English is the base on which every other subject builds. Learning English means learning to communicate through reading, writing, speaking and listening - and doing it well requires a huge range of skills.

To help speed-up our progress in reading, spelling and phonics (in particular), we use the Read Write Inc programme from Nursery to Year 2. Every day, children are taught in small groups, alongside others who are at the same phonics or spelling level as them, in addition to whole-class English teaching. They focus on specific sounds each day, and read and write texts which include only the sounds they know - so that everyone can read, write and spell with confidence, making rapid progress as a result. 

Once phonic knowledge is secure, we teach spelling through daily lessons in Year 2-6, again based around the Read Write Inc programme. Children in these classes are also set spellings to learn every week - click here for guidance on strategies you can use to support your child in learning their spellings.     

Our approach to writing is built around the principles of the Primary Writing Project and Talk for Writing, using learnt-texts, shared writing and an 'imitation, innovation, invention' process that we follow in English throughout the school. You can find out more about all this in our Writing Policy.  

We also prise reading particularly highly (as shown by the enthusiasm with which our entire school community engaged with both our Reading Week and World Book Day). Throughout the school, we work our way through a levelled reading scheme, which follows the OUP Levels numbering system, but also includes a wide and varied selection of books from other publishers and sources. You can find out more about our approach in our Reading Policy.

"As a result of highly effective training, teachers use consistent approaches to help pupils develop fluency and expression. This ensures that pupils become confident readers."

Ofsted report, 2022

Reading skills:

We have grouped the skills required to be a ‘good’ reader into six key areas. To support us in understanding the skills we are being taught, practicing and using, each of these is then linked to a corresponding character.

  • Rex Retriever - scanning the text for evidence, finding key information, using tables, charts and titles, spotting changes in place and time.    
  • Dood Detective - explaining why characters say and do things, recognising how they change through a story and relating texts to our own experiences.  
  • Penny Predictor - suggesting what might happen next, based on clues in the text and our knowledge of the characters and genre. 
  • Vinny Vocab - working out what new words mean and suggesting why the author has chosen them.
  • Stevie Summariser - retelling stories in our own words, picking out the key ideas, events or facts.
  • Ansa Analyser - explaining how texts are structured or organised, and comparing texts with a common theme.
This term's learning

Year 5  - Foxes organised a Stay and Read session, where they invited parents and carers to join them in school for an hour of fun reading activities. They based the session around a brilliant book called The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, and shared some of the ways they get 'into' a story with their families, including vocabulary games, exploring character feelings and choosing pictures to match sections of the story.

Year 1 - In Fieldmice, this term’s text was How to Make Poppy’s Flapjacks. They learnt about the structure of instructions (including ‘You will need’ lists and numbered steps), practiced following instructions and created some of their own. They particularly enjoyed choosing different flavours and toppings for their own flapjacks!

Early Years Admissions  

If you're looking for a place in Nursery or Reception, you can find out lots more about our school in our Early Years Prospectus.

We're always keen to show potential new applicants around - just get in touch with the school office to arrange a tour. 

Once you're ready to apply, head to the admissions page to find out more about the process - we run Nursery admissions ourselves, but from Reception upwards, these need to be made via Herts County Council.