Primary School



Co -ordinator      Mrs McLoughlin

“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship." 

Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Our English curriculum is driven by the aim to provide a rich and stimulating language environment for our children, where speaking and listening, drama and role play, reading and writing are all heavily intertwined and integral to one another. We continually strive with our curriculum to provide opportunities for pupils to become confident, competent and expressive users of English.  We want our pupils to achieve the knowledge, skills and understanding to be proficient speakers, writers and readers, but also to develop a positive attitude and deep confidence, as well as an interest and a life-long love of literature and vocabulary, enabling them to be ready for life in a society in which they will thrive, whatever their needs and background.

Teaching children to become excellent readers is fundamental to what we do at Netherthong Primary School and an integral part of becoming great writers and orators. We do this through prioritising readingphonics starts on day one and continues until children have completed the scheme and are fluent readers.  We recognise the importance of the right phonics programme to ensure progress: we use the well-respected Read Write Inc systematic synthetic phonics programme from Reception and all staff are trained in this with regular cpd, as we believe all staff should be early reading experts regardless of the year group they teach in. We instil a love of reading in our children through exposing them to a range of genres, including poetry, in Guided Reading lessons and in English lessons and across the broad and balanced curriculum. Robust comprehension teaching and practice, using a variety of tools, including the English Skills Box, ensures that children can read fluently, but also unpick what they have read and make inferences and understand authorial intention.   In Reception and at Key Stage 1, our children take home two books every week: one is a book they can fully decode, as they practise their reading fluency and the other is a book that parents can read with them for pleasure, exposing them to new words and vocabulary and different genres. The decodable book that our younger children or that struggling readers take home, is carefully matched to the sounds they have learned in class ensuring that every child has success with their early reading and feels confident and empowered. Our extensive library also supports every child to select a book weekly that they can read for pleasure during the week and our library experts and well trained, reading loving staff, take care to guide the children’s choices carefully.  Every child has a reading record or reading planner. Classes enjoy story time at least once every day and all reading sessions are language rich with the back and forth interactions that form part of excellent reading practice. School implements its reading calendar across the academic year to ensure children are exposed to a wide variety of reading initiatives and a culture of readers is created through prizes, competition and community links.

At Netherthong Primary School, we believe in keep up, and/or catching up quickly, and we use a number of tools to ensure that children do not fall behind.  These include RWI Fresh Start in Years 5 and 6, ‘Keep Up’ phonics in Years 3 and 4, extra reading support at 8.30 for those children that may need it from time to time, daily phonics in Reception and Key Stage One and one to one phonics where necessary, Nessy, small group extra reading and weekly Reading Friends’ sessions.  Our Nurture Lead also uses books and book talk to support children accessing nurture sessions to support their emotional well-being.

We take a systematic approach to writing, revisiting key learning and building upon it in all areas from phonics, through to grammar and spelling and different genres, adapting teaching and resources so that every child can make progress, whatever their starting point and needs. Writing takes place across the curriculum, not just in English lessons and staff continually foster a love of speaking and writing throughout the school year, in every context from World Book Day, to School Government and Collective Worship. We use high quality texts, modelling and shared/collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice for example using The Power of Reading and Literacy Shed Plus. Children with SEND have to navigate the same written language, unlock the same alphabetic code, learn the same skills, and learn and remember the same body of knowledge as their peers. It is a critical skill in helping them prepare for adulthood. Writing frames and other devices are used to support the least confident and SEND children and we provide time for children to plan, edit and revise using purple pen.  The marking of extended pieces support next steps and targets are in the front of children’s writing books so that they can see and plan their journey. School makes all reasonable adjustments to enable pupils with disabilities to have full access to the curriculum and to be able to participate in it. 

 Texts used as writing stimulus generally link with the broader curriculum, helping children to make rich connections with the wider world and their own contexts.  English lessons happen every day. Grammar is taught on a weekly basis using the Schofield & Sims Grammar resources and as appropriate, during the English lesson, with grammatical errors corrected orally/ in writing (where appropriate) and misconceptions addressed. Spelling is a focus in school: children use Fred Fingers’ strategies and regularly their practice spellings, using The Spelling Shed to consolidate skills every week in school but also as homework. Competition for the top 15 spelling places celebrated in Merit Assembly every week ensures engagement is high! Staff receive regular training and updates on all aspects of English and regular monitoring and collaboration across school ensures that writing in every class is of super quality and building on knowledge, skills and understanding.

The school handwriting style is based on the Charles Cripps handwriting scheme and children have regular opportunities to develop and practise their handwriting. They are encouraged to join their handwriting from the summer term in Year 1 when good letter formation has been established.

