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Arno Vale Junior School


English is essential to everyday life so that we can communicate our ideas and emotions to others and participate fully as a member of society.


The more we read, the more we can understand the world around us by developing our vocabulary and the languages choices we make.


The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding 
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


Spoken language:

The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically.


Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.  

At Arno Vale, we aim to:

  • develop pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.
  • develop a capacity  for pupils to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write.
  • assist children in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others.
  • use discussion help pupils probe and remedy their English.
  • ensure pupils can use the conventions for discussion and debate.
  • enable pupils to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama
  • develop pupils who are able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role.
  • provide opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.



The teaching of reading consists of developing both word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). At Arno Vale, we aim to develop readers who are skilled in both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. . Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. We aim to develop comprehension skills develop through:

  • high-quality discussion with the teacher,
  • reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction
  • encouraging all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction
  • developing pupils' knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live,
  • establishing an appreciation and love of reading,
  • gaining knowledge across the curriculum

Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.



The teaching of writing consists of two elements: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). At Arno Vale, we aim to develop confidence and competence in our pupils so they can plan, revise and evaluate their writing.  Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.



At Arno Vale, all pupils have a daily English lesson. During this time, the focus is on developing knowledge, understanding and application of aspects of the English curriculum linked to writing. These sessions will contain a mixture of explicit teaching of spelling, grammar and punctuation. This knowledge will also be applied during these sessions through crafting longer pieces of writing. We follow the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme for the teaching of spelling. This is taught for at least two 20 minute sessions per week. 


Every class also has a dedicated guided reading session lasting for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. We use a whole class approach to guided reading: the teacher reads to the class, followed by discussion about what has been read tasks which link to carefully chosen objectives from our reading progression grid. 


Where children are identified as needing further support with their reading, they may be part of an intervention carefully selected to meet their needs. We use the following interventions:

  • Little Wandle Phonics to support decoding
  • 1:1 readers or  Switch on Reading to develop fluency
  • Inference training to support comprehension


Each class also uses one session of practice time to consolidate or revisit concepts the teacher has assessed as needing further practice to become fully embedded. 


By the time children leave Arno Vale at the end of the key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the English programme of study.


Teachers use ongoing formative assessment to identify gaps and misconceptions in order to inform their planning. Summative assessment is also used at points throughout the year. Reading ages are assessed termly using the NGRT online assessments. Teachers then use their professional judgements to make overall judgements taking account of all available evidence. Teachers have termly meetings with the SLT to discuss pupil progress and identify which children may need further support in English.


Children in year 6 sit the reading, and grammar, punctuation and spelling SATs tests: the results are analysed and compared to national data. Trends are also analysed and action plans formulated to address any areas for development.


Writing is assessed through independent writing tasks carried out each half term. In year 6, these pieces of writing are assessed against the KS2 Teaching Assessment Framework. Years 3-5 assess writing against writing assessment grids in a similar format to the end of KS2 writing assessment, although based on the required knowledge of writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling for each year group. 


The English subject leader conducts regular monitoring to ensure consistent high standards across school.