Our English curriculum intent

At Gisburn Road Community Primary School it is our aim to develop children’s love of reading and writing.

We want the children to become confident readers, who read for interest, information and enjoyment. We aim to offer an English curriculum that builds on skills, enables the children to work creatively and become independent.

We want the children to take a pride in their writing, to draw on experiences which will enable them to write in a range of styles and contexts and write clearly and accurately. The children take part in writing competitions and enjoy visits from authors.

As a school we know that providing the children with a quality English curriculum, it will give the children the skills, knowledge and confidence to take with them into the future.


To teach Phonics we use a method of teaching called 'synthetic Phonics' to help children learn to read, write and spell. Find out what synthetic phonics (known to the children as 'Letters and Sounds') is and how you can help your child develop this vital skill:


At Gisburn Road Community Primary School it is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who read for interest, information and enjoyment. We use a range of different strategies to support reading within our school.

Reading opportunities are provided on a daily basis. A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. The teachers share books with the class and regularly read stories and rhymes. Phonics is taught daily and follows the Letters and Sounds document (see The Teaching of Phonics section on our website – link below). The children select an individual reading book to take home to support their learning. Teachers regularly read with the children and encourage reading to take place at home.

Children participate in daily guided reading sessions to deepen children’s inferential, retrieval and decoding skills. Children are placed into similar ability groups which are reviewed on a regular basis. The text chosen for a given guided reading session will challenge the group in terms of meaning and word difficulty. The text chosen will ideally link to the current English unit theme. There is a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts chosen for guided reading sessions over a half-term period.

The children in Reception/Key Stage 1 follow the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme.

Children also have the opportunity to independently read and when a child has finished reading a book, they will talk it through with an adult. Children select their own text from the selection available at their level, which also include e-books. Selecting their own choice of texts is an important part of developing independence. This motivates readers and helps children to develop and discuss their reading preferences.
Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches to the teaching of reading should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.

Reading with your child

We greatly appreciate the time parents and carers give to listen to readers at home.

Ideally children should read with you for approximately 5-10 minutes each day. Depending on the child, these 5-10 minutes should be a combination of listening to the child read aloud and then a discussion about what they have read using some of the questions shown here. It can also be useful at times for you to model ‘smooth reading’ for your child.

There are also ideas for strategies the children can try when they are struggling to decode new words. The children need to have the opportunity to have a go at decoding new or tricky words using some of these strategies. At the same time, don’t let them struggle unnecessarily. You can help them by modelling the strategies, for example, how to sound the word out or clues from the page or text.

Reading strategies

  • When I am reading something, I can use the following things to help me:
  • I use the pictures to help me
  • I sound out/blend words I don’t know C-A-R-P-E-T car-pet carpet
  • I look for smaller words inside words. “tEACHer”
  • I can break word down into syllables “en – joy – able” “Enjoyable”
  • I use punctuation to help me make sense of what I am reading
  • I go back and read a word or sentence again if I don’t understand it.
  • I read on to see if I can work out the meaning of a word I don’t know.
  • I listen to what I am reading to see if it makes sense.
  • I check that I am right by going back to look at words carefully.
  • I can tell when I’ve made a mistake and go back to try and put it right.
  • I ask questions to help me with my reading if I don’t understand.
  • I talk through my ideas, thoughts and feelings about what I’m reading.
  • I think about what might happen in the book and I can say why.
  • When I read, I imagine what is happening and create a picture in my mind.
  • I use words I can see around me or that I have read before.

Questions you could ask your child about what they have read


  • What word in the text tells you that……….?
  • Which words/phrases make you think/feel?
  • What other words/phrases could the author have used instead?


  • Which? What? When? Where? Why? Who? How?
  • Where/when does ……. take place?
  • What did …….. look like?
  • Can you say if (point from the text) is true or false?
  • Can you give evidence to support your opinion>
  • Can you give two reasons why…………….?

Sequence and summarise:

  • What happened after…..?
  • What happened before…..?
  • Can you summarise (the paragraph/page/chapter..) in one sentence?


  • Why do you think………?
  • True or false?
  • What evidence is there that/of ……………


  • What do you think will happen if?
  • What do you think will happen to? Why do you think this?
  • Do you think that ……. will…….? Explain using evidence from the text.


Handwriting and presentation are an important part of the school curriculum.

It helps children to foster a pride in their own work, take ownership for it and helps to raise standards.

Our aims are:

  • For children to achieve a neat, fluent and legible style of joined handwriting.
  • To take a pride in their work and know what is expected of them.
  • To be consistent in their quality of work.


Literacy and communication are key life skills. Through our English curriculum we will enable our pupils to be lifelong learners, through the teaching of the spoken and written language.


We aim to offer an English curriculum that builds on skills, enables the children to work creatively and become independent.

Children will be exposed to a rich variety of literature and encouraged to appreciate literature and foster a love of reading.

Our aims:

  • To promote and develop children’s enthusiasm for literacy and to provide them with an essential life skill.
  • To help pupils understand the thoughts of others through writing.
  • To allow children to express their thoughts and ideas.
  • To develop writing stamina and fluency.
  • To be able to write in a range if genres by planning, drafting, editing and refining.
  • Have a versatile and flexible use of the English Language.