Literacy is an integral element of our whole school curriculum. Teachers use creative and purposeful ways to engage pupils in their learning, raising standards and narrowing gaps in attainment.

We are an inclusive school and we set high standards and expectations for all of our pupils regardless of their abilities.

We use various strategies and grouping to enable our pupils to fulfil their potential in all curriculum areas including English.

Children are encouraged to reach their full potential by using a well-planned curriculum and providing extensive intervention programmes.

At the heart of every life experience, children need to be able to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large through spoken and written language.

Here at Pencombe CofE Primary we encourage each child to enjoy and appreciate the rich variety of literature so that they can respond with knowledge and enthusiasm. Children are involved in daily Basic Skills sessions to build up their Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation expertise.


The National Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it ‘pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually’. Reading allows pupils to ‘acquire knowledge’ and to ‘build on what they already know’ .

Reading at the early stages is supported through phonics teaching using the Floppy Phonics scheme. To support progress in reading, all pupils are expected to read at least four times a week.

The curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:

  • Word reading/ decoding
  • Comprehension

As a whole school we follow Talk4Reading, an approach to develop these two dimensions and positively influence children’s interactions with a text.

The Reading Spine
The Reading Spine is a core of books that create a living library inside a child’s mind. The spine is offered for reading aloud for pleasure. The idea is that the books are read and reread to ensure children deepen their knowledge of the books and increase their understanding of how each book links to their understanding of the world, their own experiences and to other books they have read. 
The class Reading Spines are there to compliment the topics being covered, are inclusive, diverse, encompassing fiction and non-fiction and multi-cultural. (Please see the Reading Overview link below)
Our Reading Culture
Fostering a love of reading and sharing stories, poems and rhymes to develop vocabulary and comprehension at an early stage is at the heart of what we do at Pencombe CofE Primary. We do this by having a secure, systematic, synthetic phonics programme, taught from the beginning of reception. Creating opportunities for children to be read to, to read and to reread books that match the phonics stage are essential in the process.
For more information in supporting your child to read, please see our “Supporting Your Child to Read” and “Reading At Home” pages in the Learning Zone section.

The Spoken Word

The National Curriculum states that pupils should be ‘taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently in Standard English’ . They should:

  • Justify ideas with reasons.
  • Ask questions to check understanding.
  • Develop vocabulary and build knowledge.
  • Negotiate.
  • Evaluate and build on the ideas of others.
  • Select the appropriate register for effective communication.
  • Give well-structured descriptions and explanations.
  • Speculate, hypothesise and explore ideas.
  • Organise their ideas prior to writing.

Writing at Pencombe CofE Primary

The National Curriculum states that pupils should:

The 2014 Curriculum divides writing skills into two dimensions:

We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We recognise that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary. We use the Talk for Writing method developed by the well-known author Pie Corbett. Links are made across the curriculum as part of our topic teaching.

To ensure there is a high standard of Spelling and Grammar, the whole school participates in daily Basic Skills sessions and follows an interactive spelling application called The Spelling Shed.

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