1. Learning
  2. Curriculum
  3. English


Curriculum Overview - click here



At Billesdon School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and aim to foster a love of reading. Reading enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundation for success in the future.

We believe that children need to be exposed to a wide range of genres in reading and high quality authors of literature.  To support this aim, our teachers share books daily with their class and link texts with cross curricular themes to engage and interest children whilst also developing their ability to access longer texts and provide an excellent model for expression and vocabulary development.

We aim to develop reading skills throughout school from the Foundation Stage to Year 6 by using a range of strategies to teach reading and comprehension skills which build vocabulary knowledge, awareness of genres and story plots, character development and inference skills to underpin the wider requirements required for writing development.


Children begin their reading journey with our synthetic phonics scheme Read Write Inc. The children then take home fully decodable book bag books supplemented with other books from our main reading scheme which is the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme. This scheme runs throughout all ages before moving onto open library for more independent and wider choice of texts.

Parents provide a vital role in reading their children at home and recording in their reading record. Children will read at least once a week with an adult at school and receive guidance and advice to change their reading books.

In addition to this the children will have access to class and library books and to our Pie Corbett Reading Spine books.

Reading comprehension is developed through timetabled sessions:

KS1 Guided reading sessions

KS2 Shared reading sessions

Children also have targeted reading comprehension sessions.

Children who are struggling with reading will have access to Lexia which is an extensive individual literacy programme.

Implementation of Skills – English – Reading


Milestone 1

Year 1 and Year 2

Milestone 2

Year 3 and Year 4

Milestone 3

Year 5 and Year 6

Read words accurately
This concept involves decoding and fluency.

• Apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words.

• Respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes.

• Read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught.

• Read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word.

• Read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings.

• Read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs.

• Read words with contractions (for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll) and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s).

• Read aloud accurately books that are consistent with phonic knowledge and that do not require other strategies to work out words.

• Re-read these books to build up fluency and confidence in word reading.

• Read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes.

• Read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above.

• Read words containing common suffixes.

• Read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered.

• Read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation.

• Re-read books to build up fluency and confidence in word reading.

• Apply a growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (etymology and morphology). 

• Read further exception words, noting the spellings.

• Apply knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes.

• Read age-appropriate books with confidence and fluency (including whole novels). 

(Note: this should be through normal reading rather than direct teaching.)

Understand texts
This concept involves understanding both the literal and more subtle nuances of texts.

• Discuss events.

• Predict events.

• Link reading to own experiences and other books.

• Join in with stories or poems.

• Check that reading makes sense and self-correct.

• Infer what characters are like from actions. 

• Ask and answer questions about texts.

• Discuss favourite words and phrases.

• Listen to and discuss a wide range of texts.

• Recognise and join in with (including role-play) recurring language.

• Explain and discuss understanding of texts. 

• Discuss the significance of the title and events.

• Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done.

• Draw inferences from reading.

• Predict from details stated and implied.

• Recall and summarise main ideas.

• Discuss words and phrases that capture the imagination.

• Retrieve and record information from non-fiction, using titles, headings, sub-headings and indexes.

• Prepare poems and plays to read aloud with expression, volume, tone and intonation.

• Identify recurring themes and elements of different stories (e.g. good triumphing over evil).

• Recognise some different forms of poetry.

• Explain and discuss understanding of reading, maintaining focus on the topic.

• Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence.

• Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.

• Identify main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarise these.

• Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.

• Ask questions to improve understanding of a text.

• Recommend books to peers, giving reasons for choices.

• Identify and discuss themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing.

• Make comparisons within and across books.

• Learn a wide range of poetry by heart.

• Prepare poems and plays to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone and volume so that the meaning is clear to an audience.

• Check that the book makes sense, discussing understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context.

• Ask questions to improve understanding.

• Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence.

• Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.

• Summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas.

• Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.

• Discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader.

• Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.

• Participate in discussion about books, taking turns and listening and responding to what others say.

• Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion.

• Provide reasoned justifications for views.


Children are assessed on a regular basis through our RWI scheme and PIRA tests are given each term from year 2 onwards us a reading age and a standardised score. PM Benchmarking is also used to check that children are matched with the correct reading book.

Standardised tests are carried out in both Year 2 and year 6.

Reading Workshop 2023 - click here



Writing is a key skill for life and a key part of our curriculum. At Billesdon, we intend our children to develop a love of writing which will enable them to communicate confidently and effectively to support their future life skills. We aim to enable for children to be able to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics across the curriculum. We want to encourage a broad vocabulary and a knowledge of writing techniques. We also want the children to confidently use the essential skills of grammar punctuation and spelling and, importantly, we aim for the children to take pride in their work and develop fluent cursive handwriting.


