At Dilton Marsh CEVC Primary School, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our aim is to ensure every child becomes primary literate and progresses in speaking and listening, reading and writing. We have high expectations for all our children, and want each of them to achieve their full potential in English during their time at Dilton Marsh CEVC Primary School so that they ready for the next step in their education.

English is not only a daily discrete lesson, it is the cornerstone to all learning at Dilton Marsh by being embedded in each area of learning. We endeavour to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators to support and enhance their thinking and understanding of the world around them through a broad, rich and engaging English curriculum.

We ensure books, vocabulary and reading have a central role in our curriculum, not only to enhance learning, but to support the development of children’s emotional literacy.


To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in English, we have implemented a curriculum that is progressive through the school. To support the implementation of this, we use a variety of different resources for each aspect of the subject.


In EYFS and Year 1, for phonics, we follow a systematic approach using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. This provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, and teaching continues daily to at least the point where children can read almost all words fluently.  

In addition, working in small groups, EYFS and Year 1 children experience three reading practice sessions per week.  These focus on the key reading skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension.  This approach continues as needed for children who still need to practise reading with decodable books. 

From year 2, we use ‘Teaching Comprehension Strategies’ which exposes the children to extracts of different text types enabling the teaching of explicit skills needed to understand the texts, as well as answer reading comprehension questions orally and in writing. We accompany this teaching with specific vocabulary lessons and discussions to ensure that the children fully understand the text.

Our reading spine ensures that all classes share at least one focus book each term as a stimulus for writing.  We are currently developing an approach to enable whole class reading of these shared texts so that reading comprehension skills can be taught and applied in context.

For individual reading, children choose a book from the class book corner - which may include a book from our 'Dilton 50' -  to take home and share. Book choices are guided where necessary.  Depending on the age and reading ability of the child, these books may also be read in school with an adult.  Staff monitor the children’s choice of book to ensure suitability and variety in genre and author.  Parents may comment in the child’s home-link book when they hear their child read.

Each class has regular story time sessions, to ensure books are shared, discussed and enjoyed.



We follow ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to writing. Each writing unit has two components: firstly, in our sentence stacking lessons, we start by initiating our thinking and generating our ideas for writing. Over the course of the unit, the class co-construct a text and the children develop their understanding of its key components. In this first phase, the children are guided and supported, with vocabulary and ideas at the heart of every learning chunk. Punctuation and grammar is applied in context. The second phase is when the children apply the skills they have developed to their own text. Once completed, it is in this second stage of writing that the children are given time and taught the skills to edit and improve their work.

Our writing curriculum ensures that children are taught how to write narrative, poetry and a range of non-fiction texts. Our children revisit and consolidate their skills through different units. Our regular writing lessons are enhanced with short spelling, punctuation and grammar sessions throughout the week to ensure the children know, and can apply, those key elements of writing.  A discrete spelling and a discrete punctuation session is also taught each week.

We follow the National Curriculum Guidance for handwriting.


The impact of the English curriculum on our children is that they progress, experience sustained learning and transferrable skills which will enable them to access the whole curriculum.

The writing skills they acquire will allow all pupils to communicate well, accurately and creatively in a range of styles for a range of purposes and audiences.

We aim for children to leave Dilton Marsh CEVC Primary School with a love of reading and writing and high aspirations to continue this love of our language into the next phase of their academic journey.