Message sent from:


Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact


                                                   “Learning for life”




English Curriculum Intent

At Thornton Hough Primary School, we understand that in order for a love of learning to be fostered in children, and in order that they become effective learners, they need to be happy, confident and emotionally secure – this is our intention for each and every child. We are proud of the Values-Based curriculum which lies at the core of our teaching and learning. This is embedded throughout our school – in lessons, assemblies, and playtimes.

Our Reception children follow EYFS Government guidance moving into The National Curriculum as they transition into Year One. Our English curriculum, is a considered, sequenced, progressive, and aspirational programme, which allows children to acquire the intended knowledge and skills, namely: to cultivate a life-long passion for reading; to develop their individual writing voice; to establish a genuine love of language and the written word; and to blossom into articulate and imaginative communicators and orators. It aims to motivate and inspire and leave them well-equipped to become lifelong learners. Our curriculum is rigorously assessed, with each year group having clearly defined age-related end points for pupils to aim towards, and progress towards these end points is carefully monitored, ensuring that every pupil is developing confidently and ready for the next stage in their learning.

In each year group, where appropriate careful links are made across the curriculum, which we have developed to meet the needs of our pupils at our school, to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful.


Our intention is to provide an environment which allows children to develop a love of reading. From the first day children attend Thornton Hough Primary School, they are exposed to a range of high quality texts which are readily available for them to read for themselves, alongside an adult or to be read to by a member of staff.

We expect our pupils to be avid readers, since children who read fluently and widely are better able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors. In this nurturing and eclectic reading environment, they will become able to make informed opinions about their literary preferences. They will also recognise that competency and comprehension in reading is key to understanding more about the world in which they live.  


We want our pupils to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in a range of contexts, and for a range of purposes and audiences. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary in order that they will be able to learn and understand new words and then use them when speaking, both informally and formally. They will have a solid understanding of grammar and they will be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in school with us. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a competent joined handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We expect that all good writers to refine and edit their writing over time, so we want our pupils to develop independence in seeking to identify for themselves areas for improvement in their own writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.




Our teaching staff are conscientious practitioners and take pride in having excellent English subject knowledge and imparting this knowledge in an engaging, fun and exciting way. Through carefully considered and thoughtful planning, our English curriculum builds upon prior knowledge and skills, not only from the previous half term but from the previous academic year, with clear end points for our children to achieve in every lesson, half term, term and year. English is a key subject in its own right as well as a medium for teaching and accessing the wider curriculum. Cross-curricular links are made where teachers feel children's learning would be enhanced.

We understand that creating positive attitudes towards English is as important as the acquisition of skills. When our children join us in Foundation Stage Two, the sharing of texts and the exploration of the pleasure and information extracted from books goes hand-in-hand with carefully planned lessons. These lessons teach the children the early reading, writing, phonics and language skills that they will need to enable their “learning for life”. Each year group has a carefully chosen, exemplary text which the children will study in detail every half term. Carefully selected poetry and non-fiction texts will also be taught each half-term. We use “Talk for Writing”, as an integral part of teaching exciting, progressive lessons. These lessons are sequential, well planned, and ensure links to phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting, and composition as well as interesting vocabulary and an engaging story. Guided, shared, and individual writing sessions are planned and delivered throughout the year, with our teachers delivering a mastery approach as well as ensuring children who are recognised as SEND and Greater Depth are equally as well-planned for as those children who are at the expected level of development for their age.

Systematic synthetic phonics is taught daily to children from the beginning of Foundation Two to the end of Year One using the Government accredicted Essential Letters and Sounds Programme. All teaching staff have been ELS  trained as it is recognised that some children still need phonics support in Year Two and further through the school. Our reading scheme aligns to the sequence set out in the ELS programme, ensuring that our early readers always access phonetically decoable books containing graphemes that they have been taught. Correct formation of the phoneme is practised as the chidlren complete the appropriate apply section of their ELS phonics workbook. We expect our children to take pride in their writing presentation no matter which subject they are recording in. Once discrete phonics lessons are completed in Year One, weekly spelling lessons are from Year Two alongside spelling being taught through the current focused text for that half term in each year group. Using ‘Babcock’ spelling programme, children are taught spelling patterns along with key words for their year, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Where identified, children in Key Stage Two will also have directed small group phonics intervention. In both Key Stages, Phonics and Spelling teaching directly informs words which will be given, to be learned for spelling tests. These tests are every three weeks where a selection of ten words are tested. There is a maximum of thirty words to be learned and weekly spelling activities are sent home which intend to provide support for different learning styles to help children learn and embed their spellings. Incorrect spellings are added into their individual spelling logs and will continued to be learned.

