Vision Statement for English

At Sandringham, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, children will be helped to develop skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language.

We provide a wide range of rich and meaningful opportunities to become fluent and critical readers, develop empathy and an understanding of society beyond the home and school setting, improve wellbeing and equip children with the skills to become lifelong learners.

Through our reading curriculum, we offer broad and rich reading experiences and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. We strive to introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible.

At Sandringham we believe that reading is a fundamental skill and the experience of reading for pleasure is invaluable. We strive to develop an ethos and environment that excites, enthuses, inspires and values reading. We believe that reading is key to developing the ability to understand the experiences of others thus, developing children’s language, social acceptance and cultural awareness.


Policy Statement

Our Aims

To encourage children to :

  • Be effective, competent communicators and listeners in different contexts
  • Enjoy and engage with a range of high quality texts 
  • Feel part of a reading community where book recommendations are shared and adults act as reading role models
  • Develop positive attitudes towards reading so that it is a pleasurable and meaningful activity 
  • Read fluently with good understanding
  • Develop a habit of reading widely, for pleasure or for information 
  • Have a curiosity about authors and books that will be the foundations of a personal journey and lifelong learning 
  • Express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts using appropriate technical vocabulary
  • Have an interest and curiosity in words and their meanings and to develop a growing vocabulary to use in both spoken and written format
  • Develop a breadth and depth of vocabulary
  • Write in a variety of styles and forms showing a growing awareness of audience
  • Develop imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
  • Make appropriate  grammar and punctuation choices
  • Understand and explore spelling conventions and word structures
  • Take pride in and present oral or written work to a high standard
  • Secure a fluent and cursive script

Our English Curriculum

Our English Curriculum is secured firmly across the school with the use of high quality texts. This has developed with guidance and training from CLPE (The Centre of Literacy in Primary Education) through the approach in Power of Reading. 

At Sandringham we believe that the use of high quality books within the reading curriculum is at the heart of our approach to engage and support children. The Core English texts are mapped out from Nursery to Year 6 providing the opportunity for cross curricular links and a breadth of texts. Conscious effort is made to reflect  the realities of experience of our children and positive representation of gender, age, culture and religion in book choices. Home languages particularly in Early Years are valued. Rich experiences are planned for, providing pupils access to theatre, workshops, author visits and creative projects. This supports our belief that classroom activities involving real tasks, purposes and audiences will engage pupils.


Reading For Enjoyment

Reading For Enjoyment

Reading is a fundamental skill and the experience of reading for pleasure is invaluable.
We strive to develop an ethos and environment that excites, enthuses, inspires and values reading.

Our Aims

To enable children to:

  • Develop positive attitudes towards reading so that it is a pleasurable and meaningful activity
  • Read fluently with good understanding
  • Develop a habit of reading widely, for pleasure or for information
  • Have a curiosity about authors and books that will be the foundations of a personal journey and life long learning

Reading Skills

Reading Skills

Our Aims

  • To read fluently with good understanding
  • To acquire a wide vocabulary
  • To develop a range of strategies for approaching reading
  • To question and discuss reading content with growing confidence

Pupils have access to the following reading opportunities to develop the skills of reading

  • One-to one reading
  • RWI approach to the teaching of phonics
  • Shared reading in KS1
  • Focussed comprehension activities - from Year 2-5
  • High quality well planned literacy activities in KS2 to follow reciprocal reading sessions to build better comprehension skills
  • Paired reading with peers
  • Daily independent reading
  • Home school reading supported by a graded reading log across three key stages
  • Regular visits to the school library
  • To use reading skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum
  • The school uses banded books to widen pupils experience and enjoyment of a variety of texts as they read independently.
  • Conscious effort is made to reflect the realities of experience of our children and positive representation of gender, culture and religion in book choices.




During Reading Workshop sessions in KS1 And KS2, comprehension skills will be developed through a reciprocal reading approach.This uses high quality dialogue around selected texts.Reciprocal teaching was developed first by Ann brown and Annemarie Palincsar, researchers in educational and cognitive psychology. Underpinning this approach is an understanding that dialogic interactions between the teacher and learner can support the comprehension of text by exposing it,explaining it and expanding upon it.

