Learning & Development


English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.

At Red Lane Primary School, we believe that proficiency in reading, writing and oracy is vital for our pupils’ success, including our SEND and disadvantaged children. Through these, our children not only develop the communication skills essential for their educational journey, but also, for life’s journey.

We know and understand the needs of our pupils well and have designed our own curriculum to support their needs whilst meeting the requirements of the national curriculum. Our ambition for our English Curriculum is that it provides for all our children the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to become independent learners, who can flourish in education and subsequently, in employment.

At Red Lane Primary School, we promote high quality texts for all our children. Across school we support our children through the delivery of same-day phonics interventions; the use of choral and echo reading; the explicit teaching and learning of reading comprehension skills that are transferable across the core and foundation curricula; targeted reading fluency interventions; appropriate scaffolds during English writing lessons, including ‘vocabulary mats’ and sentence starters; bespoke Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) interventions, using purposeful technology, for example, Learning by Questions (LBQ).

Speech, language and communication is the first and most important aspect of development and is a significant focus not only within the Early Years but throughout school.  Put simply, language is our tool for thinking and learning. It is through communication that we build relationships and resolve conflicts. By the time children leave Red Lane Primary School in Year 6, their knowledge of language from Early Years will have expanded enormously, giving them the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.

Long term studies have found that early speech, language and communication difficulties predict a wide range of negative outcomes. That is why our teaching of vocabulary and communication is explicit and all our staff are highly trained in developing vocabulary and communication. At Red Lane we use a range of tools to support our teaching and also to provide targeted interventions for pupils. These include, Word Aware, ELKLAN, Nursery and Reception Narrative and WellComm. We also employ a school based speech therapist for 1 day per week to provide support and advice to staff as well as work with identified pupils for interventions.

Top tips for developing communication can be found here: 

Top Talking Tips For Parents 

We believe that proficient reading skills are fundamental for academic success across all subjects and that reading proficiency among disadvantaged pupils serves as a cornerstone for unlocking future success and breaking the cycle of poverty.  Whether it's comprehending complex texts in science and mathematics or analysing literature and historical documents, the ability to read fluently and critically is indispensable. Proficient reading skills enhance communication abilities, enabling individuals to express themselves effectively, advocate for their needs, and engage meaningfully in society. In a rapidly evolving global landscape where information is abundant, the capacity to critically evaluate and synthesise information from diverse sources is invaluable for making informed decisions and participating in civic life.

Moreover, reading fosters a lifelong love for learning and curiosity about the world. Children who develop strong reading habits early on are more likely to continue seeking knowledge and expanding their horizons throughout their lives. This thirst for learning opens doors to various opportunities, from higher education to career advancement, empowering disadvantaged pupils to overcome socio-economic barriers and realise their full potential.

As soon as the children start in EYFS, we begin the teaching of phonics and start to develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine. We follow the Read Write Inc programme, which is a systematic and consistent approach to phonics. All children in EYFS, Key Stage One and, where necessary, Key Stage Two have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in phonic activities that are matched to their current needs. Sessions are delivered using RWI consistent delivery practice. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified. Any child who is not working at the expected level will receive support, such as daily 1:1 tutoring, extra reading with an adult and specific small group phonics intervention. All staff refresh their RWI phonics training yearly and any new member of staff is trained in a timely manner.

Early reading is crucial to all children and we place a huge amount of importance on this, including supporting children with SEND to develop this skill.  We liaise closely with the SEND team to support all children. This includes small groups and interventions which ensure children with identified SEND make progress with early reading. Where appropriate, learning is repeated to ensure retention and concrete resources are used.

Our reading curriculum is planned using the National Curriculum to ensure there is a clear skills and knowledge progression. Skills and knowledge are built on year-by-year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. In whole class guided reading sessions, children develop their reading skills for comprehension- these are known as the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge.

Our reading curriculum uses a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English lessons. The reading spine includes a range of books and quality texts. Texts are also chosen to promote cultural capital; supporting children to develop the necessary knowledge, behaviours, skills and cultural awareness to be successful in society today and in the future. Children are exposed to opportunities to read across the wider curriculum.

Reading for pleasure is actively encouraged across the school. Each day, children are read to by the class teacher, or sometime a guest reader. They are also encouraged to explore a variety of genres and books in a ‘Drop Everything and Read’ session ran each day after dinner time. The children have a choice of challenging and enriching texts available in classrooms, which are promoted through year group recommended reads lists. Each year, we aim to invite in authors to celebrate Reading with the children, run workshops and staff CPD. Our most recent author was poet Ian Bland, who ran poetry sessions tailored for each year group and engaged with the children excitingly.

