Bournville Village

Primary School

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English is a core subject of the National Curriculum. It includes spoken language, word reading, reading comprehension, writing transcription: handwriting, spelling, writing composition including grammar and punctuation.


At Bournville Village Primary School we believe that the acquisition of excellent communication skills is of paramount importance to all pupils. We believe that a sound understanding and knowledge of the basic skills, not only enables a child to develop as an individual, but also enables them to access our broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum. It is therefore the responsibility of all staff to ensure that the needs of each and every child are fully met.


At Bournville Village Primary School, we aim for all children to:


  • read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a developing range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct

  • have a love of reading; read with understanding and purpose; read for enjoyment across a range of texts and in a variety of formats, including use of the latest technology

  • have an interest in words and their meanings; develop a growing vocabulary in spoken and written form

  • use joined, legible writing and confidently spell an increasing range of words

  • develop the ability to use punctuation and syntax appropriately and with confidence

  • write in a variety of styles and forms, organising the content to suit a range of audiences and purposes appropriate to real life situations

  • encourage a love of writing and enable pupils to confidently plan, draft, edit, proof-read and publish their writing through different media

  • value the use of language as a means of communication and to value the language of others

  • develop the skills needed to be a good listener, as well as the ability to express themselves appropriately in a variety of different situations

  • enable children to use and transfer the skills they are learning in order to communicate effectively throughout the range of subjects taught in school.



In order to deliver the above aims, English is allocated approximately 7 hours per week. All aspects of English (spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and punctuation, spelling and handwriting) are taught within this allocated time via daily lessons. The structure of each daily lesson is determined by each individual class teacher to support pupils learning. However, as part of each daily English lesson, reading is allocated a minimum of 20 minutes.


Every class has a class novel which is read by the teacher for enjoyment and may be in addition to a text used to support English teaching and learning.

Ongoing curriculum development is designed to enhance links between English and all other subject areas where possible, and it is expected that teachers provide children with opportunities to transfer English skills (e.g. debates, drama and writing composition) in other subject areas.


The English curriculum is planned and delivered according to the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. The annual overview for each phase details coverage of English reading and writing opportunities across each year group and term. From this, teachers build detailed units of work (teaching sequences) based on quality children’s literature and the broader curriculum.


CLPE’s Power of Reading provides teachers with support for planning stimulating teaching sequences ( Weekly plans give learning intentions for each lesson, details of support and challenge, and how lessons will be taught, drawing on a wide range of teaching strategies, which include:

  • discussion and argument
  • teacher demonstration
  • teacher modelling
  • scaffolding
  • explanation and clarity
  • questioning techniques
  • investigation of idea
  • listening and responding.


Teaching sequences allow for coverage of spoken language, reading comprehension and writing composition, including grammar and punctuation, spelling and handwriting. Planning also incorporates opportunities to draft, proof-read and edit writing.

Grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting are taught regularly and explicitly, guided by the expectations of the National Curriculum, and in context where possible.


Lessons are well-paced, engaging and interactive.  Pupils’ contributions and involvement are positively sought after and encouraged. High expectations ensure that each child can realise, and exceed, their own targets.


Our English overviews detail the texts studied by each year group:

English is taught in mixed classes. As part of the planning process, teachers ensure that all learners are able to meet challenging learning intentions and organise lessons, additional adults and activities appropriately. Tasks/activities are appropriately matched to individual pupil’s needs in the classroom (support and challenge).


To support planning, teachers draw on the following resources:

  • National Curriculum programmes of study appendices for spelling and grammar
  • annual text overview
  • half-termly units of work
  • the CLPE Power of Reading website and Poetryline website
  • Rigby Navigator and Literacy World texts to support teaching of guided reading
  • banded books (lower school) to support home reading
  • PenPals for handwriting
  • Babcock’s ‘No Nonsense Spelling’
  • Jolly Phonics resources to support the delivery of phonics
  • Collins Big Cat phonically decodable reading books


Grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting are taught regularly and explicitly, guided by the expectations of the National Curriculum, and in context where possible, e.g. direct teaching of relative clauses as part of a teaching sequence with a non-chronological report as an outcome; direct teaching of the use of fronted adverbials in a teaching sequence with newspaper articles as an outcome.


Once our children have progressed through the Phonics phases, our spelling programme will begin in Year 2 to support children with the knowledge of spelling conventions and the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.


At BVPS, we use 'Penpals for Handwriting' to teach handwriting from Reception-Year 6. It offers clear progression through five developmental stages: physical preparation for handwriting; securing correct letter formation; beginning to join along, securing the joins and practicing speed, fluency and developing a personal style. Penpals is focused on whole-class teaching using digital resources to enable modelling and interactive learning, along with Practice Books and Workbooks to support independent work. 


Handwriting progression:

1.Physical preparation for handwriting
(Foundation / 3–5 years)
2.Securing correct letter formation
(Key Stage 1/5–6 years)
3.Beginning to join
(Key Stage 1/6–7 years)
4.Securing the joins
(Lower Key Stage 2/7–9 years)
5.Speed, fluency and developing a personal style
(Upper Key Stage 2, 9–11 years)