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Denbury Primary

Primary School



Our inspiring and exciting English curriculum here at Denbury will enable our children to be avid readers who read fluently and widely and are able to express preferences and opinions confidently. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites. We want to develop children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst using a rich vocabulary and developing their own individual style. We expect our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a cursive handwriting style. 



Within the Early Years setting, children are encouraged to begin making marks on paper, before learning correct letter formation and using their understanding of phonics to build words and form sentences. 

At Denbury we have adopted The Write Stuff to bring a whole school approach to the mechanics of writing.? We use "Sentence Stacking" to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.? Each writing lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three chunks: 

  • Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence. 
  • Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques. 
  • Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model. 

Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.  

Grammar and Punctuation

The Write Stuff also reinforces grammar through the use of: 

  • The FANTASTICS which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing. 
  • The GRAMMARISTICS is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages. 
  • The BOOMTASTICS which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.  
  • Punctuation is taught through the “non-negotiables” of the Writing Laundry and the Grammaristics so that children never forget to clean up their writing. 


Our school uses Phonics Bug Club to teach Reading (and spelling). It builds children's speaking and listening skills and prepares them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Children are taught letter sounds (grapheme-phoneme correspondences) and how to use them to read and spell. Children are taught to blend sounds to read and to segment to spell. At the same time, they are introduced to words which are not phonically regular (‘tricky words’) and learn that they must be able to recognise these on sight. Phonics is split into 6 phases of learning.

Children begin Phase One in Nursery and then they are taught the remaining phases in Reception and throughout Key Stage 1. Below is a summary of each phase: 

Phonic Knowledge and Skills 

Phase One

Seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending (putting sounds together to make a word - for reading) and segmenting (splitting a word up into its separate sounds - for spelling). 

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions. 

Phase three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes (spoken sounds) not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. 

Phase Four

Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump. 

Phase Five

Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing them. 

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters.

Reading Schemes

At Denbury Primary School, in KS1 we use the Phonics Bug Club Scheme to help children learn to read and love to read. First children experience decodable texts that align to the phases for phonics. Bug Club’s well-loved characters, and varied writing styles give children everything they need to become confident readers. Each book contains supporting notes to help parents when reading with their child at home. When ready, children progress onto the Accelerated Reader Scheme which allows children to constantly make progress with their reading skills through regularly participating in online quizzes and being exposed to regular feedback from those quizzes. AR produces “particularly positive effects” according to an independent study by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Durham University.“The internet-based programme increased the reading age of pupils by three additional months in just 22 weeks. The effect on low-income pupils was even greater, with their reading age improving by five additional months in the same amount of time.”

Bug Club Guided Reading

All children in Foundation and Year 1 will have the opportunity to take part in a shared reading experience in a small [4-6] group guided by an adult once per week.  This will happen on a weekly basis. All guided reading sessions should have an objective linked to year group expectations and these should be recorded on the schools guided reading Planning/Record sheet.  During guided reading the adult with each group will record children’s responses to the text and the skill being taught. 

Shared Reading

In KS1 and Reception, children will listen to a text read to them by an adult and take part in discussions around that text. This is an opportunity to discuss the use of language, widen the children’s vocabulary and develop their levels of comprehension.  Higher order reading skills and reading comprehension are explicitly taught through planned lessons based on good quality literature. 

Further extension tasks may be set to explore ideas in the story and further challenge the children.

‘Book Talk’ Whole Class reading

All children in Years 2-6 will take part in whole class reading 3 days per week. The remaining 2 days per week will be spent either in a guided group of 4-6 with a teacher or reading independently.

Whole class reading is designed to ensure that all children are hearing age-related texts daily and building their vocabulary and comprehension skills. During this time, specific reading skills or features of differing genres will be taught. Tasks will be differentiated and the use of reading partners will also support children.

Teachers will ensure that the text types vary over each half term and that the range of skills taught cover those set out in their year group’s objectives. This ensures that children experience a breadth of texts as well as chance to practise a range of skills.  

Individual Reading

All children will have at least one individual reading book either from the schools reading scheme or the school library which is well stocked with books on the Accelerated reader scheme.  Children in Foundation Stage and KS1 will have their books changed by an adult or be supported to change their book and children in KS2 will change their own books whenever they need to.

Independent reading is given high priority at Denbury Primary school because our children have told us that they enjoy time to immerse themselves in books. Therefore, the timetable allows for some independent reading time straight after lunch or at other points during the day. During independent reading, children can quiz on an Accelerated reader book. The accelerated reader system allows the teacher to monitor the child’s reading and comprehension and gives a reading range that the children can use to help them choose a book from the library.

Priority readers (those reading below the expected level for their age) will read on a 1:1 basis with a TA or teacher to help them further develop their fluency and decoding skills.


The School Library contains a variety of Accelerated Reader books as well as Fiction and Non-Fiction books.  All children are entitled to borrow Library Books.  There will be the opportunity to change library books at lunchtimes and during independent reading time. 

The role of Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants are expected to take an active role in supporting children with their reading as directed by the Class Teacher.  This can include working with groups of children during the Literacy lesson, leading guided reading groups or hearing individual children read. 

The Role of Volunteers

The school encourages people who have some time to come into school to hear readers.  The volunteer will be allocated to a class teacher who will then select children who would benefit from the extra reading to an adult. 

The class teacher is responsible for ensuring that the volunteer has the support needed to help them carry out the role effectively. 

Class libraries

Each classroom has a class library of age-appropriate books which children can access. Topic books are also available within the classroom linked to the current topic being taught. These are accessible to the children to engage and inspire them to further develop their knowledge across the curriculum.

Spoken Language

The importance of spoken language to underpin the development of reading and writing is reflected in opportunities to develop vocabulary and confidence in speaking and listening. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Here at Denbury Primary School, children are given regular opportunities to speak out in front of the class when presenting work, drama, debate and group activities.


Children at Denbury flourish in their English learning and enjoy a life-long love of reading and writing.   Pupils have a wide vocabulary that they use within their spoken and written work to communicate effectively and confidently and write for a range of meaningful purposes with accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation and legible handwriting. 

Reading Progression