Wincanton Primary School

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Wincanton Primary School

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The 2014 National Curriculum aims to ensure that in English: Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.


The intention of the English curriculum we offer at Wincanton Primary School is to give children a competence in English that enables them to communicate effectively at home, at school and in the wider world, leading to improved life skills and wider opportunities. We intend to develop skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, including all of their essential inherent skills, enabling children to organise and express their own thoughts and to access the knowledge and ideas of others.


An understanding of how language is the vehicle for communication in both oral and written forms is paramount in our thinking and planning. To become literate, children need to understand that writing is a representation of speech, and that both come in a variety of forms linked to purpose. At Wincanton Primary, we are intent on teaching children that these aspects of language are inextricably linked, and can rarely be experienced or learnt discretely.



At Wincanton Primary School, we aim to give children the opportunity and encouragement to:

  • develop a love of language and all that it encompasses
  • speak clearly, in full sentences, adapting their spoken English to suit the audience
  • take turns in conversation
  • be exposed to high quality texts throughout the year
  • listen with concentration, and respond appropriately to what they have heard
  • recognise the difference between informal spoken and written language and more formal Standard English, and be able to apply this to their speaking and writing appropriately
  • recognise English as being cross-curricular and as a basis to all learning
  • recognise the link between reading and writing
  • nurture a love of books, read for enjoyment, and be able to evaluate texts and justify preferences
  • read and write with confidence, fluency and comprehension
  • use a full range of cues to facilitate reading and spelling, including phonic, graphic, syntactic and contextual
  • develop an interest in words and their meanings, and therefore have an increasingly mature spoken and written vocabulary
  • be confident in ‘having a go’, rather than staying within their safety zone, especially in their choice of vocabulary
  • develop imagination and inventiveness
  • understand the features of, and be able to read and write in, a range of genres in fiction, non-fiction and poetry
  • use technical vocabulary appropriate to a genre to enable understanding, and to facilitate discussion of their reading and writing
  • plan, draft, improve and edit their own writing
  • use a fully cursive, fluent and legible handwriting style



English is a core subject and is at the heart of our curriculum. Each Learning Experience covers a range of reading and writing genres and, where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum. The use of high quality texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum. Staff have completed extensive training with Leah Crawford to fully embed the use of high quality texts and this is reflected in our long term planning.


Our planning incorporates the structure:

Red Box work – consolidation/revisiting of an area of previous learning displayed on slides for children to respond to on white boards at the beginning of every lesson

Teaching input – learning objective is shared. The class teacher models the skill to the whole class and success criteria are shared/generated. Children begin to develop fluency on individual whiteboards.

Independent – Independent work provides the means for all children to develop the skills promoted within the lesson.

Plenary – provides opportunities to justify learning, embed knowledge and key skills, recap work completed in the lesson.


Spoken language is promoted throughout the curriculum and across all subjects. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are promoted throughout all writing opportunities, with each year group planning carefully building on prior knowledge and embedding skills and knowledge.


Teaching of Reading at Wincanton Primary School


Phonics Scheme


We use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.


We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4.  They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences.  Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2,3, and 4.


    For more information, please click on link below:

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check.


In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.


For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression:

To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact.


Reading Scheme


At Wincanton Primary School we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books children take home, texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.


In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics, to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow.


Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.


Throughout each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their daily planning and ensure they are providing an English curriculum that will allow each child to progress and be challenged at a level appropriate to them, moving those children on who are ready to study at greater depth. The teaching of English is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Each term children from Year 1 and above, complete summative assessments to help them to develop their testing approach and demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. The results from both the formative assessment and summative assessment is then used to determine children’s progress and attainment.

In phonics, all teachers will formally assess their children’s progress at the beginning of the year and the end of every term in order to inform their planning and regroup the children if needed. 

At the end of Year One the children will take the statutory National Phonic

Screening Test. If the test shows that children are still working towards the expected standard then they will work in a small intervention group to enable them to retake the test in Year Two.


What can parents/carers do to help?

When beginning school you can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Use the correct letter formation as set out in our policy and help your child to focus on the sounds in words.  


Sometimes your child might choose to read a picture book that they know well. Encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.


Make reading and learning phonemes/spellings fun for example using magnetic letters on the fridge, foam letters in the bath or playing eye-spy.  Remember to keep reading to your child.  They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books.  You will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of different stories etc.  It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more.

As children continue up the school encourage them to complete homework tasks and the half termly home tasks related to the Learning Experience.


Above all, encourage enjoyment of the subject, especially reading.

Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress! Thank you for your support.  

Friday 1st March will be mufti (non-uniform) day. In exchange for mufti we would like to request Easter related gifts and chocolate for the Easter Bingo and raffle. Thank you in advance for all your donations.