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We aim to develop all aspects of English to enable every child to develop their skills and knowledge to communicate and explore, understand and be understood in the world around them. Competence in English is a life skill which we develop not only in English lessons but also throughout the whole curriculum. The areas of speaking and listening, reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation and writing (transcription, handwriting and composition) are developed in a variety of forms and experiences. The National Curriculum sets out the profile components. Those children for whom English is an additional language will have relevant support where appropriate.

Spoken Language

At Mill Lane we aim to develop your child’s ability to speak to a variety of audiences and for different purposes as a key process of communication. We want each child to be valued, grow in confidence and learn skills appropriate to their age, ability and context. Alongside speaking, children are taught how to listen – for information, for developing relationships, to form ideas, for following instructions. From a very early age your child will be encouraged to speak clearly, share information and ask questions.


Mill Lane have taken the very important decision to adopt the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme written by Ruth Miskin.  This is a synthetic phonic scheme which offers a vibrant and fun way to teach the 44 common sounds in the English Language.  If you want to find out more about this how we teach phonics, see our Read Write Inc link

Reading (word reading & comprehension) 

We want children to find pleasure in reading and therefore we prioritise the teaching of reading throughout school. All children from Reception – Y6 take part in a daily reading task in the form of Reciprocal Reading or Guided Reading Activity.

Children take home a reading book from our newly purchased reading scheme, and we ask parents to record in a reading record any constructive comments they would like to make.  In order to develop a love of reading as early as possible, we have chosen books from a scheme by Oxford University Press, which contain stories the children will know, written at a level the children can understand.  We recognise and value our shared role with you in encouraging your child in reading, not only in the strategies for learning to read but also to develop understanding, give opinions and extract information.

Classrooms at Mill Lane contain a variety of books for reading or sharing and class readers are enjoyed by teachers and pupils alike. We want children to develop a love of books, an enjoyment of reading for pleasure and a mastery of this essential life skill.

Vocabulary Development, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

From the earliest stages in a child’s learning we encourage them to be interested by words and language. We help them to develop their vocabulary and to understand how words are made from a series of sounds blended together (phonics). This enables children to begin early reading and to spell simple words. As they move through school, children learn about word classes and derivations, sentence structure, grammar and spelling conventions. We teach them technical vocabulary associated with the different subjects in the curriculum and its use is encouraged and expected.

Writing (transcription, handwriting and composition)

Children are encouraged to write as soon as they start nursery in the form of mark making, becoming aware that writing carries meaning. Children are encouraged to plan and draft their work on some occasions and also to use the word processor and other information technology equipment we have available. Children will complete a piece of sustained writing at least fortnightly through their Big Write lessons.

At Mill Lane we have adopted a cursive style of handwriting which concentrates on correct letter formation and joining up of clusters of letters. A copy is available from your child’s teacher. In order to match the new Read Write Inc Scheme, our current EYFS will start to use the Nelson Handwriting script, this will be encouraged as the children progress through out school.  We value, encourage and expect well-presented work for on a daily basis.

At Mill Lane we use the Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme for children who have completed the phonics programme.  This is used in Year 2 and throughout KS2 with the exception of Year 6 who do additional spelling to help supports SATs preparation.  Each year group has a list of spelling patterns and conventions from the National Curriculum appendices for each year group. As you would expect these become more difficult as children move through school.


For more information, please go to long term plans.