Guided Reading is an aspect of English upon which we have improved by investing in 'Pathways to Read', a programme which has been successfully implemented, beginning in Year Two and continuing throughout Key Stage Two. In Foundation Stage Two, Year One and, where appropriate, in Year Two, children will take part in Guided Reading sessions which use high quality, phonetically decodable books to further embed their learning. Comprehension skills are taught throughout English reading and writing lessons but small group work, we feel, provides the opportunity for it to be focused and ensure in-depth learning of these key skills. 

Opportunities for drama, role-play, paired, shared and guided discussion, are well planned for each core text. Our year six children have the opportunity to take part in Wirral’s Speech and Drama festival – allowing our children the platform to perform and be critiqued in performance poetry in front of an audience. Planned ‘Show and Tell’ lessons are another example that we place great emphasis on Speaking and Listening skills. We want our children to be prepared for the working world and to show confidence and established oracy ability when speaking publicly. Our sequential planning and teaching allows children the opportunity to practice and hone their English skills. We also ensure children are aware of their audience when they are completing their written work. We provide opportunities throughout the year for children to share their work with other classes, teachers and their own classmates. This is done through classroom displays, impromptu readings, class assemblies and merit assemblies. We want our children to know that their work is important, purposeful and celebrated. As well as this, their work also enables them to build upon their prior learning and provides them the opportunity to practise newly acquired skills and knowledge, where mistakes are considered as learning opportunities and a chance to deepen their learning.


In Foundation Two  and Year One the structure of the ELS lesson ensures all chidlren take part in a reading activity daily. In addition to this all chidlren read a phonetically decoable book with a teacher twice a week, either in a guided group or as a 1:1. This book is sent home for the chidlren to practise and apply their phonics. Teaching staff also identify children requiring additional opportunities to read and ensure they are listened to by an adult each day. In Year Two children who need to still access phonetically decodable books will do so and others will choose books from our carefully curated book scheme. This scheme is continued throughout the school. Guided reading using 'Pathways to Read', is introduced from Year Two


We also commit to reading at least one quality text during the day in Key Stage One and in Key Stage Two, where every class has a different class novel which the teacher reads at any available opportunity. These are planned into our school day to ensure that the children appreciate the importance of sharing their reading and the exciting possibilities it brings – opening up new worlds and instilling a passion for reading. Every child has reading targets, which serve to ensure pupils and adults have a clear understanding of what they are focusing on in order to progress. For the year groups which use 'Pathways to Read', these targets are taken directly from this programme, as it is sequential and progressive. Children in the year groups who are not accessing this programme have targets, which are phonics and word based, in order for them to make the expected progress and achieve their targets. At our school, reading and authors are celebrated in many ways. Annually, we celebrate World Book Day through a week of reading events in which each class studies a different author. We share our favourite books with one another, classes join together to read with one another, and we have a book fair during this week too. When new families join our school, we hold ‘welcome meetings’, where much information is shared but reading is highlighted as a top priority. We expect, and receive, the invaluable support of parents/caregivers and we value the important role they have in helping their child to read. We are fortunate to have a very supportive school community and our well-established ‘Families in Partnership’ scheme provides another opportunity for our children to be listened to by our volunteers as they read aloud. We are committed, therefore, to providing an ever-improving library, reading scheme and other opportunities in our school to ensure that every child leaves us as impassioned and avid life-long readers.

We have a simple, effective marking policy in place which children observe and learn from the outset in Foundation Stage Two. Children understand what is expected of them and what the marking means in order for them to make improvements themselves or with adult support. From Foundation Two, children are taught through careful modelling how to check and edit their work. Each year group appropriately plans for this time, and the children are taught how to edit and re-draft their work. This is also a time where incorrect spellings are highlighted. The children use their spelling logs to record the correct spelling to use in the future. Our marking policy was also designed for the teacher to quickly and clearly understand if a child has achieved the learning objective, in order that next steps for learning can be planned for accordingly.



It is of equal importance to us at our school that we facilitate the positive growth in children’s mental, physical, and academic success. As staff we work together to reflect on our English curriculum and make adaptations where we believe it will be of benefit to the children. Children learn key information and skills that are specific to their stage of development, focused on breadth and mastery, before moving on to the next stage. Assessment of children’s learning is constant. Every lesson is evaluated and children’s progress is observed. Methods such as key questioning, marking, work outcomes, learning objectives, lesson objectives and pupil voice all contribute to assessing learning. Progressive, sequential, well-planned English lessons allow for the assessment of learning to be successfully monitored.

