English National Curriculum 

The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 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

To read the English National Curriculum in full, please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study

Click here for Long Term Plan 2023/2024.



Our reading curriculum is designed to provide a balanced and engaging approach to developing reading skills, which include both decoding and comprehension.  Our focus on high quality texts helps excite and engage children and develops resilience and stamina for reading. 

Our curriculum provides reading opportunities in all areas of learning.  Reading skills are explicitly taught through whole class, shared or 1:1 reading, according to the needs of the class. Books are chosen carefully to match each child’s reading ability. We use Oxford Reading Tree in KS1 and Accelerated Reading in KS2 as a supplementary scheme used to developing readers. 

We teach decoding through the Read Write Inc phonic programme in EYFS and Key Stage 1 through teaching sounds to develop fluency in reading, as well as their understanding of texts. In KS2, we follow Accelerated Reading, which is designed to help children’s independence in choosing their own book. The programme benchmarks children’s reading using a half termly online assessment and gives the children a book band where they can choose texts appropriate to their reading level. When they finish a book, they can take a short online quiz that monitors their progress and allows them to ‘level up’.  


Writing is closely linked with the development of reading skills and based upon the high quality texts through The Power of Reading programme which also informs our planning for writing sessions. We aim for our children to write accurately and coherently for a wide range of purposes including different areas of the curriculum. Our choice of high quality texts and opportunities for first hand experiences is designed to inspire our cohort of children to want to compose ideas, both orally and in writing.

Handwriting at Colnbrook C. of E. Primary School focuses on the process of joined-up cursive handwriting. We encourage and teach our children to form letters that have lead ins that start on the line to promote correct letter formation. All of our staff model this style of handwriting and we encourage our parents to support their children at home by following the same guideline. Please click here for our Parent Guide on Handwriting. Click here to view our Handwriting Policy.


Importance of Systematic Spelling Programme

English language is complex and takes a long time to learn – we have more speech sounds than letters. We write the sound ay at least 8 ways play, rain, make, eight, straight, reign, rein, break.

English language is 44 sounds to speak all English words – though the way we write these sounds varies. So the key to good spelling is to remember how to spell these sounds in different words.

Spelling tends to improve throughout our lives and only with lots of practice that we become good spellers.

Weekly spelling tests result in children learning them ready for the test, then soon forgetting them without continued practice. Explicit systematic teaching is continually practised and reinforced, until spelling knowledge is committed to children’s long-term memory.

Read Write Inc Spelling Programme

This is the reason why we have decided to teach spellings explicitly though the RWI program. KS1 spelling patterns and rules are taught through RWI phonics. This then continues seamlessly into KS2 using the RWI program, following similar teaching strategies.

Years 3 to 5 work through units every few weeks, beginning with a spelling video to explain the units spelling patterns and rules which children then practice through strategies and games in ten minute slots daily.

Progress is then monitored termly through tests, rather than weekly spelling tests, which then informs the teacher on spelling rules to focus on and carry out more practice on.