Subject Policy

At Longton Primary School, we believe that a high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.

We follow the English national curriculum.


The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English 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 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 of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.

All pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.

Statutory requirements which underpin all aspects of spoken language across the six years of primary education form part of the national curriculum. These are reflected and contextualised within the reading and writing domains which follow.


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 should be 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.


The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

•       transcription (spelling and handwriting)

•       composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.


The two statutory appendices to the national curriculum – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study.

Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They should also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. References to developing pupils’ vocabulary are also included within the appendices.

Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed. This is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, but simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons. A non-statutory Glossary is provided within the national curriculum for teachers.

Throughout the programmes of study, teachers should teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.


The programmes of study for English are set out year-by-year for key stage 1 and two-yearly for key stage 2. The single year blocks at key stage 1 reflect the rapid pace of development in word reading during these two years. Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for English on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online.


By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.


English is an integral part of our daily lives and therefore manifests itself in many areas of the curriculum. 


Assessment in English at Longton takes two forms:

  • Formative assessment: All of our teachers use assessment continually to guage pupil progress and plan next steps in learning. By doing this, learning opportunities can be differentiated effectively for all pupils so that every child is challenged and makes progress.
  • Summative assessment: Three times each school year, teachers report overall judgements of pupil attainment in Writing, Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS). This information is reported to the assessment co-ordinator and English subject leader - it allows pupils progress to be tracked over time.These assessments are shared with parents at parents evenings and in end-of-year reports. In Reading and GPS, these judgements are informed by termly progress tests sat by the pupils and ongoing teacher assessment judgements. In Writing, the Longton Primary School writing assessment frameworks for each year group are used to form a judgement about where a child is at with their writing (these frameworks match the style of the Year 2 and Year 6 interim assessment frameworks published by the Deparment for Education). Moderation is used to ensure that the writing assessment framework is applied accurately in each year group. In Year 1, progress in Phonics is also reported.


The role of the subject leader:

  • Ensure curriculum materials are available to support all teachers in delivering the national curriculum in their year group.
  • Review and monitor planning.
  • Monitor lEnglish teaching and evaluate pupils work through book scrutinies and pupil interviews.
  • Arrange liason with advisory staff and work alongside other local schools to raise attainment and progress for all.
  • Work alongside staff to support them if required.
  • Attend relevant courses to be aware of new ideas and disseminate these to all staff and to arrange and deliver (if appropriate) INSET for colleagues.
  • Be responsible for ordering resources.
  • Carry out a curriculum review and report termly to governors.
  • Update the policy as necessary.
  • Produce an annual action plan for the improvement of English within school.


The study of English will be planned to give pupils a suitable range of differentiated activities appropriate to their age and abilities. Tasks will be set which challenge all pupils, including the more able.

For pupils with SEND, the task will be adjusted or pupils will be given extra support. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) - produced by class teachers in conjunction with the SENDCo and parents - will identify specific arrangements for individuals with SEND.

Children whose progress in a concern, will take part in carefully planned intervention programmes. The interventions include Fast Forward Grammar, one-to-one reading, paired reading, handwriting recovery, Read Write Inc, Alphabet Arc, Toe-by-Toe and many others. The sessions will be on a one-to-one or small group basis depending on the nature of the intervention and the need of the child. At the beginning of each intervention a baseline assessment is carried out which is repeated at the end of the intervention period to assess the impact of the intervention.


At Longton Primary School we are committed to ensuring, as far as possible, that there is equality of opportunity on all areas of the curriculum, including English regardless of gender, race or ability.


IT is an important tool for learning in all curriculum areas and should be encouraged within the teaching of English. In KS2, iPads will be used (when appropriate) to support teaching and learning.


The monitoring and evaluation of the English policy is the responsibility of the subject leader who is responsible to the Headteacher and the governors for the development of English throughout the school.


This policy will be reviewed every two years or in light of changes to legal requirements.

Contact the School

Longton Primary School

School Ln

Main Contact: Linda Masterson

Tel: 01772 612 495

SEN Contact: Sue Hothersall

SEN Email: '