Teaching English

The English curriculum at Tranmere covers written English, spoken language, grammar, punctuation, spelling and reading. On this page you’ll find a breakdown of the key areas, along with useful resources to help your child access the English curriculum.

Children have English sessions everyday that involve work towards writing outcomes. This may include preparation for writing through reading, drama or speaking and listening activities or the writing activities themselves. Children at Tranmere have opportunities to be involved in shared writing as a class, small group writing and independent writing. Following the outcomes from the current National Curriculum, we aim to develop the children’s technical skill in writing alongside their creative abilities, engaging them in the processes of writing as a reader and reading as a writer.

The document below shows the English programme of study taken from the National Curriculum.

English in the National Curriculum

The new curriculum puts a much greater emphasis on punctuation and grammar. With this in mind, the document below is a glossary of all terms that children will need to be familiar with by the end of Year 6.

English Glossary



Children have many opportunities for reading in school which include: whole-class reading sessions twice a week, group reading with their peers, sharing a class book and individual reading.

Shared reading

Children will have opportunities to read frequently during whole class English lessons. This may involve reading together as a class from the board or reading/sharing a range of texts.

Whole-Class Reading Sessions

All classes have whole-class reading sessions, where the children all work towards the same objective and the skills required to meet this objective are explicitly taught. Every session, the class use the same text or alternative stimulus to complete ‘RIC’ or ‘Retrieval, Interpretation and Choice’ questions, followed by teaching to address the chosen reading outcome, and group or independent activities to support their learning.

Individual Reading

In EYFS and KS1 children read independently on a frequent basis. In key stage 2, children who need more individual support will receive help on a one to one or small group basis.

In Key Stage One and EYFS, children access the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme of work. Once children are secure readers they then access extended chapter books suitable for their reading level.

Oxford Reading Tree books are used in small group reading sessions

The teaching of Phonics (letters and sounds scheme followed)

Synthetic phonics teaching is taught on a daily basis in EYFS and Key Stage One to support reading and writing. The definition of ‘synthetic phonics’ is an accelerated form of phonics where children are taught all letter sounds very quickly after starting school. This method of teaching continues throughout Key Stage One, where children continue to extend their learning to using digraphs and trigraphs. Phonics is taught through isolated phonics sessions but also forms part of the literacy hour, supporting children’s reading and writing.

In Key Stage Two, spelling forms an integral part of literacy teaching. The focus is on children making accurate spelling choices and applying these to their work. Children who require further support with their spelling/phonics are able to access a range of intervention groups suitable for their individual needs.

Parental Involvement

At the start of the school year, your child’s class teacher will have informed you about classroom routines for each class with regards to reading books/reading homework activities. We emphasise the need for parents to take an active role in their child’s education, supporting the developing reader and encouraging open lines of communication through reading diaries and planners.

Reading for Enjoyment

Each classroom has a reading area/display. This area promotes a love of reading and encourages children to be actively involved in writing book reviews and selecting books for their peers to enjoy. Throughout the week children will have the opportunity to access this area.


As part of the new National Curriculum children are expected to learn compulsory lists of spellings. In three shorter spelling sessions that follow the ‘No Nonsense’ scheme, by learning spelling rules and by looking at word meanings, it is expected that all children will be able to spell these words by the time they leave Junior School.

In addition there are two sets of high frequency words which are taught in KS1. By the beginning of Year 3 all children should be able to spell the words on these lists.

These words can be viewed using the links below. We hope this will give you a clear understanding of what we expect in terms of progress and achievement in spelling through KS2.

First 100 High Frequency Words

Next 200 High Frequency words

Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Wordlists



We use a cursive handwriting script. This encourages high expectations of children’s work across the school but also helps children to see and remember spelling patterns and at Reception level to remember letter sounds.

In the Foundation Phase we begin by forming the letters individually, always starting on the line and going ‘up the hill’ and ending in a ‘flick’. We never join upper case ‘capital’ letters to the rest of the word and so these letters do not need to go ‘up the hill’ or ‘flick’. Although we do not join the letters together yet, remembering ‘up the hill’ and ‘flick’ prepares the children for joining their handwriting and makes the transition a lot easier. The ‘joined up’ handwriting is taught from Year 1

If you would like to help your child to practice their cursive handwriting at home please see the image below for the correct formation. If you have any questions or would like know to more about cursive handwriting please feel free to ask your child’s teacher.