At Dinton C of E Primary, our goal is to foster a love of reading and writing that lasts a lifetime. We believe that skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing are the foundations to all learning and our ability to communicate. Our determination to help children to develop their English skills will support and enhance their thinking and understanding of the world around them through a broad, rich and engaging English curriculum.

The teaching and learning of English at Dinton centres around our school values: respect, responsibility, wisdom, trust, truthfulness and friendship. Children will be exposed to a language-rich variety of stories, poems and non-fiction texts to help them learn about themselves, their values, rights and responsibilities and enhance their ability to empathise. We place books, vocabulary and reading at the heart of everything we do, as tools to gain knowledge and develop emotional literacy.

We mindfully endeavour to ensure that children develop a lifelong, healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards English, to equip our students with the necessary skills and passion to support them in their forthcoming secondary education.



At Dinton, we use the 2014 National Curriculum and 2023 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for directing the teaching of English. It underpins the whole of the curriculum, as the children develop their English skills in all subjects and lessons.

For phonics, we follow a systematic approach using the Essential Letters and Sounds. Through this rigorous and consistent approach, each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, and teaching continues daily.

From Reception through to Year 2, children practise reading using decodable books that are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge. Our children reread the same text multiple times to develop their comprehension and fluency which includes their accuracy, automaticity (rapid recall of whole known words) and prosody (reading with expression). Our pupils also have daily story time which ensure the children are read to everyday and share, discuss and enjoy the endless possibilities of books. We are dedicated to ensure that our students get a rich diet of literature. Pupils are encouraged to read at home daily.

At Dinton, we aim to inspire our pupils to become confident, enthusiastic and reflective readers, who appreciate the importance of reading and value books as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. We have developed our own Reading Spine to ensure that pupils are provided with many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Cross-curricular links with topics are also woven into and throughout the programme of study. Within Guided Reading lessons, time is taken to explicitly teach vocabulary encountered in our reading, to enable our students to learn a variety of words and increase their own.

When children are fluent readers, we encourage and support them to make their own, informed reading choices for their independent reading book; including fortnightly visits to the library bus. We ensure that our class libraries have a range of age-appropriate literature from different authors, illustrators, genres, subject matter and formats to provide a varied reading experience. It is through empowering our children to make their own choices, that we enhance the culture of reading for pleasure at Dinton.


For writing, we follow The Write Stuff programme. Our writing curriculum develops progressively and ensures that children are taught how to write narrative, poetry and range of non-fiction texts. The Write Stuff revolves around the ‘writing rainbow’ which is split into 3 tiers. The Write Stuff units have two components. Firstly, in our sentence stacking lessons, we start by discussing our thinking and generating ideas for writing. Over the course of the unit, the class co-construct a text and the children develop their understanding of its key components. Children are guided and supported, with vocabulary and ideas at the heart of every learning chunk. During the thinking/discussion component, children also have ‘experience days’ to immerse them in the topic. We might use: trips, visitors, video clips, sound clips, artefacts, objects, drama…etc. From this experience, children have a better understanding of what they are writing and gain more insight into the world. We start every lesson with punctuation and grammar (using Spag Ninja) and handwriting (Letter-Join) to ensure that children are fluent in the fundamental skills of writing.

The second phase is when the children apply the skills they have developed to their independent writing. Here, we put children in the role of the ‘writer’ where they get to plan, produce, edit and sometimes publish their own work to ensure that they foster a love of writing.

Children are also explicitly taught spelling and handwriting in every year group. When the children are confident with the alphabetic code through Essential Letters and Sounds phonics, then they continue to use their phonic knowledge and transfer these skills to spelling lessons. In Reception, children focus on forming their letters and numbers accurately, with the correct pencil grip, and then begin to learn joining in Year 2. By the end of Year 2, our children should have a comfortable and joined handwriting style. We use Letter-Join to ensure our teaching of handwriting is progressive and comprehensive, but also that it complements the letter formation taught through phonics.


The impact of our English curriculum on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning, transferrable skills and a love of reading and writing to last a life time. With the excellent foundation of ELS Phonics and implementation of the curriculum being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children can comprehend what they have read, interacting with and make sense of a wide variety of rich texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This allows them to become successful, fluent and confident readers forming transferable skills to cross-curricular activities.

With the consistent approach to the teaching of writing throughout the school, children are becoming more confident writers who will have accessed a range of genres by the end of Key Stage 2. Teaching will focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. Consolidation of these skills can be identified in cross-curricular work which demonstrates a deeper understanding of how and when specific grammar and punctuation skills are to be used.

The quality and effectiveness of English will be continually monitored and evaluated using NRER reading tests at the end of each term and regular writing moderations. We also use NoMoreMarking and end of KS2 SATs to evaluate children’s writing and reading against national standards and expectations.

By having such a continuous cycle of assessment, we can ensure that we meet our ambitions and that children leave us with the skills, passion and knowledge necessary to continue to excel in their secondary education. We hope that, as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, high aspirations and passion for English travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.