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It is the overall aim for the teaching and learning of English at Cippenham Infant School to enable children to become well-rounded confident learners achieving high standards in language and literacy.  We wish to provide the children equal opportunities to develop a love of literature through widespread reading of a range of texts.

The English Curriculum at Cippenham Infant School provides children with the opportunity to:

  • Develop a positive attitude to speaking and listening and use language confidently in a range of contexts.
  • Participate in conversation, listening to others and responding appropriately, thinking about what has been said and the language used.
  • Learn and understand a broad range of vocabulary.
  • Develop an enthusiasm and love of reading for life.
  • To read a wide range of texts.
  • Write for a real purpose, so that it is interesting and enjoyable.
  • Write imaginatively.
  • Develop their phonic knowledge, skills and understanding of spelling conventions and use them to read and spell accurately.
  • Develop a fluent, neat and joined handwriting style as early as possible.

Speaking and Listening

Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills not only take place within English lessons but throughout the whole curriculum. Children are given many opportunities and are encouraged throughout the school day to share their thoughts, ideas and questions. Each classroom provides an environment that is enriched with vocabulary and is a safe and welcoming environment for speaking. Listening skills are developed and positive strategies are used to encourage good listening skills.


Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as Guided Reading and Shared Reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading.  Phonics is taught at Cippenham Infant School every day for 25 minutes and children are grouped for this according to the phonics phase they are working on. In the EYFS we use Jolly Phonics to introduce the letter sounds and as the children become confident with this we move onto using the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme.


Reading is one of the most important skills a child will learn in their early years.  We believe that there can be few better ways to improve pupils chances in school, or beyond in the wider world than to enable them to become truly independent readers.  We encourage reading at home every night and in turn each child will read in school independently to a TA or class teacher at least once a week, and twice weekly as part of a guided group.  A reading record book is used for communication between parent and teacher.  We promote and support mastering the two key skills required for reading: understanding, and phonics and word recognition. Although we used a wide range of different reading materials to develop reading skills our main scheme is Oxford Reading Tree.


Essentially, our literacy lessons are based around Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing. This is a fun, engaging and motivating way for children to learn how to write. Children learn to talk, discuss and think like writers.

The process repeats these steps for each text type studied - cold task, imitation, innovation, invention, hot task.

We support children in developing four key elements of writing: spelling, punctuation, handwriting and composition by giving the children experiences of many types of writing and of writing for a variety of purposes.