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English at Northern

“English is the language of the future,… the most important tool you’ll ever need, no matter what career you choose. You have the right to

English. Make it your right!” (Benjamin Zephaniah)


Our English Intent


At Northern Primary School we believe that English is a fundamental life skill. It develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. The ability to develop the use of the English language is crucial for each child’s education.  It is the main medium through which the rest of the curriculum is learned and taught and the means by which children interpret the world around them and communicate with other people. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations. English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. We use the Primary Framework as the basis for implementing the statutory requirements of the programme of study for English. 


At Northern, we are a Rights Respecting School and support the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This is a set of 54 Articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life – civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, all of which, children everywhere are entitled to. This policy relates to many of the Articles including; 


English in the Early Years

At Northern we ensure that activities in Reception Class are fun and engaging.  These are carefully planned and designed to ensure that they develop children's social skills as well as their speaking and language skills.  Our interactive outdoor area is used as an extension of the classroom and there are opportunities for mark making and role play using a variety of resources.  

All children in Reception Class use the Read Write Inc programme.  Initially this is taught as a whole class to enable all children to learn the sounds.  From Spring Term, children are grouped to address their individual learning needs and English is taught at a level which suits the individual's needs and learning style.  Opportunities are then provided for children to apply these skills in practical situations using the continuous provision environment and engaging reading area.

English in Key Stage One

In Key Stage One, children build on the foundations of their learning in Reception Class.  They continue to follow the Read Write Inc programme and are provided with more opportunities to apply their skills independently through more structured lessons.  Reading is a very important part of the curriculum at Northern and we ensure there are learning opportunities across all curriculum areas.  Children begin to write more for a purpose such as postcards, newspaper reports and non-chronological reports.  Themed reading areas support learning through the curriculum and children are encouraged to read for pleasure.

In Key Stage One, children are introduced to Nelson Handwriting scheme and joined writing is introduced and taught in Year Two.

English in Key Stage Two

In Key Stage Two, children complete daily guided reading activities which challenge the children at a level which is appropriate for their reading ability.  Themed reading areas continue in Key Stage Two and children build on their knowledge of grammar in order to become more confident writers who can produce pieces with fluency.  Children write at length across the curriculum and their work is celebrated in vibrant classroom environments.

Article 28. Access to education 

Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Secondary and higher education should be available to every child. Children should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level possible. Discipline in schools should respect children’s rights and never use violence. 

 Article 29.  Aims of education 

Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities. It should teach them to understand their own rights, and to respect other people’s rights, cultures and differences. It should help them to live peacefully and protect the environment. 

Article 31. Rest, play, culture, arts 

Every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities. 

Article 12. Respect for children's views 

Children have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously. 

 Article 13. Sharing thoughts freely 

Children have the right to share freely with others what they learn, think and feel, by talking, drawing, writing or in any other way unless it harms other people. 

The skills that children develop in English are linked to, and applied in, every subject of our curriculum. The children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enable them to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work in school. We encourage children to learn about other cultures through planned learning experiences. Links with children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are actively promoted throughout the school. Topic walls will always display key vocabulary for children to use during their topic writing and reading.

Additionally, we hold regular cross-curricular days which allow children to apply the skills they have learnt in English lessons to all areas of the curriculum.  Look at the class pages to see more about these days.