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William Cobbett Primary School


At William Cobbett Primary School English is at the heart of our teaching as we believe that the key skills in English: reading, writing and speaking and listening; provide the foundations for pupils' achievement throughout the whole curriculum and all other areas of learning for now and the future.

English is a core subject of the National Curriculum, with reading, writing and speaking and listening being taught and practised in a range of situations and across all subjects. This enables pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

At William Cobbett, the teaching and learning of English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read, write and communicate orally with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • Have an interest in books and literature; whilst practising reading for enjoyment
  • Discuss reading and writing comprehensively by expressing opinions, explaining techniques and justifying preferences about a wide range of literature, using appropriate vocabulary
  • Understand a range of text types and genres; develop knowledge to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write using a variety of styles and forms
  • use grammar and punctuation accurately
  • understand and apply spelling conventions accurately within all written work

Our overarching aim is to promote high standards of spoken and written language, high quality writing skills with an emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar and a life-long love of reading for learning and pleasure. 


We believe that it is important to instill a love of reading.  Children have the opportunity to work with their teacher for guided reading in small groups, where the emphasis is on developing specific reading and comprehension skills. Children, with guidance from their teacher or teaching assistant, are able to select their own books and use these for their home reading. We provide books from a variety of schemes such as Bug Club, Project X, Big Cat and PM Reading Programme which are organised by coloured book bands for children that need a structure to help them develop their reading skills. Across the school children are encouraged to take a reading book or a library book, and are issued with a reading record book, which is a means of communication about their reading. It is part of the schools Homework Policy that the children are expected to read regularly at home.

Phonics and Spelling

We take a multi-sensory approach to spelling and follow the progression of skills set out in the National Curriculum 2014 and in Letters and Sounds. In EYFS, Key stage 1 and the Woodland centre, the pupils have a daily phonics session. As the pupils move into Year 2, they begin to learn about different spelling conventions such as: prefixes, suffixes and pluralisation.  In KS2, we build upon Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage work that has already been accomplished using the Letters and Sounds document, which is extended into year 3 as appropriate. The teaching of spelling is integrated into daily English lessons. This gradually builds pupils’ spelling vocabulary by introducing patterns or conventions and continually practising those already introduced.


We see writing as an integral part of the whole curriculum and activities in all other areas of the curriculum provide opportunities for a wide variety of writing.

Our pupils learn to:

  • write in different contexts and for different purposes and audiences
  • be increasingly aware of the conventions of writing, including grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • plan draft and edit their writing to suit the purpose
  • use Computing as a medium for presenting work and manipulating text
  • form letters correctly, leading to a fluent joined and legible handwriting style, giving increasing regard to presentation