• Welcome to

    Sparkenhoe Community School


At Sparkenhoe Community Primary School, our English curriculum is designed to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion and prepare our children for life as successful, valuable and socially responsible citizens.


Children start at our school with some understanding of recognising logos and pictures for meaning. Some of our pupils identify the letters of the alphabet and are able to recognise some familiar words such as their own name. Children have some understanding of print and have a notion of pen to paper mark making. They may have done some writing or mark making at home but most children have not encountered phonics. Children with English as an additional language may have awareness of English print but the majority have no exposure to print in their home language. Children are beginning to be aware of the basic principles of spoken communication. The majority of children will come to us experiencing another language at home, most will be bi-lingual. English is a second language and Standard English, with the ability to explain ideas coherently and effectively, is often not commonplace.

Through our carefully designed English curriculum, high quality phonics teaching, modelling and teaching of reading skills, opportunities for reading for pleasure and writing across the curriculum, children develop the necessary skills to be able to become questioning and well-informed members of society. They are in a good position to continue their love of reading right into adulthood. They are able to write in many different forms, with varying degrees of formality and in different styles, equipping them for the next stage in their education and giving them the tools to apply to other areas of their learning. Children are equipped to become eloquent, confident and polite communicators.

Our curriculum meets the requirements of the National Curriculum for English 2014 and aims to enable all children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently
  • use discussion to participate in exploratory and presentational talk
  • become effective speakers in a range of situations

These aims are embedded through our English curriculum and the wider curriculum. Our English curriculum has been designed to ensure children develop a secure knowledge-base which follows a clear pathway of progression.


Early reading is taught using ALS phonics: Letters and Sounds. This is validated by the Department for Education and aims to provide a solid and continuous approach to the teaching of a systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme in Nursery, Reception and KS1.

Phonics intervention is implemented in KS2 for those pupils who still need to access the phonics curriculum. This is a targeted intervention based on the individual need of the child. Phonics assessment continues across KS2 until staff are confident that children are secure in their phonics knowledge.

In Foundation Stage and KS1, children are given decodable reading books which match to the children’s current phonic knowledge.

Children are taught further reading strategies in weekly shared reading lessons and all children from Foundation 2 to Year 6 have weekly guided reading sessions to practice the skills of reading, apply knowledge and develop fluency, understanding and vocabulary. These are carefully planned using high quality and appropriate texts to ensure progression of skills as the children move through the school.

In the Foundation Stage children have daily phonics sessions, stories linked to themes and are exposed to a range of familiar stories through core texts. In Foundation 2, children have shared writing lessons and begin writing and letter formation within phonics lessons. Children have opportunities to write and apply skills in provision.

Within our English curriculum, units of work are designed to expose children to a range of high quality texts and genres, teach specific vocabulary, grammar and punctuation objectives and apply these in purposeful pieces of writing. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lesson sequences themselves build progressively towards an extended piece of writing.

Within each unit of work, texts are unpicked to explore common features, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation objectives are taught and applied in mini writes and children plan, write and edit an independent piece with a clear purpose. Lesson sequences build progressively towards this independent piece. In KS1 and KS2 children have a daily English lesson which is between 40 and 60 minutes.

In KS1, spelling is taught within phonics lessons with a discrete handwriting lesson once a week. In KS2 spelling and handwriting are taught in discrete weekly lessons.

Each unit comprises of a Medium Term plan, which details the rationale for the unit, the progression from previous linked units and all the relevant objectives. To ensure progression across different year groups, the National Curriculum has been broken down into incremental statements where appropriate.


By the time children leave Sparkenhoe, attainment in reading, writing and grammar is in line with or exceeding age-related expectations.

End of Key Stage 2 outcomes are consistently in line with or above national comparators for all groups of pupils, including in 2022 when KS2 statutory testing returned.