Children who read for pleasure perform better in school (Children and Young People’s reading in 2017/8 National Literacy Trust) and our record of strong achievement in reading at all key stages, reflects the environment we create where reading is valued, promoted and actively encouraged. As a school, we are extremely proud of all of our English results: our children achieve above the national KS2 standard in Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and Reading, at both the Expected Standard and Higher Standard.  Co-ordinator monitoring shows that teachers are confident, creative and skilled in their delivery of English at Netherthong and their own love of writing and reading permeates through the classrooms, instilling a love within the children.  Governors monitor and review standards termly.  Children are extremely well prepared for their secondary school journey.

Children enjoy writing and reading across a range of genres, can write for a range of purposes and audiences, and become confident and effective communicators, both in their written work and with their oracy. They will amass a varied vocabulary that they can use across the curriculum and can apply spelling rules and grammatical concepts in their work, spotting opportunities to improve their work both independently and with adult support. Children tell us that they are proud of what they produce and the progress they see in their work.  We celebrate this with them through feedback, assemblies and they have the opportunity to see their work on display and shared with others in the school and with their families. 

As Kofi Annan sums up, “Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life…”.  Our children’s literacy is nurtured with the highest regard and ambition, so that they may progress and succeed, in all that they do.

Suggested (but not exhaustive) list of reading books for each year group.
Please do not restrict yourself to the year group or list for your child, but do consider what your child is ready to read.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin Jnr
Where’s Spot? Eric Hill
Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney and Garth Williams
The Little Red Hen Byron Barton
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
Clifford the Big Red Dog Norman Bridwell
Owl Babies Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak
Winnie the Pooh A A Milne
The Tale of Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter
Stone Soup Marcia Brown
Not Now Bernard David McKee
There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly Pam Adams
The Tiger Who Came to Tea Jill Tomlinson
The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
Winnie the Witch Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul
The Elephant and the Bad Baby Elfrida Vipont & Raymond Briggs
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Helen Oxenbury
Handa’s Surprise Eileen Browne
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark Jill Tomlinson
I Will Never Eat a Tomato Lauren Child
Rosie’s Walk Pat and Laurence Hutchins
One Snowy Night Nick Butterworth
Dear Zoo Rod Campbell
The Rainbow Fish Marcus Pfister
Dogger Shirley Hughes
Farmer Duck Martin Waddell
Once There Were Giants Martin Waddell and Penny Dale

Traditional Rhymes
Alphabet Books
Counting Books

The Cat in the Hat Dr Seuss
The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr
Hairy Maclary Lynley Dodd
The Large Family Collection Jill Murphy
Charlie and Lola Lauren Child
The Smartest Giant in Town Julia Donaldson
The Gruffalo’s Child Julia Donaldson
The Gigantic Turnip Aleksei Tolstoy
The Whisperer Nick Butterworth
Mrs Armitage on Wheels Quentin Blake
The Trouble with Jack Shirley Hughes
My Friend Bear Jez Alborough
Avocado Baby John Burningham
A Bear Called Paddington Michael Bond
Funnybones Allan Ahlberg
The Hodgeheg D King-Smith
The Jolly Postman Allan Ahlberg
Mister Magnolia Quentin Blake
Katie Morag Series Mairi Hedderwick
Frog and Toad are Friends Arnold Lobel
The Princess and the Pea Minnie Grey
Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman
Don’t Forget the Bacon Pat Hutchins
Emperor of Absurdia Chris Riddell
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs Jon Scieszka

Collins Primary Dictionary
Children’s First Encyclopaedia
Children’s Atlas
Topic Books, eg Old Toys, Homes in the Past
Traditional Nursery Rhymes
Traditional Fairy Stories

The Cat Who Lost His Purr Michelle Coxon
Frightened Fred Peta Coplans
Friends Kim Lewis
Mog Stories Judith Kerr
Mr Wolf’s Pancakes Jan Fearnley
Frog is Frog Max Velthuijis
Cat and Mouse Story Michael Rosen
The Snow Lady Shirley Hughes
Grace and Family Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch
The Adventures of Captain Underpants Dav Pilkey
The Diary of a Killer Cat Anne Fine
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness Ian Whybrow
The Magic Finger Roald Dahl
Mrs Wobble the Waitress Allan Alhberg
Pirate School: Just a Bit of Wind Jeremy Strong
George’s Marvellous Medicine Roald Dahl
The Giraffe, Pelly and Me Roald Dahl
The Guard Dog D King-Smith
Emily’s Legs D King-Smith

Children’s Illustrated Dictionary
Usborne Books:
The First Encyclopaedia of Science
The First Encyclopaedia of the Human Body
The First Encyclopaedia of Animals
The First Encyclopaedia of Seas and Oceans
The Children’s World Atlas (internet linked)
Pocket Science Books
Watt’s Great Events Books:
The Great Fire of London
Gun Powder Plot
Battle of Hastings
Coronation of Elizabeth II
Watt’s Famous People Series:
Florence Nightingale
Louis Braille
George Stephenson
Thomas Edison

