English teaching and learning involves the four elements of English: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. At Cherry Orchard Primary School we want our children to become:

  • Confident speakers in a variety of situations;
  • Good listeners;
  • Readers who enjoy all sorts of stories, poetry, plays and information;
  • Writers who have the skills to write for different purposes.

We link our daily English lessons to all other areas of the curriculum in order to make the learning real and relevant. We also use quality fiction and films as a starting point for drama and English lessons. Our children have a positive attitude to English and tell us they enjoy their learning.  Cherry Orchard pupils learn to write well across the curriculum by writing for a range of different purposes; we write to entertain, to inform, to discuss and to persuade. Children are taught to write in a range of different genres, such as: stories, myths and legends, letters, descriptions, reports, diaries, poems, arguments, explanations, speeches and interviews. Writing lessons are broken down into smaller 'learning chunks', with a focus on vocabulary and grammar. Writing skills are modelled effectively by teaching staff. Children will use a double page spread for each chunking lesson so that they have a thinking side (a side to gather ideas and vocabulary) and a writing side (a side to construct their sentences/paragraphs). Children are encouraged to use thesaruses and dictionaries independently to support vocabulary development. 


It is vital that every child learns to speak and read first. Speaking and reading is the foundation of all language. Therefore, in Early Years and Year 1 there is a lot of focus on speaking and listening skills and learning to read using phonics.  Phonics is the learning of sounds in order to help children read effectively. We begin by teaching the children the sounds that each letter makes, and once children are confident in their phonics they can begin to work out words that are unfamiliar.  In addition, we also teach the children the 'high frequency words'/ 'common exception words'. These are words that are very common and the children need to be able to instantly recognise and spell them.  Useful information and websites on phonics and high frequency words can be found on the Reception Class page or on the Supporting Your Learning page in the Children’s section of our website.  All of this takes place in daily small group sessions following the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme where the children are also taught to develop their understanding or 'comprehension' of text. 

From Year 2 onwards (once pupils have completed the RWI Programme), daily phonics sessions are replaced with daily spelling and grammar lessons.  During these lessons, children learn grammar and punctuation skills relevant to their age, (according to the National Curriculum) alongside the development of spelling skills using the Read, Write Inc Spelling programme. Children in Key Stage 2 who might need additional support also take part in 'Project Code X' - a reading programme which supports understanding.

Children are given the skills within school to decode unfamiliar words, develop and apply the skills to infer meaning, and use books to research and develop an understanding of their community and wider world. Home readers are given dependent on if they have completed/not completed the RWI programme and we encourage children to practise the skills they have acquired in school at home. For children who are still on the RWI programme, they will receive a 'book bag book' which is matched to their RWI storybook band in phonics. Children who have completed the RWI programme, will receive a 'story sparks' home reader. 

We recognise the importance of reading and its ability to give children access to the world around them and new and imagined worlds. Children in EYFS/Key Stage 1 have access to a book corner in their classrooms, where a range of age-appropriate texts are found alongside decodable texts to encourage independent reading. Children take a book of their choice home and we encourage parents to read this book together with their child to help them begin their journey to become lifelong readers. Children in Key Stage 2 have access to a class library: a carefully cultivated selection of texts designed to broaden reading horizons. Children are encouraged to select a book of their choice from the range on offer, track their reading and discuss books they have enjoyed with their peers. Each half term, class libraries are refreshed with new texts, or through trading with the other class in the same year group.

Adults and children are encouraged to comment on home reading in the reading section of the home-school diary. Children who do well at reading are usually the ones who read with an adult regularly at home.  Children who enjoy reading regularly and have good phonics knowledge excel at English, and are usually good writers too.