Talk for Writing forms the basis of our writing curriculum using imitation, innovation and imitation. Talk for Writing is an engaging framework developed by Pie Corbett and is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables the children to imitate the language they need for a particular genre orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.

Grammatical skills and punctuation are taught at each year group level.

Planning is done a two-year rolling programme with each class of mixed age groups in KS1 and KS2. In the EYFS there is a single year group plan based on a selection of topic-based books.

Spellings are taught from the Twinkl programme for each age group together with the statutory spellings from the National Curriculum.

Handwriting is taught as separate lesson but cursive handwriting is encouraged throughout the Key Stages and across curriculum subject areas.

Implementation of skills – English – Writing

Threshold Concept


Milestone 1

Year 1 and Year 2

Milestone 2

Year 3 and Year 4

Milestone 3

Year 5 and Year 6


Write with purpose
This concept involves understanding the purpose or purposes of a piece of writing.

• Say first and then write to tell others about ideas.

• Write for a variety of purposes.

• Plan by talking about ideas and writing notes.

• Use some of the characteristic features of the type of writing used.

• Write, review and improve.

• Use the main features of a type of writing (identified in reading).

• Use techniques used by authors to create characters and settings.

• Compose and rehearse sentences orally.

• Plan, write, edit and improve. 

• Identify the audience for writing.

• Choose the appropriate form of writing using the main features identified in reading. 

• Note, develop and research ideas.

• Plan, draft, write, edit and improve.

Use imaginative description
This concept involves developing an appreciation of how best to convey ideas through description.

• Use well-chosen adjectives to add detail. 

• Use names of people, places and things.

• Use well-chosen adjectives.

• Use nouns and pronouns for variety.

• Use adverbs for extra detail.

• Create characters, settings and plots.

• Use alliteration effectively.

• Use similes effectively.

• Use a range of descriptive phrases including some collective nouns. 


• Use the techniques that authors use to create characters, settings and plots.

• Create vivid images by using alliteration, similes, metaphors and personification.

• Interweave descriptions of characters, settings and atmosphere with dialogue.

Organise writing appropriately
This concept involves developing an appreciation of how best to convey ideas through description.

• Re-read writing to check it makes sense.

• Use the correct tenses.

• Organise writing in line with its purpose. 

• Use organisational devices such as headings and sub headings.

• Use the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause. 

• Use connectives that signal time, shift attention, inject suspense and shift the setting.

• Guide the reader by using a range of organisational devices, including a range of connectives.

• Choose effective grammar and punctuation.

• Ensure correct use of tenses throughout a piece of writing.

Use paragraphs
This concept involves understanding how to group ideas so as to guide the reader.

• Write about more than one idea.

• Group related information.


• Organise paragraphs around a theme.

• Sequence paragraphs.


• Write paragraphs that give the reader a sense of clarity.

• Write paragraphs that make sense if read alone.

• Write cohesively at length.

Use sentences appropriately
This concept involves using different types of sentences appropriately for both clarity and for effect.

• Write so that other people can understand the meaning of sentences.

• Sequence sentences to form clear narratives.

• Convey ideas sentence by sentence.

• Join sentences with conjunctions and connectives.

• Vary the way sentences begin. 

• Use a mixture of simple, compound and complex sentences.

• Write sentences that include:

      • conjunctions

      • adverbs

      • direct speech, punctuated correctly

      • clauses

      • adverbial phrases.

• Write sentences that include: 

      • relative clauses

      • modal verbs

      • relative pronouns

      • brackets

      • parenthesis

      • a mixture of active and passive voice

      • a clear subject and object

      • hyphens, colons and semi colons

      • bullet points. 


Present neatly
This concept involves developing an understanding of handwriting and clear presentation.

• Sit correctly and hold a pencil correctly.  

• Begin to form lower-case letters correctly.

• Form capital letters.

• Form digits 0-9.

• Understand letters that are formed in similar ways. 

• Form lower-case letters of a consistent size.

• Begin to join some letters. 

• Write capital letters and digits of consistent size. 

• Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

• Join letters, deciding which letters are best left un-joined.

• Make handwriting legible by ensuring downstrokes of letters are parallel and letters are spaced appropriately.


• Write fluently and legibly with a personal style.

Spell correctly
This concept involves understanding the need for accuracy.

• Spell words containing 40+ learned phonemes.

• Spell common exception words (the, said, one, two and the days of the week).

• Name letters of the alphabet in order. 

• Use letter names to describe spellings of words.

• Add prefixes and suffixes, learning the rule for adding s and es as a plural marker for nouns, and the third person singular marker for verbs (I drink - he drinks).

• Use the prefix un.

• Use suffixes where no change to the spelling of the root word is needed: helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest.

• Use spelling rules.

• Write simple sentences dictated by the teacher.

• Spell by segmenting words into phonemes and represent them with the correct graphemes.

