Statement of Intent
At Barley Mow Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion as well as equipping them with the skills to become confident, capable readers and writers who have their own voice and style. We have a rigorous and well-organised English curriculum that provides many exciting, purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion using a range of genre and media. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:
● 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.

These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum.  We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Rigorous assessment and review ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in literacy; we believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.



When planning English lessons, teachers use high-quality texts as a context for their teaching. Please see our English Curriculum document below for further details of the the genres and text each year group covers . We use a wide range of diverse, engaging texts as a basis for our English units of work. Where appropriate, they may make links to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. Ultimately, we want our children to be excited and enthused by what they are writing therefore we regularly review our units of work to suit the needs of our children. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum, and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lesson sequences build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. Throughout each unit of work, children are given opportunities to read and analyse model texts,  practise writing skills and aspects of grammar in context and plan , write and edit an extended piece of writing. Modelled and shared writing is used to support the children’s learning including the explicit teaching of new vocabulary to further enrich the children’s writing. Handwriting is also taught within English lessons as well as in separate sessions throughout the week. Work recorded in English books promotes a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes.

English Curriculum

English Policy

Progression of Skills in English

Progression of Punctuation (breakdown)

Spelling and Handwriting Policy 

Speaking and Listening

We believe that speaking and listening is an essential skill for all areas of the curriculum. Staff plan and delivery regular speaking and listening opportunities as part of the sequence of English lessons as well as across other areas of the curriculum including drama, role play, partner work, group and class discussion and debates. Children are encouraged to speak clearly and confidently, expressing their views and opinions as well as listening and respecting the views of others. In addition to work in class, children are also given the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills in school performances.


Assessment for Learning is embedded in literacy lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work. Summative assessment is also used throughout the year to support and inform teacher’s judgements. We follow Gateshead Assessment Profile (GAP) for reading and writing to assess children against.


Parks, Beaches and Holidays!

In Nursery we have currently been learning about ‘holidays, beaches and parks’. To start off this unit we all brought in pictures from our adventures to these places. We loved sharing news in circle time with our friends about what we had been doing with our families....

Where in the World?

Reception have had a very busy few weeks recently, looking at our topics travel, holidays and beaches as well as exploring the vehicles that get us to our destinations. Reception have painted beach pictures in the art area and used real sand to complete their scene....

Nursery Love Vehicles!

Nursery started off this term by looking at different types of vehicles. In our phonics we have enjoyed singing vehicle based songs such as ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Down by the Station’. In our small group we made our own vehicles! We focused on cars, Nursery...

Creating Calligrams

In our English lessons we have been learning that calligrams are words or poems, where the design or layout of the text, creates an image that tells us about the meaning of the word or words used. We started by creating calligram words. We then went on to write our...

St Mary’s Lighthouse

What a fantastic day we have had! Today we visited St Mary's Island as part of our English unit 'The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch.' We began on the beach making sand art then we explored what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper and his assistant 125 years ago and then...

Yummy Honey 🍯

In English we have been reading ‘The Bee Book’ by Charlotte Miller. It’s been fascinating researching and finding out facts about all sorts of different bees. This week, we found out about the most famous bee of all… the honey bee!We found out WHY bees need to make...

Mad about Mini-beasts.

Reception have had such a busy couple of weeks, learning about mini-beasts. We made different types of mini-beast art ,which includes using our cutting and sticking skills to make collages like the artist Henry Matisse, which we have previously learnt about. We made...


Year 3 have been reading the book Posy as their poetry focus in English. They have explored Kennings and how they are used as a piece of writing. The children were then able to plan and write their own Kenning. Finally they typed it up on the laptops so we could...

Growing in Nursery

Nursery have been very busy this term learning about growing. We started our learning by looking at different foods that grow. Nursery read the story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. We talked about the different foods the caterpillar ate and how some of them grow. We...

Virtual Author Visit – Francis Durkin

On Wednesday 1st May, Year 5 enjoyed a virtual visit from historical author Francis Durkin. She gave us a fascinating insight into how she writes her books, from her initial inspiration to the finished product. We were able to ask her questions at the end of her talk...