Living to Learn, Learning to Live Together

English at New Pastures 

How we Learn

Competence in English is essential for a child to succeed in school.  We aim to provide children with skills in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, to enable them to achieve their potential in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics is taught daily in Foundation Stage and K.S.1 through the Letter and Sounds Scheme. 

 We are keen to develop an appreciation of language through speaking, listening, reading, writing and drama. These skills are extended through a range of activities in English and other subjects in the curriculum.  Through our use of core books, the children will read a range of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. We have a variety of reading schemes which are used in school. Handwriting is taught formally, providing children with the ability to present work to a high standard. 


We want our children to develop a love of reading that means reading will be a lifelong pleasure for them.  In order to ensure that our children become fluent and confident in this crucial life skill, we make reading a key focus from the moment our children join us.  

Our main aims are: 

  • To ensure that children can read with fluency, accuracy and confidence.  

  • To develop an understanding and appreciation of all kinds of texts from fiction to non-fiction to plays and poetry.  


The Reading Curriculum 

Teachers plan whole class reading lessons, where texts or extracts are studied and a progression of reading skills are taught. We aim to positively promote reading in order to create a community of enthusiastic readers who become readers for life. Each half term we plan out exactly what the children are going to be reading to ensure that they access a range of quality texts. The children explore the plot and characters through engaging activities across the curriculum. Children also benefit from guided reading sessions, where the teacher (and adults supporting reading sessions) teach specific skills to differentiated groups of children. In these sessions the skills of understanding, inference and deduction are taught.

 Throughout the year we promote interest in reading through special events, please check the calendar for one of these special events. 

Reading for pleasure 

Each half term, every teacher shares a variety of fiction with their class and this is closely linked to The Learning Challenge Curriculum. This has three main aims: 

  • It allows teachers to model fluent reading. 

  • It allows some children to access a higher level of story than they could access themselves. 

  • It supports our reading for pleasure ethos. 

 Class libraries, along with the main library in school, have a good selection of books written by the  authors and class work is often linked.  


Reading Schemes 

New Pastures Primary School has a variety of reading schemes to support children to develop their reading skills. Developing readers in school use follow closely the Reading Book Bands (see link below). When they are able to decode and comprehend what they are reading, they move book bands. Children’s reading progress is closely tracked and they are given books appropriate to their reading ability. 

Once children have progressed on to 'free readers' there is a large selection of books for children to choose from and they are encouraged to read a variety of text types and books by different authors. Our home reading books are selected from a variety of book schemes. There is a wide range of genres and topics covered by the schemes allowing children to select books that they will enjoy reading.  


The Environment 

Both sites have a well-stocked library offering children and parents access to fiction and non-fiction, which can be borrowed for home.  

The School Library is available to classes throughout the week. We ask that all children read with an adult for at least 15 minutes every night, this includes weekends and school holidays. 

Regular practice allows children to develop their reading skills as well as enjoying a wide variety of texts and discovering the pleasure and excitement of reading. 


Additional support 

For those children who join us without the requisite reading skills for their age we have a range of strategies to use to help them to improve. These include: 

  • Regular discrete, interactive phonics sessions 

  • 1:1 work with an adult 

  • Focused 1:1 or small group intervention work 


Writing is a vital means of communication. We want our pupils to become confident and successful writers across a range of genres.  In order to ensure that our children become confident, writing is a key focus at New Pastures Primary School we give pupils a wide variety of writing opportunities so they become confident, independent writers. Teachers plan their writing lessons around quality books that they are studying as readers. Texts or excerpts from texts are studied and a variety of writing skills are taught based on the book the children are reading. This allows children to write for a purpose and be inspired by the authors they are studying. Children also benefit from writing across the whole curriculum, where children can write about the many different learning challenges that they learn about.  

Children have their writing assessed on a regular basis. This enables teachers to identify any areas that that need teaching.  

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are seen as ‘tools’ to help us to become competent writers. Strong links are made between these skills and understanding when studying different forms of writing so that children can practically apply them.  


Handwriting Scheme 

At New Pastures, all adults use cursive writing. From Reception to Year 1 pre-cursive writing is taught ready for children to join their handwriting in a fluent and legible manner.  

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One,  we have adopted a ‘Talk for Writing’ process. Here the children learn about the structure, grammatical features, punctuation and vocabulary used in a quality text during the imitation stage. We then move on to innovating the original text and using what we have learnt about it to invent our own version. It has been encouraging to see how motivated the children are when using this approach and how much they enjoy using images and actions to develop their own ideas for writing. 

Please encourage your child to write accurately when writing at home by getting them to think carefully about spelling, punctuation and grammar  

Our main aims are: 

  • To ensure that children write legible, grammatically accurate text, that is imaginative and well structured. 


Additional support 

  • For those children who join us without the required writing skills for their age we have a range of strategies Regular discrete, writing sessions 

  • Focused 1:1 or small group intervention work 


Celebrating Writing  

Writing is celebrated in each classroom and across the school.