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English Statement of Intent

The intention of the English curriculum we offer at Goldenhill Primary Academy is to give children a competence in English that enables them to communicate effectively at home, at school and in the wider world, leading to improved life skills and wider opportunities. We intend to develop skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, including all of their essential inherent skills, enabling children to organise and express their own thoughts and to access the knowledge and ideas of others.


An understanding of how language is the vehicle for communication in both oral and written forms is paramount in our thinking and planning. To become literate, children need to understand that writing is a representation of speech, and that both come in a variety of forms linked to purpose. At Goldenhill Primary Academy, we are intent on teaching children that these aspects of language are inextricably linked, and can rarely be experienced or learnt discretely.



At Goldenhill Primary Academy, we aim to give children the opportunity and encouragement to:

  • nurture a love of language and all that it encompasses
  • speak clearly, adapting their spoken English to suit the audience
  • listen with concentration, and respond appropriately to what they have heard
  • recognise the difference between informal spoken and written language and Standard English, and be able to apply this to their speaking and writing appropriately
  • recognise English as being cross-curricular and essential as a basis to all learning
  • recognise the link between reading and writing
  • develop a love of books, read for enjoyment, and be able to evaluate texts and justify preferences
  • read and write with confidence, fluency and comprehension
  • use a full range of cues to facilitate reading and spelling, including phonic, graphic, syntactic and contextual
  • develop an interest in words and their meanings, and therefore have an increasingly mature spoken and written vocabulary
  • be confident in ‘having a go’, rather than staying within their safety zone, especially in their choice of vocabulary
  • develop imagination and inventiveness
  • understand the features of, and be able to read and write in, a range of genres in fiction, non-fiction and poetry
  • use technical vocabulary appropriate to a genre to enable understanding, and to facilitate discussion of their reading and writing
  • plan, draft, improve and edit their own writing
  • use a fully cursive, fluent and legible handwriting style


English is a core subject and is at the heart of our curriculum. Each project covers a range of reading and writing genres and, where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum.


During 'English lessons' the use of differentiated quality texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum.


Please find below a  map of all the English genres covered across the academy.


Spoken language is promoted throughout the curriculum and across all subjects.


Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are promoted throughout all writing opportunities, with each year group following a specific programme. Please see below the coverage and progression map for English Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation for our academy.

How we teach reading at Goldenhill Primary Academy

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why, in partnership with parents, we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.


We start by teaching phonics in Nursery and throughout the Foundation Stage and Keystage 1. At Goldenhill Primary Academy we follow the Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics.


For more information, please follow this link:    


The six phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s individual assessments will inform the rate at which the children are able to progress through the phases and adapt their pace accordingly.


It is expected that Nursery will introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focused groups and activities. This includes learning to make different sounds and developing listening skill. When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds and may begin to teach digraphs.


In the Reception Class we will revise all letter sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs. At this stage the children are also becoming more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. In the Reception class children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. This continues into Year 1 and 2 as appropriate and children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Along side this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.


Phonics and reading activities are taught in whole class and small group situations. Your child will work with children who are at the same phonic and/or reading level.  This is so that the teaching can be focussed on their needs.  Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day – (in the Nursery and Reception classes.) Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.


All teachers will formally assess their children’s progress at the beginning of the year and the end of every term in order to inform their planning. Informal assessments are ongoing and plans adapted to meet the needs of the children.


At the end of year 1 the children will take the statutory National Phonic Screening Test. If the test shows that children are still working towards the expected standard then they will work in a small intervention group to enable them to retake the test in year 2.


Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home.  This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. All classrooms have attractive book corners where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction and non fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading.


Accelerated Reader.

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a targeted programme that helps us monitor children’s independent reading. Children choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. Once finished (and parents have signed in their child’s reading diary) they take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that they have understood what they have read. AR gives both children and staff immediate feedback based on their quiz results.


To determine a child's reading level children take a computerised reading assessment known as a STAR test at the beginning of the year and at set times throughout the year. The test uses multiple-choice questions and adjusts to the children’s responses – if an answer is correct the next question increases in difficulty and vice versa. The test takes approximately 10 minutes.


All of the reading books in the academy that children take home have now been banded into these levels or 'zones'. 


It is easy to keep a check on your child progress, seeing what books they have read and how well they are performing on their ‘quizzes’, by logging onto the following web address (this works better using Google Chrome as the internet explorer)and entering the log in details which you were sent when the programme started. These can also found in your child’s reading diary. (if you can not find these please contact your child's class teacher and we will happily send these again)

If you select the notification button you can receive email alerts when your child has completed a quiz so you can keep a check on how well they are doing.


Research has shown that children using this system and reading regularly make excellent progress both in their reading and comprehension skills.


What can parents/carers do to help?

You can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word.  Try not to refer to the letters by their names.  Help your child to focus on the sounds.  


Sometimes your child might choose to read a picture book that they know well. Encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.


Make reading and learning phonemes/spellings fun for example using magnetic letters on the fridge, foam letters in the bath or playing eye-spy.  Remember to keep reading to your child.  They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books.  You will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of different stories etc.  It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more.


Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress!

Reading Coverage and Progression Across the Academy