At New Close Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our aim is to ensure every child becomes primary literate and progresses in speaking and listening, reading and writing. We have high expectations for all our children, and want each of them to achieve their full potential in English during their time at New Close Primary School so that they are ready for the next step in their education.

English is not only a daily discrete lesson, it is the cornerstone to all learning at New Close by being embedded in each area of learning. We endeavour to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators to support and enhance their thinking and understanding of the world around them through a broad, rich and engaging English curriculum.

We ensure books, vocabulary and reading have a central role in our curriculum, not only to enhance learning, but to support the development of children’s emotional literacy.


To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in English, we have implemented a curriculum that is progressive through the school. To support the implementation of this, we use a variety of different resources for each aspect of the subject.


In EYFS, Year 1 and part of year 2, for phonics, we follow a systematic approach using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. This provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, and teaching continues daily to at least the point where children can read almost all words fluently.  

In addition, working in small groups, EYFS, Year 1 and some Year 2 children experience three reading practice sessions per week. These focus on the key reading skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension. This approach continues, as needed, for children who still need to practise reading with decodable books. 

All children who are accessing decodable books through Little Wandle and the 'Big Cat' book scheme, also take home a 'Read Together' book. This is a book which has been matched to the correct year group through our 'New Close 100'. The purpose of this book is to widen the range of book/text type the children are exposed to and encourage book sharing at home; developing a love of reading. These are also the books that might be used as part of our dedicated storytime in these year groups.

During Year 2 and then onwards, we use whole class reading to build on previously learnt skills. Whole class reading exposes the children to extracts of different text types enabling the teaching of explicit skills needed to understand the texts, as well as answer reading comprehension questions orally and in writing. 

Our reading spine ensures that all classes cover a range of class readers across each term. In Nursery, Reception, and Year 1 this will be several books during the term, coming from our 'New Close 100'. From Year 2 upwards we move towards longer books. These books form part of our dedicated story time, they will have a link to the class topic and they may also be used to teach part of whole class reading for that term. In addition, they may also match with 'The Write Stuff' unit.

For individual reading, children may have a book from our reading scheme (if they need further scaffolding with their reading) or choose a book from the class book corner. Book choices are guided where necessary. Depending on the age and reading ability of the child, these books may also be read in school with an adult. Staff monitor the children’s choice of book to ensure suitability and variety in genre and author. Parents are encouraged to record a comment in the child’s home-link book when they hear their child read and as the children get older they are supported to write comments in their home link book. 

New Close Reading Races – running alongside reading at New Close, we run our popular reading race system. Children are encouraged to record each read at home on their reading races. There are five reading races to complete, totalling 100 reads altogether. At the end of their fifth reading race, children come to the headteacher and select a book of their choice. 

Each class has regular story time sessions, to ensure books are shared, discussed and enjoyed.


We follow ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to writing. Each writing unit has two components: firstly, in our sentence stacking lessons, we start by initiating our thinking and generating our ideas for writing. Over the course of the unit, the class co-construct a text and the children develop their understanding of its key components. In this first phase, the children are guided and supported, with vocabulary and ideas at the heart of every learning chunk. Punctuation and grammar is applied in context. The second phase is when the children apply the skills they have developed to their own text. Once completed, it is in this second stage of writing that the children are given time and taught the skills to edit and improve their work.

Our writing curriculum ensures that children are taught how to write narrative, poetry and a range of non-fiction texts. Our children revisit and consolidate their skills through different units. Our regular writing lessons are enhanced with short spelling, punctuation and grammar sessions throughout the week to ensure the children know, and can apply, those key elements of writing. A discrete spelling and a discrete punctuation session is also taught each week.

We use Spelling Shed to support the teaching of spelling in Key Stage 2.                                             

Since September 2023, we have been using Letter Join to support the teaching of handwriting (Year 2 upwards). 

In all our classes we have a daily basic skills session at the start of the day, which support the reinforcement of previously taught punctuation/grammar, spelling, handwriting skills/knowledge.


The impact of the English curriculum on our children is that they progress, experience sustained learning and transferrable skills which will enable them to access the whole curriculum.

The writing skills they acquire will allow all pupils to communicate well, accurately and creatively in a range of styles for a range of purposes and audiences.

We aim for children to leave New Close Primary School with a love of reading and writing and high aspirations to continue this love of our language into the next phase of their academic journey.

Click here to see all our curriculum policies, including our English Policy

Click here to see all our Long Term Plans, including English

Click here to see all our Skills and Knowledge Progressions, including English

Click here to see our Reading provision

Click here to see our Writing provision