Cool Michael Morpurgo
The Butterfly Lion Michael Morpurgo
Kensuke’s Kingdom Michael Morpurgo
Billy the Kid Michael Morpurgo
The Twits Roald Dahl
Charlie and Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
Matilda Roald Dahl
Danny The Champion of the World Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach Roald Dahl
Fantastic Mr Fox Roald Dahl
The BFG Roald Dahl
The Sheep Pig D King-Smith
Bill’s New Frock Anne Fine
The Hundred Mile an Hour Dog Jeremy Strong
Return of the Hundred Mile an Hour Dog Jeremy Strong
The Naughtiest Girl in the School Enid Blyton
Secret Seven series Enid Blyton
Famous Five series Enid Blyton
Animal Ark series Lucy Daniels
Horrid Henry series Francesca Henry’s
Charlotte’s Web E B White
Flat Stanley Jeff Brown
Fungus the Bogeyman Raymond Briggs
Mystery Winklesea Helen Cresswell
The Indian in the Cupboard Lynne Reid Banks
Mr Majeika Humphrey Carpenter
Please Mrs Butler Allan Ahlberg
The Sam Pig Story Book Alison Uttley
Railway Cat Phyllis Arkle
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J K Rowling

A Caribbean Dozen John Agard & Grace Nicholls
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters John Steptoe
Beowolf Kevin Crossley-Holland
The Firework-Maker's Daughter Philip Pullman
The Dragon's Child Jenny Nimmo
The Ghost Blades Anthony Masters
Sara, Plain and Tall Patricia MacLachlan
Smart Girls Robert Leeson
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky Susan Jeffers & Chief Seattle
Robi Dobi Madhur Jaffrey
The Reluctant Dragon Kenneth Grahame
Flow Pippa Goodhart
Dragon Poems John Foster & Korky Paul
The Crazy Shoe Shuffle Gillian Cross
The Sea Piper Helen Cresswell
The Chocolate Touch Patrick Skene Catling
Spacebaby Henrietta Branford
Gregory Cool Caroline Binch
A Pot of Gold Jill Bennett
Fog Hounds Wind Cat Sea Mice Joan Aiken
The Clothes Horse Allan Ahlberg
It Was A Dark and Stormy Night Allan Ahlberg
The Dancing Bear Michael Morpurgo
The Demon Headmaster Gillian Cross
Dog So Small Phillipa Pearce
Emil and the Detectives Erich Kastner
The Iron Man Ted Hughes
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe C S Lewis
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh Robert C O’Brien
Stig of the Dump Clive King
Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome
A Child's Garden of Verse Robert Louis Stevenson
Greek Myths for Young Children Marcia Williams
The Orchard Book of Creation Stories Margaret Mayo & Louise Brierley

Water Wings Morris Gleitzman
Blabbermouth Morris Gleitzman
Belly Flop Morris Gleitzman
The Diddakoi Rumer Godden
Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz
Walter and Me Michael Morpurgo
Friend or Foe Michael Morpurgo
Mister Monday Garth Nix
Aquila Andrew Norris
Harry and the Wrinklies Alan Temperley
The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson
Double Act Jacqueline Wilson
Northern Lights Philip Pullman
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
Dragon Rider Cornelia Funke
Journey To Jo’burg Beverly Naidoo
Journey to the River Sea Eva Ibbotson
The Owl Service Alan Garner
Pig Heart Boy Malorie Blackman
Tom’s Midnight Garden Philippa Pearce
Watership Down Richard Adams
The Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K Le Guin
Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aiken
Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson-Burnett
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
Anne of Green Gables L M Montgomery
Black Beauty Anna Sewell
Holes Louis Sachar
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom Louis Sachar
Vicky Angel Jacqueline Wilson
The Other Side of Truth Beverley Naidoo
Harry Potter series J K Rowling

Carrie’s War Nina Bawden
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit Judith Kerr
Forgotten Voices of the Second World War Max Arthur
The Diamond of Drury Lane Julia Golding
Framed Frank Cottrell Boyce
Homecoming Cynthia Voigt
Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman
Knife Edge Malorie Blackman
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
Mortal Engines Philip Reeve
Clockwork Philip Pullman
Dragon Keeper Carole Wilkinson
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
Peter Pan J M Barrie
Wizard of Oz F Baum
Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
The Railway Children E Nesbit
The Borrowers M Norton
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
Alex Rider series Anthony Horowitz
My Story series Various authors
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Ed. Otto H Frank
Boy Overboard Morris Gleitzman
Sabriel Garth Nix

Please click here for Spelling Shed.