English is the basic language of communication in this country and its mastery is necessary for educational progress.

Children should develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing to enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and to communicate with others effectively. They will learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts.


Speaking and listening

  • to speak clearly, fluently and confidently to a range of audiences
  • to listen to, understand and respond to other people
  • to join in group discussions
  • to participate in a range of drama activities


  • to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding, using a range of strategies
  • to read for information and enjoyment
  • to understand, interpret and appreciate literary and non-fiction textsIMG_6447.JPG


  • to develop writing skills on screen and paper through composing, planning and drafting
  • to use punctuation correctly
  • to create and shape sentences and texts
  • to use a range of spelling strategies
  • to understand text structure and organisation
  • to write legibly and fluently
  • to understand and use Standard English
  • to have an awareness of audience and purpose and adapt writing appropriately

We aim to foster in all our children a love of books so that they become readers for life. Children are taught to read by a variety of methods including phonics, learning key words and using meaning. Their progress is carefully monitored and a wide range of books (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) make up our guided and individual reading schemes. A successful bid in Autumn 2018 of £4750 will enable us to purchase new books to enhance our current collection.

The Reading Scheme materials that we use in school include:
•    Oxford Reading Tree
•    Bug Club
•    Song Birds
•    For children who are competent readers, we encourage them to choose their own book.

At Aycliffe Drive, we follow the Jolly Phonics scheme initially, teaching children sounds and letters, then adapt planning, combining with other useful resources such as ‘Letters and Sounds’ to meet the needs of our children. The teaching of phonics is organised into groups depending on children’s prior knowledge and progress through letters and sounds. As a result of a high pupil/staff ratio in the Foundation Stage children are taught in small groups according to ability enabling rapid progress.

Guided reading
We value guided and shared reading as a means of improving reading skills, comprehension skills and group discussion. All children read as part of a group and individually, usually outside the literacy lesson. The questions that adults ask during guided reading cover the range of Herts For Learning assessment objectives during the course of several sessions.

We are very lucky to have a well-resourced and efficiently run library at Aycliffe that children can use for independent research during or outside lesson time.


Spellings to investigate on a weekly basis. A piece of English that supports class learning.

Help and support
All children receive quality first literacy teaching on a daily basis and activities are differentiated accordingly. In addition, where identified pupils are considered to require targeted support to enable them to work towards age appropriate objectives, intervention programmes will be implemented. Some children are able to have the benefit of 1:1 sessions delivered by our SENCO.

Where pupils are considered to require support to enable them to work towards ARE (age related expectations), intervention programmes will be implemented. Some SEND children will have the benefit of 1:1 teaching delivered by our SENCO, other children have small group work with an adult in the class. A homework club has been set up for those children who need support alongside different  These children are listened to read on a 1:1 basis three times a week.