Teachers will be working with a small group of six pupils on rotation over the week to develop the following skills.

  • Visualising
  • Predicting
  • Question making
  • Clarifying words and ideas
  • Question answering
  • Summarising
  • Activating prior knowledge
  • Making connections
  • Inferring

Independent follow-up activities planned by the year group will involve pupils in the following and be appropriate for each phase:

  • Retrieval
  • Interpretation
  • Considering author choice - word and structure
  • Commenting on viewpoint
  • Discussing context
  • Explanation and justification of ideas

This approach;

  • Makes the reading process visible
  • Provides time for explicit teaching and scaffolding of skills
  • Strengthens metacognition and self-regulation
  • Provides time for book talk

High order reading skills are taught and embedded through carefully planned sequences of focussed activities in reading Workshop and the main literacy session based on core texts.

Grammar Punctuation and Spelling

Grammar Punctuation and Spelling

Grammar and Punctuation
We acknowledge that children learn the grammar that they use from the constant language interactions around them. Much of this is influenced by reading and being read to. This learning occurs naturally and implicitly. However the explicit, active teaching of grammar in relation to being a speaker, writer and interested reader can be a powerful part of developing an increasing control over language. It is this control over language that will lead to deeper learning.

Grammatical teaching makes most sense is it taught as an active process.


For pupils in speaking,reading and writing to :

  • Be able to make and/ or talk about great word choices
  • Construct and manipulate sentences to create different effects
  • Hold texts together so that the writing is linked and flows



For pupils to develop;

  • A range of personal strategies for learning new and irregular words
  • A range of personal strategies for spelling at the point of writing(application)
  • A range of strategies for checking and proofreading spellings after writing

In addition to learning set words from the curriculum pupils will be encouraged to take increasing ownership of the selection of words to investigate and learn (based on the refining and editing process in English) as they move through the key stages.




To provide children with the experience of writing for a wide range of purposes in order that they can:-

  • Develop self confidence,emotional intelligence, creativity and sense of achievement
  • Experience what writing can communicate across a range of genres
  • Develop a personal voice
  • Create, compose and improvise independently and with others
  • Understand and explore how writing is created
  • Understand the language of written text
  • Reflect on ideas and re-shape thinking through critique
  • Develop fluency in writing by increasing accuracy in grammar, punctuation and spelling and flow in handwriting style.

We understand the role reading plays in developing writers and the value of being immersed in high quality literature therefore:

  • We provide a range of meaningful opportunities to write for real purposes and audiences
  • We provide access to authors,illustrators and poets so that children can understand the craft of writing in the real world
  • We provide opportunities for pupils to identify themselves as writers through book publishing
  • We use the Cycles Planning Approach to Writing (Eve Beam 2002) )
    This allows children time and space to develop their own ideas within the following structure;
    • Familiarisation
    • Gathering of ideas and planning
    • Independent final outcome through the process of draft,critique edit and refine
  • We use creative teaching approaches that build imagination and give time for oral rehearsal at all stages of the process
  • We know the importance of teaching grammar punctuation and spelling in context to embed skills
  • Pupils will be taught letter formation and cursive script through the Nelson Scheme

Synthetic Phonics Approach (RWI)

Read Write Inc (RWI), developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English by teaching synthetic phonics. Synthetic phonics is the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word. We use this method to aid children in their reading and writing. 

We start teaching the programme in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and then continue until they have worked their way through the whole reading scheme -  usually this is during Year Two. 

In EYFS all children will learn how to ‘read’ and ‘write’ all of the sounds in Set 1 and Set 2 then taught how to blend these into words. 

In Years 1 and 2, Children follow the same format as EYFS but will work on complex sounds (Set 2 and 3 sounds) and read books appropriate to their reading level.

The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. 


  • Put the teaching of reading at the heart of schools and ensure teachers have the knowledge and determination to teach every child, regardless of age, background or need.
  • Choose the best books to read aloud so children might read them for themselves.
  • Place literature as a central pillar in establishing children's identity, their place in the world and their understanding of their responsibilities and rights in relation to others.

(as on the ruth miskin website)

Contact Us
Sandringham Primary School
Sandringham Road, London E7 8ED
tel: 020 8472 3800