At Fitzmaurice we feel English has a crucial role to play in equipping learners with the language skills they need to become successful in all aspects of their lives. The English Curriculum has three strands – spoken language, reading and writing:

Spoken Language

Oral communication is an important skill that children in all year groups are encouraged to develop at Fitzmaurice. Younger children will learn to articulate their thoughts and feelings through a language rich environment with high quality dialogue being modelled and encouraged. We also develop language through role play and discussion. Oracy continues to be a focus as the children travel through the school, developing their questioning, being taught new vocabulary, explaining their understanding and ideas and learning different ways to communicate effectively. By Year 5 and 6, children will be given opportunities to give formal presentations and participate in debate, when they are taught how to challenge the views of others courteously.


Phonics is taught daily using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme. Children’s phonic knowledge is tested in Year 1; this is statutory testing and was introduced in 2012 by the Department for Education who say; ‘High quality phonics teaching gives children a solid base on which to build as they progress through school. Children who master the mechanics of reading are well-placed to go on to develop a love of reading’.


At Fitzmaurice we are passionate about reading and actively promote Reading for Pleasure. We teach reading using a phonic approach using fully decodable books that enable children to enjoy success at every stage. Our reading scheme consists of fiction, non-fiction and poetry to give children a wide range at every stage. Children are taught reading in school through group and whole class reading sessions and they have the opportunity to practice their skills by reading individually at home and at school. We encourage book chat and informal discussions about what we enjoy reading and celebrate a diverse range of authors to ensure every child feels represented and valued.  At school we have a number of dedicated volunteers who provide the opportunity for children to practice their reading skills on a 1:1 basis.


At Fitzmaurice, the children are taught using the Palladian’s bespoke writing framework. The children’s learning is based around a core text and a taught over four weeks. At the beginning of the first week the children are introduced to the topic using a wow starter to inspire and motivate them. In the first two weeks the children are immersed in the vocabulary and the structure of the text. The children are taught up to ten key words from the text via the use of immersive and exploratory activities. They then unpick the structure of the text using drama and visual representations. Following this, the children enter a build week where they are taught the relevant sentence structures, grammar and punctuation needed to enable them to write their own version successfully. Over the course of the year the children will be introduced to differing genres of writing by the use of varied core texts.


In year 2 spelling is taught following Little Wandle Spelling which builds on children’s knowledge of the alphabetic code and teaches them how to spell with confidence. The programme provides a seamless link from the core Little Wandle programme to teaching spelling in Year 2.

In years 3 to 6. Children are given a list of spellings to learn at the start of each term to take home to encourage them to practise a weekly list. Each week, children are given words which follow a spelling rule/pattern and words from the statutory Common Exception Word list. At the start of each week, children explore the etymology (the origin of each word) and the morphology (the structure of each word). Throughout the week, children are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of the definition of the words and to practise spelling each of the words within sentences. At Fitzmaurice we have high expectations for our learners and encourage them to apply their spelling knowledge across all subjects.

Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

At Fitzmaurice, children revisit these skills at the start of each English lesson during the starter ‘Four from Before’. This embeds the children’s previous learning and supports them to include the relevant elements needed for the genre they are writing. During the fourth and final week of the writing framework the children are taught to proofread their own writing to check for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling. They are then encouraged to edit their work to correct such mistakes and improve the language they have used. They are then asked to complete a final draft and share this with a relevant audience.


This is a separate skill and is taught discretely and frequently. Children from Foundation Stage are taught to form their letters using print. In Year 1 and 2 the children learn to use pre cursive scrip where the letters include a lead in/entry stroke. This supports children in Year 2 when they begin to join their writing in a cursive style. In Key Stage 2 children work towards developing consistent, fluent and legible joined writing.

What Is Phonics?

Phonics is a systematic way to teach children to read and spell words. It enables children to blend the individual phonemes (the sound letter(s) make) and also supports their spelling to segment (break down) words orally by individual phonemes e.g. d_o_g.

At Fitzmaurice, Phonics is taught daily using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme.  Should you wish to explore this further the Little Wandle website has many resources which may help you to support your child at home.  

 The DFE stated in 2012:  

“High quality phonics teaching gives children a solid base on which to build as they progress through school. Children who master the mechanics of reading are well-placed to go on to develop a love of reading."

Children undertake a statutory screening check at the end of Year 1. The phonics screening check is a short and simple assessment of phonic decoding. It consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which Year 1 children read to a teacher by applying their phonic knowledge. Administering the assessment usually takes between four and nine minutes per child.

The check is designed to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and have grasped the essential skills that underpin good reading.

Subject Documents Date  
Intent, Implementation & Impact Statement 01 Sep 2023 Download
Writing Progression 26 Jan 2023 Download
Sentence progression 26 Jan 2023 Download
National curriculum spelling 18 May 2021 Download
Common exception words year 1 18 May 2021 Download
Common exception words year 2 18 May 2021 Download
Common exception words year 3 4 18 May 2021 Download
Common exception words year 5 6 18 May 2021 Download
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