Pratts Bottom Primary School



English at Pratts Bottom Primary School: Intent

We have a shared understanding at Pratts Bottom Primary School of the world that is opened up for pupils when they can read confidently and fluently. We aim to promote a positive reading culture, where a love of reading is developed in all of our pupils. We aim to expose children to a broad range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels and picture books. We want to equip our children so that they are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they have read and make informed decisions about their favourite text types, genres and authors. We aim to enhance children’s knowledge of the diverse world around them through reading and ensure that all of our children are represented in the books that we read and teach in school. We hope that our pupils’ love of reading continues to develop beyond their primary school years. 

Our wider curriculum has been planned with 'Vehicles for Learning' (VFL) for each mixed age year group at it's heart. These VFLs focus on a key question that the children explore throughout the unit. Our literacy curriculum has been planned around core texts that not only address the themes explored within the term's VFL but also meet the five text types needed for children to become successful and knowledgeable readers as pointed out by Doug Lemov in his book 'Reading Reconsidered'. These texts are more complex and demand more from the reader than other types of books.

The five text types are:

- Archaic Language

-Non-Linear Time Sequences

-Narratively Complex

- Metaphysical Text

- Resistance Text

To view are core texts please click on the link below:

Pratts Bottom Literacy Spine Core Texts


Spoken and written language

We want the children of Pratts Bottom to speak and write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their style and language for a range of contexts and audiences. We want to inspire our pupils to be confident communicators, to further their learning through discussions and to develop as active listeners, learning from one another. We aim to create a language rich environment, supporting our pupils to develop their understanding and use of a wide range of vocabulary, which expands as children progress through the school years. We intend for children to accurately apply their learnt phonetic and spelling patterns to their writing. When our children leave Pratts Bottom Primary School, we intend for them to know the value of their voice, both through their spoken and written language and to use these skills beyond the classroom. 


Curriculum drivers

Our three curriculum drivers are at the heart of our teaching at Pratts Bottom and run through the English curriculum:


Diversity - We ensure that the texts we have on display, in our reading corners, in our library and in our reading and writing spine are diverse and representative of our school community. Our choice of texts are carefully planned to ensure we cover a diverse range of authors, characters and families throughout each year group and unit. 


Sustainability - It is important that our children develop their written and spoken communication skills to enable them to have an impact on sustainability both inside and outside of school. We aim to use our school text choices to further the children’s understanding of the environment and importance of sustainability. We have chosen specific texts to promote children’s understanding of sustainable issues such as the picture book ‘There’s an Rang-tan in My Bedroom’ by James Sellick and ‘Can we Save the Tiger’ by Martin Jenkins.


Growth Mindset - It is imperative that our children leave Pratts Bottom Primary School with the ability to read, write and speak fluently, accurately and coherently to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to be ready for the next phase in their education. Throughout all of our curriculum subjects we encourage our children to develop a Growth Mindset to ensure they develop the resilience and and willingness to challenge themselves in these aspect. In our English curriculum we imbed these skills by encouraging children to persevere with their reading and writing. We also explore this theme through many resistance texts such as ‘Cloud Tea Monkeys’ by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham and ‘Stonewall’ by Rob Saunders and Jamey Christoph. 


It is our intent that the pupils of Pratts Bottom Primary School leave our school knowing they can achieve anything. We have specifically chosen texts and authors to inspire this belief.


English Implementation- Reading

Key Stage One- Phonics and Early Reading

Research shows that teaching Phonics in a structured and systematic way is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  Almost all children who receive good teaching of Phonics will learn the skills they need to decifer new and unfamiliar words.

At Pratts Bottom, Phonics is taught on a daily basis and follows the Little Wandle Scheme of Work. Children are taught the skills for segmenting and blending words and are introduced to new phonemes as part of a systematic synthetic approach. The teaching of Phonics begins in Reception and continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, letter known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules.

When children have successfully completed the Little Wandle Programme in Year two they move onto Little Wandle Fluency. This next step in the Little Wandle programme builds children's fluency and confidence to embed the reading skills needed for when they move on to Key Stage Two. 

At the end of Year 1 children are required to sit the Phonics Screening Check to assess their ability to segment and blend words. Children are presented with 40 words – a mixture of real and pseudo words and they are expected to apply their Phonics knowledge to read the words. If children are unsuccessful in Year 1, they have the opportunity to retake the test in Year 2. Intervention groups are set up for those children requiring additional support with their Phonics learning and this additional support will continue in Key Stage 2 if necessary.

Key Stage Two- Reading Fluency

When children have successfully completed the Little Wandle Programme and begin the Key Stage Two phase of their education children are specifically taught the reading skills stated in the National Curriculum. 

This is implemented through taught reading sessions each day where children's comprehension and decoding skills continue to be developed.  During our Key Stage Two reading sessions children engage with carefully selected high quality texts that meet our curriculum drivers. Children practice their reading skills by reading aloud with a partner and developing their understanding about what they have read through exploring the authors ideas, feelings and themes. 

It is our goal that every child leaves Key Stage Two with the reading comprehension skills needed to access the Key Stage Three curriculum. 

English Implementation- Writing

Our writing curriculum is planned to ensure that all objectives from the ambitious National Curriculum are taught throughout each mixed age class. Our curriculum is planned on a two yearly cycle with the following aims at it's core:

  • For children to engage with high quality texts from the five text types
  • For children to build writing skills using the full range of genres as stated in the national curriculum. 

Our writing sessions are planned to cover the objectives and skills needed for children to become confident with spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as the skills needed to write successfully in each genre. This is implemented by using our core texts as inspiration for writing in the different genres. 

To view our genre coverage for each mixed age class across our two year cycle please click on the links below.

 Cycle A Year 1 and 2 Writing Genre Overview

Cycle A Year 3 and 4 Writing Genre Overview

Cycle A Year 5 and 6 Writing Genre Overview