At North Denes Primary School, English is taught through our topic-based curriculum, incorporating the requirements of the National Curriculum through cross-curricular learning experiences. This approach enhances the children’s learning of English and promotes its relevance in all areas of the curriculum.


Daily teaching regularly incorporates shared and guided reading during whole class sessions. In addition, each child in KS1 and KS2 engages in a weekly guided reading session. Children are grouped according to attainment and these sessions aim to improve pupils’ reading comprehension, deepening their understanding of a text and developing the skills of inference and deduction.

Reading for pleasure is developed with each and every pupil. Children are encouraged to read to themselves every day (and the use of Accelerated Reader monitors a pupil’s understanding of the text they have read). Each class shares a ‘class reader’ – this is often a classic fiction book, which is read to the pupils at the end of every day.


YR and Y1 teach phonics explicitly on a daily basis. In other year groups, phonics is taught through shared and guided reading, and within spelling work, with some pupils continuing with explicit phonics learning.


Pupil’s writing is developed through English and topic teaching, so that they are learning through cross-curricular experiences. Children understand that writing has different purposes and is written for a range of audiences; the teaching and learning at North Denes ensures that pupils engage with a variety of genres. Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) are taught through written work, so that children recognise the relevance of their learning. Genres of writing are selected specifically for teaching to particular SPaG objectives.

Spoken Language:

Speaking and listening are essential skills that are developed regularly alongside other objectives. Children are taught to develop and apply speaking and listening skills to suit a variety of audiences and for different purposes. They are given opportunities to tell and listen to stories and explore, develop and justify ideas and opinions in both formal and informal contexts. They are also encouraged to express themselves creatively in improvisation, role play, poetry recitations and other drama activities.