Reading at home is strongly encouraged and celebrated. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level and are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. This includes our SEND children, who have a booked matched to their phonics knowledge and their choice of the same high quality books that their peers can access to read for pleasure. Following this, children work through our reading scheme using a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which match the child’s current reading ability. Accelerated Reader is used to assess the child and give them a ZPD range, the child can choose a book from the class library which includes a variety of books covering all the ZPDs of children in the class. Class libraries are updated half- termly, coinciding with the children completing an Accelerated Reader assessment.

We expect family members at home to read these books with their child at least five times per week and make comments in their child’s reading record. Once children have completed the colour book band scheme, they become free readers. Children can independently complete their reading at home record book and the expectation is that they do this at least five times per week.

Reading Journey 3-5 

Reading Journey 5-7

Reading Journey 7-11

In all year groups, we teach writing through high-quality texts – ranging from picture books to long narratives, immersive real-life experiences, such as school trips, or a combination of both.
Throughout their time at the school, children will write a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including recounts, news reports, explanation texts, discursive texts, persuasive arguments, poems, plays and stories of all kinds. We use drama, role-play, storytelling and discussion to engage the imagination, before moving on to vocabulary exploration, sentence craft and creative writing.

Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1 children are taught the key principles of writing in order to lay a solid foundation for developing their skills later on. An emphasis is placed on developing clear handwriting with ‘finger spaces’ between in each word. Children are taught to apply their knowledge of phonics to help them spell accurately, and to structure their work, whether it be fiction writing or a set of instructions. Our curriculum teaches the children to add variation and description to their work by developing their vocabulary, including the use of interesting adjectives and adverbs and developing sentence structure using conjunctions and sentence openers. By the end of Key Stage 1 children have been taught the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar. This structural and technical knowledge is fostered alongside developing a love for writing as a lifelong means for communication and expressing oneself.

As pupils writing journey continues, we use a range of resources to stimulate and inspire ideas through ‘Read-Write-Perform’ and writing linked with pupils wider curriculum work which forms a ‘Learning Challenge.’  This allows developing writers at Red Lane Primary School to use meaningful contexts to understand how we use the English language. Pupils are then taught how to apply that knowledge creatively to bring their own work to life. When writing using the ‘Learning Challenge’, the starting point is excellent quality literature to link the English learning with a specific history or geography focus. For example, ‘Lila and the secret of rain’ helps us focus on ‘a non-European country and compare it with our town or village’; the book ‘Viking Boy’ brings the Viking period to life. Focus History/ Geography is designed in such a way to ensure that the integrity of English, history and geography remain whilst providing natural links between them. The knowledge, skills and understanding of both English, history and geography are therefore of paramount importance as is the pedagogy that underpins the suggested activities.

Our English overviews can be viewed here:

Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3 

Year 4 

Year 5 

Year 6

Spelling is taught from Year 2 – 6 every week, following the Spelling Shed Overviews and teaching strategies from No-Nonsense Spelling, which build on the National Curriculum’s statutory word lists. Spellings are sent home as part of homework and children are tested each week.

In Years 5 and 6, Grammar becomes an explicit focus and is taught weekly using Learning by Questions. In the years prior to 5, grammar is interwoven in English lessons and tested fortnightly using Grammar Hammer.

This process continues into Key Stage 2, by which time children have mastered simple sentence structure enabling them to develop their writing style.

Spelling Home Challenge Year 1 

Spelling Home Challenge Year 2 

Spelling Home Challenge Year 3 & 4 

Spelling Home Challenge Year 5 & 6 

Fostering parental engagement and supporting our families is at the heart of everything we do at Red Lane Primary School. We desire to ensure our families feel supported with their child’s learning at school and at home. We offer a variety of workshops and open mornings across school to build their confidence. This enables parents and carers to see what resources and models we use within school and strategies they can adopt when teaching their children at home. Our English workshops and open mornings include: enabling parents to support their child’s phonetical development; EYFS and KS1 reading workshop, KS2 reading workshop and parental engagement in Knowledge Days and book fairs.


In addition, we offer bespoke support for the parents and carers of those in year groups experiencing national testing, including: Reception Baseline testing, Year 1 Phonics Screen; Year 2 SATS; Year 4 Multiplication Check and lastly, End of KS2 SATS. These informative workshops support our parents and carers understanding of these tests and the support our school offers our children in preparing them academically and emotionally for these examinations.

We endeavour to provide every opportunity for our parents and carers to support their child’s learning at home.