Teaching English at Over Hall Community School

Speaking & Listening, Phonics, Reading & Writing

The English lead at Over Hall is Mrs Whitehead



Through the teaching of English, we intend for pupils to encounter a curriculum that is ambitious for all, is coherently planned and sequenced, is successfully adapted, designed and developed for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and is broad and balanced for all pupils. Our curriculum will ensure that pupils can read and respond to texts in an instructional and emotional way, communicate coherently, effectively and accurately when speaking and/or writing and equip them with the skills they need to achieve well and lead happy, successful lives beyond the school gates.  




All children in Reception and Year One have a daily phonics lesson in school. As and when appropriate, children in Year Two will continue to access daily phonics lessons until their phonic knowledge is secure.

We use Floppy's Phonics through which children are taught about letters and the sounds that they make using a variety of approaches. These sounds are taught in a specific order to equip children with the knowledge and skills they need to decode words and read them accurately. The content of the phonic scheme is split into stages, of which there are five across Early Years and Key Stage One.

Generally, levels one to three (inclusive) are taught throughout Nursery/Reception. Level four and five are taught throughout Year One. Pupils in Year Two will consolidate level five (where appropriate) alongside their Year Two reading and spelling objectives. The scheme requires children to be supported in their learning at home through the use of reading books, sound tiles and activity sheets.

Children will be assessed regularly during the implementation of the scheme and, if required, intervention will be timely and focused on a particular 'gap' in learning. Daily phonics lessons are taught as a whole class with additional, targeted support for those pupils requiring it. 

In the Summer of Year One, children will take a statutory phonic screen to assess how they are progressing with their knowledge of sounds and letters.


We will hear children read individually at least once a week and the lowest 20% of each class are listened to on a daily basis. In Reception and Key Stage One, regularly guided group reading sessions support pupils' letter-sound and word recognition alongside developing other skills for reading such as the context, the sense of the sentence, fluency, expression etc. as children's reading skills develop.

We provide a mixture of fiction, non fiction and poetry titles for children to access to read. Most of the books used, especially for our early readers, are published by the Oxford Reading Tree. These books are in line with our Phonics Scheme and are colour banded to represent each level in the phonics scheme. The books that children read are carefully chosen based on individual pupils' phonics knowledge so that each child is reading a text with 90% accuracy and a matched level of understanding. Children are assessed to ensure that they are reading the correct level of reading book.

We understand the importance of reading daily; we have a home-school agreement and expectation that children will be supported with their reading at home. It is expected that the children will read daily and record daily reading in their reading response books in Year Reception to Year Four, and in their school diaries in Years Five and Six.

You can find out more about how to support your child with phonics and early reading on the 'Phonics Support' tab under the 'Parent Zone' tab.

In Year Two to Year Six, we deliver regular, whole class, shared reading lessons using Steps to Read from Literacy Counts, where we focus on the comprehension aspect of reading. Our sessions facilitate pupils' understanding of vocabulary and their skills of inference, prediction, retell and summary. Every lesson is also used to model how to read aloud clearly, with intonation, expression and awareness of an audience. Lessons are adapted, using assessment outcomes, to ensure children are taught the specific skills they need in order to continue to develop their reading skills and achieve success. In Summer term, children in Year One will begin to participate in whole class shared reading lessons to prepare them and support their transition into Year Two.



As a school, we use Read to Write from Literacy Counts to inform our planning and teaching of writing. 

The units ensure that teaching and learning begins from a high quality, language rich text and teaches the writing skills that children need to acquire in a coherently planned and sequenced way. The progression of writing skills we teach year on year is documented in the attachment below.



The impact of our English curriculum will be that pupils can communicate effectively through speaking, listening and writing in an accurate, clear, coherent and engaging way.

Pupils will secure knowledge of a variety of genres in reading and writing, use a wide, ambitious vocabulary and apply their English skills to access the wider curriculum.

Pupils will achieve, at least, expected standards for their age and take their enjoyment of and achievement in English beyond the school gates and into their future lives.







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