Ireland Wood Primary School
Immerse, Inspire, Include

Curriculum  »  Curriculum (All subjects)  »  English

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic
  • conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


At Ireland Wood, the aims of the national curriculum for English are taught through;

  • Spoken Language
  • Reading – word reading and comprehension.
  • Phonics
  • Writing – transcription, handwriting, composition, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.


At Ireland Wood we recognise that English is of vital importance to us all. Therefore, we put great emphasis on providing high quality English lessons and enrichment opportunities to ensure that speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary are taught.

The children have access to fantastic resources to support their learning. We have a wide range of texts and are currently developing our library to allow the pupils an even wider choice and facilties to enhance independent research. We have extensive ICT resources including class Ipads, laptops, computers and a green screen. We work closely with local authors, theatre companies and network with local schools to provide exciting opportunities for our children.

Speaking and Listening

Children are encouraged and helped to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings and to listen to others and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in spoken language, including through drama and role play.

Reading and Phonics

In Reception and KS1, phonics is taught daily. We follow the Read Write Inc. phonics programme which teaches the children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice. (See further information about our phonics teaching on the 'Read Write Inc' page.)

Throughout the whole school we use a wide range of books including those within reading schemes, fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry and plays. We place a strong emphasis on reading comprehension and to this end the children are taught how to read for meaning. We believe it is essential for children to read as wide a range of literature as possible.

Individual Reading

Every child from Reception to Year 4 has book from our scheme which is exactly matched to their reading ability. The scheme matches each child’s reading ability to a Level. Once children have reached the Year 4 expected standard for reading, they will have the opportunity to be a ‘Free Reader’. 

Every child in the school will have the opportunity to change their books weekly. Please listen to your child read their books through the week and sign their Reading Records (Reception & KS1) or Planners (KS2) to let us know they have read with someone. These will be checked every Monday, please add a comment if you wish. Please ensure your child brings their reading book and Planner/Reading Record every day.

If your child is on a schemed book (Levels 1-15) but they would also like to read other books for pleasure, please encourage them to make use of our school library. It is open every Wednesday 3.15-4.15pm and on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.


Children are helped to develop the ability to express their thoughts and ideas and communication skills through the written word. We aim to ensure that children develop a strong command of English through the correct use of punctuation, spelling, grammar and correct letter formation. Opportunities are provided for children to develop the necessary writing skills required for different purposes and audiences. The link between reading and writing is strongly emphasised.



Children in KS1 will be given a set of spellings to learn. These are spellings from the new National Curriculum. The spellings for each year group are taken from the spelling patterns and from the list of common exception words (as listed in the curriculum). Most of the children in each class will be working on the same spellings and these will be taught regularly throughout the week in short bursts. At Ireland Wood, spellings are tested on a Wednesday. Please encourage your child to practise their spellings at home on the spellings homework sheets that are sent home weekly.


Children in KS2 learn their spellings through Spelling Shed. 
Spelling Shed is an online resource which allows the children to practise their spellings interactively online. It has been proven to increase engagement in spelling and secure knowledge in key spelling patterns. It is fun, interactive and tailored to suit the needs of your child.

How it works:

Each child in KS2 will be provided with a log-in code and password. The website can be accessed through the internet browser. There is an app but there is no requirement to purchase this. Each week, there will be an opportunity provided for the children to practise their spellings in school. However, we also encourage spelling shed to be accessed at home at least once a week for your child’s spelling homework. Different assignments will be set each week and your child’s access to spelling shed will be monitored by teachers. If you are unable to access Spelling Shed at home, we will ensure your child has greater opportunity at school.

A weekly spelling test will continue to take place on a Wednesday morning. The test will link directly to the word learnt via Spelling Shed. A copy of the spelling lists for the term is available on the school website in your the class galleries.


We believe that there is a close relationship between handwriting and spelling. In Reception, the children learn to form their letters correctly in print formation. The children learn to form their letters in pre-cursive in Year 1 (with lead in and lead out lines). This continues into KS1 and KS2 where the children are taught to use joined up handwriting so that the flow of the hand takes them through the word. Looking back at their work they are encouraged to see which words do not appear to be correct.