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Sires Hill

Primary Academy



We use the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education planning as a basis for our English lessons. This gives each year group a vast range of enriching texts to choose from, all suggested by CLPE for their ability to deepen their appreciation and engage with a variety of writers.  The children have an English lesson every day with these high quality texts driving the themes of their learning. They are exposed to a wide range of adventurous vocabulary which in turn they then incorporated in their writing. Children write with a purpose and audience in mind in order to focus their choice of vocabulary and sentence structure. There are 4 Writing “Purposes” covering fiction and non-fiction that we cover. 


Writing to entertain - which includes writing stories or narrative, character or setting descriptions and poetry.


Writing to inform - where the author provides clear, factual and to the point information to the reader. When writing to inform the author can compare and contrast two subjects. This writing can be presented as a newspaper, magazine, website page, recount, letter, instructions, explanation, biography or autobiography and a report.


Writing to persuade - when the author is putting forward their point of view, trying to persuade you to agree with them or change their mind about a point. Persuasive writing can be in the form of advertising, letter, speech, poster or a campaign.


Writing to discuss - discussions put forward both parts of an argument, and are written for anyone who wants to know all the fact and opinions. Discussions can be presented as a newspaper article, balanced argument or a review.


Each half term will consist of at least one narrative, non-narrative and if possible a poetry unit. Narrative units tend to last longer than non-narrative and poetry units but will differ in length depending on the content, final written outcome and length of the term. 

DPA example provided here - SHPA version to follow:

Assessing writing

When assessing independent writing, we use writing expectation sheets. These give an indication of skills that children can apply into their writing. By the end of the year, children should be confidently applying a majority of these skills into their writing consistently. 

DPA examples provided here - SHPA versions to follow:

Reading - summary

Reading is a fundamental skill, enabling children to access not just their curriculum subjects, but allowing them to comprehend the world around them. We have placed reading at the heart of our curriculum. A positive attitude and genuine love of literature can often be hard to instil so we look for every opportunity to support children in developing their literary horizons.


All children have a selection of reading books that go home with them, each with a specific purpose. The first book is chosen to support the child's understanding of phonics, allowing them to practise the phonemes learnt and develop their speed, accuracy and expression when reading aloud. A second book supports their comprehension skills. There maybe certain sounds that the child has not yet learnt, but the book is there to encourage the child to discuss and question their understanding of the themes and ideas found in the text. Finally, there is a free choice book that children bring home in order to develop their love of books. These books are meant to be read with support, allowing them to explore new ideas, meet new characters and visit new places they could not access independently. 


Each class has a timetabled slot every day to listen to their class novel. From Year 2 upwards, children take part in Guided Reading sessions, aimed at developing their comprehension skills and encouraging them to read, interpret, analyse and evaluate a range of fiction and non-fiction genres.  


Children are encouraged to engage with their reading in a variety of ways, from discussion with teachers to book reviews and recommendations for their peers. Each class has their own book corner full of different genres and text types, designed to build and challenge each child's reading preferences. Within the heart of the school we have a fantastic library that holds a range of reference, topic and general knowledge books available for all children to borrow. We also have a school Twitter account that lets children connect with their favourite authors, asking advice about their inspirations, methods and recommendations. Look at our page to see who has responded.


Parental involvement is incredibly important in modelling and helping develop a 'Reading for Pleasure' ethos. Please see the PowerPoint below on how to support your child's reading journey. 


For a more detailed explanation of our reading curriculum, please see the documents and links below.


Where DPA examples and pictures are provided, SHPA versions will follow.


Our library is open to all children in the school. Children are allowed to borrow any book within the library, giving them access to a greater range of genres than those found on their class book corners. As well as children's novels; we have magazines, graphic novels, picture books and an extensive non-fiction section.


At DPA the library is staffed by Mrs Hearn and our team of 'Junior Librarians'. The same approach will be taken at SHPA. Their responsibilities include: 

  • Restocking books when returned

  • Helping issue books during lunchtimes when the library is open

  • Helping children choose new reading books when they are stuck

  • Sorting new books into their correct placements 

  • Tidying the library, ensuring it looks as neat as possible

Pictures from the library at DPA, with SHPA pictures to follow:

Book recommendations

With over 10,000 children's books published each year, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start picking the next read. Although the class reading corners and library are well stocked, this is only a small selection of children's literature. Below are some links and suggestions that offer guidance on where to start.  

Where DPA examples are provided, SHPA versions will follow:

Speaking and listening

Children's oracy is also of high importance and this is developed through discussions and debates. In November, we hold our inter-house poetry slam, affording every child the chance to learn and perform poetry in front of their peers. Over the year there are opportunities for every child to be involved in an assembly and/or performance with an audience. Year 6, 4 and 2 and Reception put on a performance each year. 

DPA pictures provided below, with SHPA versions to follow:


Spelling is based on the National Curriculum respective year group levels. Within each stage there are weekly objectives and spelling lists that develop a steady progression through the curriculum as well as review and challenge lists to extend vocabulary. For each week's spelling list, a lesson in school coupled with an online platform and printed activity allow children to embed their newly-learned skills by practising and applying the rules. 

Be Kind, Be Brilliant