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English at Grove Primary School 


English at Grove Primary School

At Grove Primary School we believe that language and literacy is fundamental to the overall development of the child and enables their access to the curriculum in all its aspects. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our English lessons to ensure all children are included and valued, following the Primary English Curriculum, implemented in September 2014. Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills. We strive to deliver English in a cross-curricular manner to enable the learning to take place through a source of interest and enjoyment.


The National Curriculum for English (2014) aims to ensure that all 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


The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.


Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.


Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.


All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

Significant Authors

Each year group has a special significant author who they focus on for the half term. Throughout the year, the children get the opportunity to be introduced to a range of wonderful authors and read some of their amazing stories. Look at the table below to find out who the significant authors are in each half term. This would be a great opportunity to see if you have any books from these authors at home or you could borrow some from your local library to read with your child at home. 

Picture 1

English at Grove September 2016

ALT Hub Spelling Bee competition

Spelling Bee Competition 4th July


Pupils from Grove, Pakefield Primary and Westwood Primary competed in our annual KS2 Spelling Bee competition.  Over the last few weeks, each school has been busy holding heats with their classes to decide the final two participants that would be competing in the finals.  We were very impressed with the overall standard of the pupils spelling ability.  The overall winners were Pakefield Primary School, well done! 

Year 3 winner - Isla from Pakefield Primary 

Year 4 winner - Charlotte from Grove Primary

Year 5 winner - Saffron from Westwood Primary  




Bedtime Stories Thursday 26th November 2015


Letters and Sounds is the programme used to teach systematic synthetic phonics at Grove Primary School. High quality phonics teaching is essential and is needed for children to achieve the goal of reading.  Letters and Sounds is taught daily as a discrete lesson throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. In Key Stage Two it is used as an intervention for those who need further support. Children are taught in small ability groups that are appropriate to their stage of reading. Phonics teaching is monitored and assessed by the class teacher.

Spoken Language

The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development for reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.


The children should:

  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, building on the contributions of others

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling


A new statutory test of English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) was introduced for children at the end of Key Stage Two in May 2013. This has been introduced to reflect the Government's beliefs that children should have a better understanding of the more 'technical' aspects of English, such as grammar, punctuation and spelling by the time they leave primary school.  At Grove Primary School we teach the grammar, punctuation and spelling curriculum throughout Key Stage One and Two.


We have recently created a glossary of grammar terminology and examples in order to further support your child with this aspect of English.

Keep up to date with all the latest grammar terminology here...


Children's phonological awareness and spelling strategies are assessed and informs teaching. Dedicated time is allocated for teaching and investigating spelling, as well as word level work linking to a related text in the main English session. Spellings are based on the new spelling guidelines and lists in the Primary English Curriculum appendices. Children are encouraged to practise their spellings as homework and are given tasks to support their learning in class. Children are tested in their target groups weekly. Word banks, along with dictionaries can be used to support children's spelling at the point of writing.


This year at Grove Primary School we have started our journey using Talk for Writing.  Our mission is to help all our children develop into thoughtful readers and creative writers and it is through the Talk for Writing approach that we believe we can achieve this. We are all very enthusiastic about this approach and are looking forward to developing it in our school.


Through it’s multi-sensory and interactive teaching it enables children of all ages and abilities to learn to write a wide range of story/text types using various methods including:

o             listening to and learning texts and stories;

o             taking part in drama and role-play;

o             drawing and story mapping;

o             collecting words and language strategies

o             building their working knowledge of grammar.


What exactly is it?

Talk for Writing is an innovative approach to teaching writing developed by the literacy specialist and writer Pie Corbett ( . It uses high quality model texts to introduce the children to different story/text types which they then learn off by heart and scrutinise with a writer’s critical eye.

They learn the underlying structures and the process of planning using story maps. They also learn about the key strategies for creating interesting characters and settings and how to use a range of sentence types to create different effects including suspense or adventure.



Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing:


Imitation and immersion

We usually like to start our Talk for Writing units with a ‘wow’ starter which fires up the creativity and imagination of the children before they immerse themselves in the model text.

During this phase the children learn a model text using actions and story maps. The key to success for the children is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They explore the structure of the narrative and investigate the different characters, settings and events. They also begin to look closely at the language used and the effect this has on the reader. We call this process ‘read as a writer’. The classroom becomes a dynamic, interactive resource filled with word ideas, sentence types and language tools collected by the children to use in their stories later.



During this phase the teacher and the children begin to change aspects of the model text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure.

It is during this phase that the children work using their toolkits. The toolkits, based on the features and ingredients of the model text, remind children of the different strategies they could use in their stories and helps them to see the progress they are making.



During the invent week the children plan and write their own story based on the text type they have been learning. They experiment with the ideas and begin to explore their own style of writing using sentence types from the model text.



Pie Corbett, Talk 4 Writing on Today's Schools

Pie Corbett gives an overview of the Talk for Writing process.

Click on the Kid's Zone link below to find a page packed full with exciting English games!