time as exposing them to a wide range of genres. Guided Reading lessons are taught weekly to build confidence in reading skills.

Little Wandle Phonics

Little Wandle phonics is a new scheme which we chose after scrutinising lots of options. The resources are clear and engaging and we feel that the assessment will help to ensure that no child is left behind. Parents can access the parent pages of the website where there are video resources to support teaching children at home. 

English Planning

Reading Skills



Reading Spine

We choose a selection of quality, peer reviewed texts to create our reading spine. We aim to have a range of genre which represent a range of authors. Our reading spine evolves each year to reflect new and exciting texts as well as ensuring that children are exposed to more traditional 'classics'. 

Reading at home

Reading is such a crucial skill and you can really help to support the children's progress. Reading everyday at home has a huge impact on early progress and encourages healthy reading habits. Take a look at our Reading at Home leaflet for helpful tips- particularly in supporting older children.  

Reading at home leaflet

Poem of the week

This year, we have introduced a poem of the week. The children hear and discuss the poem in Monday's assembly and it is referred to throughout the week in classes. It has been a very popular addition to the weekly timetables and the poems can be seen displayed around the school. We encourage children to share poems that they enjoy too! 


2024: The Year We Stopped to Notice


We are all very excited about our 2024 writing challenge. Each day children will be given time to write a sentence or two about something they have seen, noticed or felt. They will collect their observations in a a book to take home at the end of the year. We will also be collecting our favourite examples to create a school book. Why not try it at home too!