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What does English at Mulbarton Primary School look like? 

We aim to inspire children to read and write; to enjoy literature as well as communicate. Children are exposed to a wide variety of Power of Reading texts, as well as the class reading book. We value the importance of reading aloud to children, to inspire reading for pleasure. Where possible, texts are linked to our topic to provide opportunities for cross-curricular learning. We aim to engage children with reading and writing for different purposes. As well as discrete teaching of English, we include learning through reading, writing and vocabulary in other subjects.  

We hold several events throughout the academic year to celebrate and share our English learning, such as reading and writing Cafés and World Book Day activities. 


Children have at least one spelling lesson per week, as well as a short follow-up activity. In the early years, year 1 and year 2, children have phonics lessons, moving onto spelling lessons in year 2. All spelling patterns from the English programmes of study – appendix 1 are taught in the relevant year groups. 


We use Rocket Phonics to teach phonics in lower school, beginning in the third week of reception year. Children have daily half-hour lessons as a whole class.   

Grammar and punctuation: 

Where possible, grammar and punctuation are taught through English (and other subject) lessons in context. In KS2, discreet lessons are taught – as early work, whole lessons or warm-up activities. We teach content according to National programme of study appendix 2, in the relevant year group and constantly revisit learning from previous years.  


Our writing intention at Mulbarton is to provide engaging opportunities for writing with a purpose. Each half-term we base the teaching of writing on one of 5 purposes for writing: to inform; to entertain; to describe; to persuade; and to discuss (upper KS2 only). We teach writing skills within the context of POR books and with a writing outcome and purpose in mind. We teach through a sequence of: modelling, sharing, collaborating and developing independence. Children are given the opportunity to learn a new skill, practise the skill across a number of lessons, and then apply their understanding in an extended piece of writing. 

All children write completely independently at least once every half-term. Recent training supports accurate assessment of writing according to nationally expected standards. 

We often provide inspiring hooks for writing. Some examples have included; the arrival of a dinosaur egg, a spaceship crash landing site, a visit from an alchemist, a mystery trapdoor, and a collection of scrap metal from The Iron Man. 


In reception and year 1 we teach letter formation, using print, moving to cursive formation in year 2 and throughout KS2. We teach whole class handwriting at least once per week, throughout school, using Letterjoin, and more often for younger children. Children identified as needing more practice with handwriting have opportunities for additional practise, 1:1 or in small groups. Cursive handwriting is introduced in year 2, using the Rocket phonics scheme alongside Letterjoin. 


Our reading intention at Mulbarton is to provide a wide, rich and diverse selection of texts to increase children’s love of reading, so that children can become confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers.  Every class has an inviting book corner to draw readers in; we use lots of drama to inspire imagination around books and promote reading as well as writing; children have regular access to our KS1 and 2 libraries. English lessons include many of the Power of Reading techniques, such as Readers Theatre, which all encourage enjoyment of books and improve comprehension. We include drama such as readers’ theatre in our lessons, to improve reading fluency. Within class lessons, children have opportunities to read and listen to a wide variety of genres and types of book, appropriate to their age range. Books are chosen for their quality and linked to class topics where possible. 

We place great value on reading aloud to our children; reading daily where possible from a class book/picture books/POR chapter book, as appropriate. 

Until children have fully developed decoding skills, we use decodable books to teach reading (relevant to phonics phases).  In KS1, children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult once a week and as part of a guided reading session. In KS2, children have a weekly whole class guided reading session, to aid with all aspects of reading. Children who need more support with reading should read with an adult often (daily if possible), and may have additional guided reading support in smaller groups. 

We have a number of volunteer Reading Champions from our local community who come in to hear children read.