• Learn some new ways to represent phonemes.

• Spell common exception words correctly.

• Spell contraction words correctly (can’t, don’t).

• Add suffixes to spell longer words (-ment, -ness, -ful and -less).

• Use the possessive apostrophe. (singular) (for example, the girl's book)

• Distinguish between homophones and near-homophones. 

• Use prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them. 

• Spell homophones correctly.

• Spell correctly often misspelt words. 

• Place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals (for example, girls’, boys’) and in words with irregular plurals (for example, children’s).

• Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary.

• Write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far.

• Use prefixes appropriately.

• Spell some words with silent letters (knight, psalm and solemn).

• Distinguish between homophones and other words that are often confused.

• Use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that some words need to be learned specifically. 

• Use dictionaries to check spelling and meaning of words. 

• Use the first three or four letters of a word to look up the meaning or spelling of words in a dictionary.

• Use a thesaurus.

• Spell the vast majority of words correctly.

Punctuate accurately
This concept involves understanding that punctuation adds clarity to writing.

• Leave spaces between words. 

• Use the word ‘and’ to join words and sentences.

• Begin to punctuate using a capital letter for the name of people, places, the days of the week and I.

• Use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms.

• Use sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation and command.

• Use extended noun phrases to describe and specify (e.g. the blue butterfly).

• Use subordination (when, if, that or because).

• Use coordination (or, and, but).

• Use some features of standard written English.

• Use the present and past tenses correctly, including the progressive form.

• Develop understanding of writing concepts by: 

    • Extending the range of sentences with more than one clause by using a wider range of conjunctions, including when, if, because, although. 

   • Using the present perfect form of verbs in contrast to the past tense.

   • Choosing nouns or pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion and to avoid repetition. 

   • Using conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time and cause. 

   • Using fronted adverbials.

• Indicate grammatical and other features by:

   • Using commas after fronted adverbials.

   • Indicating possession by using the possessive apostrophe with plural nouns.

   • Using and punctuating direct speech.

• Develop understanding of writing concepts by: 

   • Recognising vocabulary and structures that are appropriate for formal speech and writing, including subjunctive forms. 

   • Using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence.

   • Using the perfect form of verbs to mark relationships of time and cause. 

   • Using expanded noun phrases to convey complicated information concisely. 

   • Using modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility. 

   • Using relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that or with an implied (i.e. omitted) relative pronoun.

• Indicate grammatical and other features by:

   • Using commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity in writing. 

   • Using hyphens to avoid ambiguity. 

   • Using brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis. 

   • Using semi-colons, colons or dashes to mark boundaries between independent clauses. 

   • Using a colon to introduce a list. 

   • Punctuating bullet points consistently.


Analysis and presentation

Analyse writing
This concept involves understanding how grammatical choices give effect and meaning to writing.

• Discuss writing with the teacher and other pupils.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology in discussing writing:

Year 1

   • word, sentence, letter, capital letter, full stop, punctuation, singular, plural, question mark, exclamation mark.

Year 2

• Use and understand grammatical terminology in discussing writing:

   • verb, tense (past, present), adjective, noun, suffix, apostrophe, comma.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology when discussing writing and reading:

 Year 3

   • word family, conjunction, adverb, preposition, direct speech, inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’), prefix, consonant, vowel, clause, subordinate clause.

 Year 4

   • pronoun, possessive pronoun, adverbial.

• Use and understand grammatical terminology when discussing writing and reading:

 Year 5

    • relative clause, modal verb, relative pronoun, parenthesis, bracket, dash, determiner, cohesion, ambiguity.

 Year 6

    • active and passive voice, subject and object, hyphen, synonym, colon, semi-colon, bullet points.

Present writing
This concept involves learning to reflect upon writing and reading it aloud to others.

• Read aloud writing clearly enough to be heard by peers and the teacher.

• Read aloud writing with some intonation.


• Read aloud writing to a group or whole class, using appropriate intonation.

• Perform compositions, using appropriate intonation and volume.


Assessment in writing is ongoing and is related to the age-related outcomes for each year group within the National Curriculum. Children are tasked with creating a “cold write” before they begin a unit of work and this followed by “hot write” at the end of the unit taught. The “hot write” is a completely independent piece of work measured against the objectives for that unit and compared with the cold task as a measure of progress. Writing is moderated on a termly basis internally to ensure consistency of outcomes against objectives. External writing moderation also takes place within our local group of schools and by the Local Authority.

WRITING WORKSHOP - January 2024 - Click here

Writing resources:  Y1-6 Writing checklists for Age Related Expectations - Parent resource

        Grammar Skills Overview - all key stages - Parent resource

        Statutory Spelling Lists - all key stages - Parent resource

 Link to National Curriculum for English - click here