English is at the heart of learning. 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 word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The National Curriculum in England 2014

Through being taught to write and speak fluently, pupils learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them

At Crawley Ridge Infant School we use discussion to aid and develop learning across the curriculum. The children are encouraged to elaborate and they are given time to clarify their thoughts and explain their understanding. Through questioning, they are given the opportunity to communicate their thinking and build on their own and each other’s ideas. By ensuring a rich variety of language for the children to hear we help the children to build and use a wide vocabulary. We value everyone’s opinions and the children are taught the importance of taking turns when speaking and of listening carefully both to each other and to adults. The children are therefore able to gain confidence and competence in speaking; enabling them to develop the capacity to communicate clearly.


Phonics underpins reading and writing, and is taught regularly throughout the week. We use the "Letters and Sounds" (DfE, 2007) programme. Children are introduced initially to 42 basic sounds, which they are taught to blend for reading, and to segment for spelling, gradually building upon this as they explore more complex phonic patterns. Children are set across each year group to ensure that teaching is closely matched to pupils’ needs.

"Phonics is the stepping stone to fluency, which is the bridge to comprehension."


Our teaching of Reading involves developing skills necessary for both word reading and comprehension. We believe that children should read as widely as possible. We use a broad variety of materials, including Oxford Reading Tree, Pearson Phonics Bug and Rigby Star. Where pupils need additional support with reading, we use Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics as well as PM Readers, and we closely match materials and teaching to each child's needs.

As well as our phonic programme, the children are taught further word-reading strategies to help work out unfamiliar words and quickly recognise familiar ones.

Through discussions with each other, teachers and teaching assistants, children develop comprehension skills across a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction texts. Children’s engagement with the text and their response to it is developed through guided reading sessions and individual reading conferences. We value the involvement of parents in helping to ensure that each child reads regularly at home - every day if possible.

We aim to enable children to read fluently, confidently and with understanding as it "feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.”      National Curriculum in England 2014


Our Writing covers two strands; transcription, which includes spelling and handwriting, and composition.

Children practise skills in grammar, spelling and punctuation and apply these in creative writing tasks. Children learn to write for a variety of purposes and in different contexts. We adopt a cursive script (handwriting.pdf) throughout the Key Stage, and children are encouraged to take pride in their work and present it neatly. The children are taught to plan their writing which they then refer back to when structuring their writing. They are encouraged to read their work through, checking for any spelling or grammatical mistakes and ensuring it makes sense. By communicating their ideas clearly, using a rich and varied vocabulary and appropriate grammar, the children are taught to write for a purpose and with an awareness of the reader.

At Crawley Ridge children learn about:

Spoken Language

  • For a wide range of purposes
  • In different contexts
  • In groups discussion and interaction
  • In drama

Phonics - please see video on the right

  • The 42 sounds
  • Alternative graphemes
  • Blending for reading
  • Segmenting for spelling


  • Word reading skills and strategies
  • Comprehension; Understanding and interpreting texts 
  • Engaging and responding to texts


  • Transcription; spelling, handwriting, punctuation
  • Composition; articulating and structuring ideas


  • Handwriting (please see video below)
  • Using word processing skills