Termly assessment tracking sheets in both reading and writing, called Klips, for every child are completed to ensure individuals are on track for reaching the age-related expectations. For those children who are identified as not making expected progress, an appropriate intervention is put in place. Those children identified as achieving Greater Depth also receive extra support, and children identified as SEND have their individual targets formally reviewed once every half term, but our good practice ensures that every individual is being frequently monitored in order for them to make the best progress possible.

Phonics is monitored through our school system. We assess the application of phonics learning and progress daily as well as using summative end of ‘phase’ assessment to inform future planning. Children are carefully tracked and interventions put in place regardless of which year group they are in – to ensure gaps in learning are addressed and targeted support provided.

Reading is also rigorously monitored. Through guided, shared and individual reading children’s progress is tracked. In Foundation Two all children read directly with an adult in small, focussed groups two times a week. Texts are carefully chosen by the class teacher to match the children’s phonic ability. Reading is an integral part of life in F2 through the daily phonics lessons, sharing big books, and observing print in the environment. Teachers are quick to recognise if a child is not making expected progress and daily targeted support is provided. Every child is listened to by their teacher as they read aloud at least once a week in Key Stage One. In addition to this, every child will also read with other teaching staff and parent helpers as many times as possible. Similarly, in Key Stage Two every child’s reading is listened to by their teacher fortnightly as well as by other teaching staff and parent helpers. Teachers are therefore able to assess confidently the progress being made and provide targeted feedback including next steps for learning. Children, and any adult reading with them, are aware of their current reading targets which allows for cohesive focus and learning for each individual. Towards end of Key Stage One, children progress to selecting a book themselves using our reading scheme. Children in Key Stage Two have more ownership of their choice of book, using our reading scheme. Across the school we carefully monitor the choices children make and guide them towards books which they may not have chosen in order for our children to have a broad and varied reading experience. 

With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly from Foundation Two our children become confident writers by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2. Most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. Similarly, to our reading programme, we monitor writing using many different methods and track writing knowledge and skills, including phonics and spelling using a formal half-termly tracking system.

Our school data, year on year, shows great achievements in children’s English abilities. Senior Leaders, along with teaching staff, analyse and identify individuals, groups, and cohorts, where areas for improvement are identified and addressed. This considered approach informs our planning and teaching to further improve the progress made by our children. At our school, we are proud to have successful, confident, enthusiastic readers and writers. Our interventions are targeted and effective, while all teaching staff constantly evaluate, review and assess our systems in order to continually improve. Through hard work, care and dedication, as well as a cohesive, thematic curriculum, our children at Thornton Hough Primary School continue to make excellent progress.


Further Curriculum Information

Essential Letters and Sounds -Phonics Programme

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen Phonics programme. The aim of ELS is ‘Getting all children to read well, quickly’. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.

Children begin learning Phonics at the very beginning of Reception and it is explicitly taught every day during a dedicated slot on the timetable. Children are given the knowledge and the skills to then apply this independently.

Throughout the day, children will use their growing Phonics knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and will have many opportunities to practise their reading. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, small group reading, and reading as a class. 

Children continue daily Phonics lessons in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers.

We follow the ELS progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. 

Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support each child’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.

We begin by teaching the single letter sounds before moving to diagraphs ‘sh’ (two letters spelling one sound), trigraphs ‘igh’ (three letters spelling one sound) and quadgraphs ‘eigh’ (four letters spelling one sound).

We teach children to:

• Decode (read) by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently

• Encode (write) by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.

Where further support is required, 1:1 interventions are used where needed. These interventions are short, specific and effective.

Supporting Reading at Home:

  • Children will only read books that are entirely decodable, this means that they should be able to read these books as they already know the code contained within the book.
  • We only use pure sounds when decoding words (no ‘uh’ after the sound)
  • We want children to practise reading their book 4 times across the week working on these skills:

              Decode – sounding out and blending to read the word.

              Fluency – reading words with less obvious decoding.

              Expression – using intonation and expression to bring the text to life!

We must use pure sounds when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words. If we mispronounce these sounds, we will make reading harder for our children. Please watch the videos below for how to accurately pronounce these sounds.

At the beginning of each academic year, we will hold an information session for parents and carers to find out more about what we do for Phonics, Reading and English at our schools. Please do join us.

More support for parents and carers can be found here:


phase_2_sounds.mp4 (540p).mp4phase_3_sounds (540p).mp4phase_5_pronunciation (1080p) (1).mp4
Hit enter to search