Teaching English

The English curriculum at Windmill and Low Road Federation covers written English, spoken language, grammar, punctuation, spelling and reading. On this page you’ll find a breakdown of the key areas, along with useful resources to help your child access the English curriculum.




Children have many opportunities for reading in school which include: guided reading sessions, English lessons, group reading with their peers, sharing a class book and individual reading.


Shared reading

Children will have opportunities to read frequently during whole class English lessons. This may involve reading together as a class from the board or reading a range of texts during our daily story time sessions.


Guided Reading

From KS1, children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Children read in groups of a similar ability with around 6 pupils. Guided reading texts are chosen to match the ability of the group but still provide an element of challenge and are chosen from a range of reading schemes as well as genres such as fiction, non-fiction and poetry. These take place for approximately 30 minutes 5 times per week and focus on developing reading skills using a carousel approach. In Years 5 and 6, children take part in whole class guided reading sessions. Children read the same text which is selected from a range of genres, providing children with the opportunity to further improve their comprehension skills.



Reading for Pleasure

We believe in promoting a love of reading amongst children so that they can go on different adventures and become inquisitive about the world around them! Each classroom has a reading area which promotes a love of reading and encourages children to be actively involved in writing book reviews and selecting books for their peers to enjoy. There are also quiet areas within school where children can pick up a book and relax.

Reading at Home

The easiest way to help your child with reading is to read with them each day. Children should be encouraged to read aloud and read on their own, but being read to is also really important, so don’t overlook the bedtime story!


At Windmill and Low Road Federation, each child takes a book home each day to read with an adult which matches the colour book band they are reading. Reading books throughout school are from a range of reading schemes such as Big Cat books, Oxford Reading Tree and Jelly and Bean. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range. Reading diaries are monitored daily by teachers, to ensure all children are reading at home. Those children who do not read regularly at home will have further opportunities to read with an adult at school. The school has adopted a reward system to encourage children to read as often as possible at home; at the end of each half term, children who have read a certain number of times will receive special prizes.



When reading, children may use a range of reading skills and should be encouraged to draw from all of these whilst tackling reading new words:

1.Segmenting and blending all the phonemes to make a word

2.Segmenting and blending some of the phonemes and using context to know what the word is

3.Chunking longer words and segmenting and blending each part.

4.Sense checking-'did it make sense?' If not encourage them to re-read and check for their mistakes.


Please find below book suggestions for each year group. These will help you when choosing a new book to read at home. Many of these books will also be available at your local library. Happy reading!


EYFS https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks1-school-pupils/100-best-picture-books-to-read-before-you-are-5-years-old/


Year 1 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks1-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-year-1-pupils-ks1-age-5-6/


Year 2 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks1-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-year-2-pupils-ks1-age-6-7/


Year 3 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/reading-list-for-year-3-pupils-ks2-age-7-8/


Year 4 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-4-pupils-ks2-age-8-9/


Year 5 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-5-pupils-ks2-age-9-10/


Year 6 https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-6-pupils-ks2-age-10-11/




At Windmill and Low Road Federation, children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach using the Letters and Sounds programme. This is where individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words. These sessions are taught daily and in KS2, phonics sessions are continued where necessary. Children are placed in sets dependent on their ability with both teachers and teaching assistants having the opportunity to deliver sessions to different groups throughout the year. Children in Year 1 will take part in the phonic screening test in Summer term 2 and those that do not pass will re-take the test at the end of Year 2. During Year 2, those children will work within small intervention groups to revisit areas of difficulty.


Please see the links below for useful websites:

www.letters-and-sounds.com (phase 2 and phase 3 games)









At Windmill and Low Road Federation we believe that writing is a life skill and with strong development at its foundations, we will help develop independent, enthusiastic and confident children. We provide an abundance of different opportunities and purposes for children to write throughout school. Cross–curricular links are used wherever possible to develop children’s writing skills, particularly in topic work and in science books. We also recognise the importance of grammar in writing and ensure our children are taught all aspects needed to lead a fully functional life in our society today.


Please see the link below for further information from the 2014 National Curriculum:





Spelling and Grammar

The new National Curriculum places much greater emphasis on spelling and grammar (see link above for further information). In our Federation, we provide children with a range of spelling strategies throughout school which cater for different learning styles. Early spelling is taught through phonic work in the Early Years Foundation and Key Stage 1. As children move from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2, the emphasis shifts from the teaching of phonics to more focussed teaching of spelling strategies, conventions and rules to build upon the children’s established phonic knowledge. In order to meet the expectations of the curriculum, children also learn grammar rules in context in grammar sessions. Grammar teaching is also an integral part of English lessons and is used as session starters as well as in phonics sessions as a means of embedding new skills into their writing. 


Spelling appendix:



Grammar glossary with all grammatical terms for Key Stages 1 and 2:



Vocabulary, Punctuation and Grammar expectations for each year group:





We believe that children should take pride in everything they do and present their work neatly using joined handwriting. In Reception, children use a range of tools and materials to develop their gross and fine motor skills. From Year 1 upwards, children are taught to write with a cursive style of handwriting where they are taught the main handwriting joins using a variety of different approaches.