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Crane Park Primary School

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At Crane Park Primary School, we have designed our English curriculum with the intent that all children, regardless of background, will become fluent, insightful readers, technically-skilled, creative writers and confident, articulate speakers. We understand that equipping children with the best possible grasp of English lays the foundation for all communication and all other curriculum subjects. Our aims are to:

  • Ensure early readers receive daily systematic teaching of phonics
  • Allow pupils to read and explore high-quality texts
  • Nurture excellent standards of prosody amongst readers
  • Develop pupils’ ability to comprehend, analyse and critique what they have read
  • Provide exciting writing opportunities that inspire and engage pupils
  • Teach pupils to adapt the language, style and tone of their writing across a range of genres
  • Equip children with a wide vocabulary with which to express themselves
  • Provide pupils with a solid understanding of the grammatical concepts underpinning effective communication
  • Assess pupil’s’ strengths and weaknesses regularly in order to better meet their needs
  • Value opportunities to edit and improve work, so that pupils always strive to do their very best
  • Support children to become confident and competent spellers
  • Make time for children to explore their creative ideas through the use of drama
  • Provide CPD that helps to produce knowledgeable and highly-skilled practitioners





   Staff at Crane Park understand the importance of pupils developing an enjoyment of reading, beginning as soon as children enter our building. The RWI phonics scheme is well-embedded in EYFS and KS1; we also teach different aspects of phonological awareness in our Nursery provision. RWI accelerates reading fluency in addition to developing comprehension in early readers, and our staff have received in-depth training to improve their delivery. Pupils are streamed into small groups, and regularly assessed to decide the level of text they should be reading. Parents are offered workshops so they can better support early readers at home.

   From Year 2, children who can read fluently begin to partake in several whole class shared reading lessons each week, using texts from CGP or Brilliant Comprehension books. Teachers use effective questioning during class discussions to challenge, probe and extend children’s understanding and learning, exposing them to questions from the six core reading domains and also modelling prosody to the children, who still have opportunities to read aloud themselves.

   Children benefit from weekly visits to the school’s well-stocked library to select a book to take home, and have access to the Bug Club website where teachers set interactive books matched to their reading ability. Every year the school celebrates reading through both World Book Day and the Book Trust Pyjamarama.



   We follow a text-based approach to English, based on sequences from CLPE’s Power of Reading scheme. Core texts have been thoughtfully chosen for each year group, and are read out loud by enthusiastic practitioners, enabling all children in the class to access the texts. Children are encouraged to respond to the texts through drawing, drama, and discussion, in addition to their writing activities.  

     The exploration of a single text takes place over 3-10 weeks (depending on the length of the text) and during this time, children will have the chance to explore a range of genres in-depth, studying the conventions of each and creating their own work based on model texts. Work is appropriately scaffolded and children are encouraged to explore new and exciting vocabulary from the text before using it in their own writing. Pupils are taught to adapt the style of their writing based on the context and audience, partaking in shared writing so they can build skills collaboratively before applying them independently. Children are encouraged to reflect on their work, then edit and improve it, supported by feedback from teachers.



   In EYFS, pupils are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and form individual letters correctly. From KS1, we follow the Letterjoin handwriting scheme, which systematically progresses from the correct formation of patterns, to cursive letters and then words, providing videos that model the correct hand movements which teachers can then copy and repeat. The same font is used on many resources in school so that the cursive style becomes familiar to children.


Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

   Through RWI, children gain a confidence in successfully sounding out spellings, as well as memorising many common exception words. In KS2, spelling is taught though explicit lessons, and spellings are sent home each week to learn for a test. In Years 4 and 6, children repeat work on the spelling patterns taught in Years 3 and 5, providing cyclical coverage. They increase their knowledge of word origins, families and roots, and have access to dictionaries to help them improve their spelling.

   We worked with an external specialist to develop our progression document for Grammar and Punctuation that enables teachers to ensure they revise previously-taught elements, before introducing new concepts. In addition to including elements in daily English lessons that fit the genre being taught, grammar is also taught as a discreet subject at least twice a week from Year 2 upwards.



   By the time our pupils leave Crane Park, we aim for them to be confident, fluent speakers, capable of using a wide range of adventurous and ambitious vocabulary in all contexts, not just English lessons. We aim for our pupils to practise giving descriptions, explanations, presentations in all curriculum subjects, as well as clearly expressing their feelings to staff and to their peers through opportunities for informal discussion during lessons. All lessons provide opportunities for pupils to participate actively in conversations, respond to questions and build on the contributions of others. Frequent drama and role play opportunities in English lessons encourage children to further develop their oracy skills. 


Pupils with SEND and New Arrivals

Where pupils need support with English because of SEND or because have yet to acquire much English, this is provided in a variety of ways. We have external Dyslexia and Speech and Language experts who work with children 1:1, and our support staff have had training in techniques such as Colourful Semantics. Class teachers decide which reading or writing interventions may be necessary to help groups of pupils’ progress, and all year groups provide 1:1 reading for pupils who need this support. Teachers are also responsible for providing the necessary support in English lessons, through small group work with an adult or differentiated resources.



  • Children having daily RWI sessions are assessed 6x per year to ascertain their decoding ability
  • Children take Pixl reading assessments 3x per year (more frequently in Year 6) to measure their progress and to help practitioners to adapt their teaching using the subsequent gap analysis documents
  • Teachers participate in internal writing moderation session working with staff across year groups, sharing a broad range of written work, before moderating writing in their own teams; our assessment frameworks for Year 1 and Years 3-5 have been developed with the STA TAFs for KS1 and KS2 in mind
  • Year 6 teachers have opportunities to moderate more regularly, both internally and externally
  • Formative assessment takes place when staff mark English books using our well-embedded marking policy, using symbols and codes familiar to children, written comments, or modelling to help them improve



    The impact of our English curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school: pupil progress meetings, learning walks, book scrutiny, verbal feedback from pupils and staff, and summative assessment data. We have a history of high scores in our Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, and we are working hard to ensure as many children as possible reach age-related expectations at the end of KS1 and KS2, making considerable progress from their starting points in EYFS. 

    The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to communicate successfully for a range of purposes and audiences by the time they leave our school. We hope that as children move on from Crane Park to further their education that their creativity and love of reading and writing travel with them.