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Bottesford Primary School

Bottesford Primary School

English and the Arts

At Bottesford C of E Primary School, we understand that English and effective communication are key life skills. We believe that understanding language helps all children to access the whole curriculum.

Within our school, English is at the heart of all children’s learning. Through being taught to write and speak fluently, children learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Through their reading and listening, others can effectively respond. We foster a love of language and literature through the use of age-appropriate, quality texts which allow children to develop culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. In order to participate fully as a member of society, all the skills of language are essential.




At Bottesford CE Primary School we aim to:

  • Ensure that all children have equal access to a rich, rewarding and diverse curriculum for English
  • Ensure they experience the curriculum in ways that are appropriate for their needs, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or any other determining factors
  • Promote high standards of literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the written and spoken word
  • Develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment
  • Provide age-appropriate texts to ensure children access reading at the appropriate level
  • Ensure that all children read easily, fluently and with good understanding of the text
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Ensure that all children acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; children should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debates.

Reading at Bottesford 

At Bottesford, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers. Phonics is taught through a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1 using Read Write Inc and a variety of fun activities.  For further information, please refer to our Phonics vision statement.

Auditory books are provided for children who are visually impaired. Picture books and sensory books are provided for children who need encouragement to engage with reading. Books are available in other languages to support children with English as an additional language (EAL).

Guided reading and individual reading occur every day with groups of children in Year R and there is a focus on segmenting and blending skills during their Phonics lessons. Reception and KS1 children enjoy story-time on a daily basis and children love an opportunity to look at and share picture books each day as they arrive in school.  In KS1, children enjoy a story time on a daily basis, giving them the opportunity to hear the written word being read aloud to them. In addition to this, guided reading sessions occur on a weekly basis and all children read to an adult at least weekly.

In KS2, children will experience a wide range of authors and text types and will regularly hear books being read to them. Independent reading takes place on a daily basis to encourage a love of books and reading for pleasure. Children are encouraged to talk about their favourite authors and recommend stories to others. Whole class reading sessions cover all the skills of prediction, clarification, questioning and summary as well as overall comprehension of a text. All children are expected to read independently or to an adult on a regular basis and their progress is tracked through their reading diary and termly assessment. The school uses the Read Write Inc reading scheme to help emerging fluent readers, some of which are used for Guided Reading and others being available for children to choose to take home at an appropriate level. When children are confident and fluent, they are encouraged to use the class library regularly to change their books. For those who find reading more of a challenge, we follow a range of interventions.


Writing and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar at Bottesford CE Primary 

Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes using a range of writing forms such as: explanations, instructions, balanced arguments, stories and poems. They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing.

In Reception, children are encouraged to mark make in a range of ways both inside and outside the classroom, e.g. using large chalk, mops and sticks in the mud. The children begin by learning to write their names and then complete daily handwriting sessions, focusing on forming the graphemes correctly.

In KS1, handwriting sessions take place on a weekly basis with the focus on correct pencil grip; forming all letters correctly by knowing the size and orientation of each letter; clear and neat presentation and increasing fluency and speed of writing.

In KS2, grammar and punctuation are taught to match the writing purpose, with children developing their understanding of technical terms to be able to discuss and justify the choices they include when structuring their ideas.

The children regularly use Vocabulary Ninja and Spelling Shed to practise their skills and to show their understanding of the terminology. Spelling strategies are taught and tested throughout KS1 and KS2 and children are encouraged to use these in their independent writing. Children also regularly use dictionaries and thesaurus to check and improve their work.

Handwriting is very important at Bottesford, children are taught to write in a neat, legible style and are encouraged to use a cursive script.

Drama and speaking and listening are implemented as part of not only English but also the wider curriculum in order to encourage self-confidence, imagination and empathy. It is used to stimulate, explore and challenge ideas. Communication is a key feature of many aspects of our curriculum.


Planning English at Bottesford is linked to topics wherever possible. Planning highlights the skills the children need to acquire each year.

· Long term plans map out the units to be covered each term, during each Key Stage.

· Medium term plans identify learning objectives and outcomes for each unit, as well as indicating the skills being taught, and making links to other curriculum areas.

· Short term plans prepared by each teacher, highlight the skills and objectives of the lesson, and identify resources and appropriate differentiation and assessment. They also indicate key questions.

Assessment and Monitoring 

Half-termly phonics assessments are carried out in Reception and KS1. Teachers assess children against clear learning objectives and success criteria in each lesson. Children are encouraged to self, and peer assess, throughout each unit. Teachers use Rising Stars NTS papers to conduct termly reading comprehension tests and independent writing tasks are used to assess progression in writing skills. The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time. Teaching and learning is monitored at a time indicated in the School Improvement Plan.

Equal Opportunities  

We have high expectations for all children. Our aim as a school is to ensure that all children have equal access to a rich, rewarding and diverse curriculum for English, and that they experience this curriculum in ways that are appropriate for their needs, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or any other determining factors. We actively promote equal opportunities by tracking groups causing concern. Consequently, we make use of a suitable range of learning activities, teaching strategies, educational materials and ICT aids to meet the needs of every individual learner. Resources will actively promote an awareness of the diverse nature of the world around us.  Children for whom English is an additional language are supported in their use of English and will be given opportunities to make use of their home language to assist their learning and to add to the resources of the classroom.  


Special Educational Needs  

Children with special needs may need to work at a level above or below that of the rest of their peer group or may need special assistance to accomplish particular tasks. This will become apparent through teachers’ use of an on-going observation and assessment or assessment prior to a child coming to our school. 

Children needing extra help are supported as instructed by their individual statements (IEPs). It is for class teachers to decide how to best target their support in liaison with the SENCO. 

Homework and the Role of Parents  

We see parents as important partners in the process of developing children’s literacy skills.  They have an important influence on children’s language before they come to school and provide valuable support at home in helping children to become readers and writers. They offer a useful audience for children in their development as speakers and listeners, readers and writers as the children move through the school (e.g. phonics, reading, SAT’s revision). 

We therefore encourage parents to play their full part in their children’s education by:

  • Involving parents in the school’s reading programme from the moment their child starts school. 
  • Updating the guidance for parents as their children move through school so that they can continue to offer appropriate support.
  • Welcoming offers of help from parents to assist in school by listening to children read.
  • Sending homework home in accordance with the school’s Homework Policy and encouraging parental support.