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ENGLISH At Mayfield

what we intend to achieve

Literacy and communication are at the heart of our curriculum here at Mayfield. It is our intention to enthuse, encourage and support our pupils. Our English Curriculum is ambitious, coherently planned, sequenced and delivered to a high standard. We want all of our learners, including our SEND and vulnerable pupils, to achieve highly and to develop a love of reading, writing and language. As a school, we aim to inspire children to develop their reading and comprehension skills, write accurately and adaptively for a range of purposes and be confident and respectful when speaking and discussing their views. We want children to have fun and enjoy the world of words. Ultimately, we want all of our pupils to be supported, challenged and equipped with the skills they need to become lifelong learners.

How we implement the teaching of english

The starting point for our English teaching is the National Curriculum, which outlines the specific skills and knowledge that we should teach. Its aims are that pupils:

  • 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, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

Each term, children explore their learning through carefully planned ‘Learning Journeys’ that are designed to provide them with a range of engaging learning experiences as they progress through the school. English is an integral part of this process and class texts are linked to the topics that the children explore; quality literature is at the heart of our English teaching. From Reception through to Year 6, children are exposed to a variety of genres, authors and writing styles to help foster a love of literacy. Texts are used to provide models of writing styles and inspirational starting points as well opportunities for children to be immersed in the sheer joy of stories. All aspects of English are covered. Drama, poetry and speaking activities are crucial both as preparation for writing and as a means to expand the range of vocabulary our pupils have at their fingertips and to improve their confidence when communicating with others.


Confident reading and accurate spelling are essential skills that allow children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. We begin to immerse our children in the world of books and phonics from their very first days at school. The teaching of phonics ensures that children are exposed to the rules of language, both when reading and writing, to help them develop as confident and effective readers and writers. Currently, we use the DfE validated Twinkl Phonics Scheme which is a systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme, designed to support early reading from Reception.  As well as daily phonic lessons in EYFS and  Key Stage 1, we ensure that children who require it in KS2 have input or intervention and that, for all children in KS2, these skills are continuously applied as they are exposed to new words and spelling patterns. Children in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and beyond if necessary, have access to decodable books suitable for their current level of phonic understanding. Regular assessment and analysis of phonic knowledge and spelling ensures that the right support is provided and tailored to the specific needs of both individual children and the class.


The National Curriculum states that ‘Most people read words more accurately than they spell them. The younger pupils are, the truer this is.’ The teaching of spelling at Mayfield is designed to provide children with a solid understanding of how to apply spelling rules, patterns and strategies to enable them to access texts that are inspiring and to communicate their literacy ideas accurately and effectively. In order for children to develop into effective and confident spellers, they need to have a solid understanding of phonics and the etymology of words along with strategies to learn and retain new words.

For this to be achieved, spelling is taught actively and explicitly - daily in EYFS and KS1 and a minimum of three times a week in KS2. Spelling lessons explore rules and patterns, exceptions and the etymology of words. Alongside this, we recognise the importance of ‘little and often’ and opportunities are provided for children to independently practise their spellings in school and at home.  Spelling journals and learning wall displays are in place to support the children. In order to ensure retention, we have moved away from the idea of weekly spelling tests as we believe that the greatest impact on spelling is achieved when children are encouraged to use new spellings and their associated rules in their writing.


We teach reading through a combination of 1-2-1 work, small group work and a whole class approach, depending on the Key Stage and the needs of a particular cohort or individual pupils. Children are taught to decode texts, read with expression, to appreciate a wide range of genres and to ask and answer questions about a text. From an early age, pupils are also encouraged to think about the meaning behind the author’s words (and pictures) and to make predictions and inferences, which increase in their complexity as children progress through the school. A whole class reading approach allows our teachers to introduce more challenging texts and discuss the language and structure within them as well as providing models and starting points for writing activities. Quality texts and literature is at the heart of our Curriculum. Books and authors have been carefully selected to both support topic and learning journeys within a year group and to ensure a breadth of writing styles and genres as children progress through the school. 


Writing is, of course, a crucial part of our English curriculum and our long term planning ensures that children are given the opportunity to write for different purposes and audiences and are given the tools and encouragement they need to become successful writers. Cross-curricular opportunities for reading and writing are used, wherever possible, with fiction and non-fiction texts linked to our topics. We use high quality texts to demonstrate different styles of writing, creative flair and technical accuracy and weave grammar skills into every English lesson to ensure pupils both understand the terminology and use it effectively in their writing. Through modelling, discussion and carefully planned sequences of lessons, children are provided with meaningful opportunities to develop and hone their English skills.

We have high expectations in terms of effort, outcomes and presentation of work. Equally, we encourage and nuture our pupils to have high expectations of themselves. Self-evaluation and collaborative feedback support teacher assessment in identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement. We celebrate children’s successes, both academic and the learning behaviours they demonstrate. There is an expectation that all children are able to write in a joined, cursive style by the time they leave our school. We have adopted the Letterjoin scheme to ensure that there is consistency throughout the school as this also enables us to share our handwriting expectations with parents and carers as well as seeing models in the learning environment.

Ultimately, as with all areas of the curriculum, we believe in a quality first teaching approach whereby teachers apply their skills and experience to tailor learning to match the needs of any given child or class.


Through inspiring Learning Journeys, exposure to quality literature, cross-curricular opportunities and effectively sequenced learning, all pupils should achieve highly and enjoy reading and writing. Successful implementation of our English offering will ensure that all pupils make good (or better) progress from their own personal starting points. This will be apparent in termly assessments, end of Key Stage assessments, class provision maps and outcomes of work across a range of books. Through the teaching of English, children will have acquired a wide vocabulary and a skill set that can be used both in their discussions and in their writing, ensuring that they can confidently express themselves in a variety of ways. This, alongside positive learning behaviours, enables our children to transition to the next stage of learning and flourish in later life. Our Christian ethos supports and nurtures our children, allowing them the ‘freedom of wings to soar’.

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