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Academic  »   Literacy / Numeracy


Teaching of English

1. Ethos

In Krishna Avanti Primary School we give high priority to the teaching of Literacy. This is reflected in the time we devote to developing language skills, the funding we have invested into resources for Literacy, the priority we give to SEN support for underachievement in language development, the encouragement we give to children to practise skills for home learning, and the training that all the staff have received in this area. Learning to read fluently, to write confidently and to express oneself well orally are essential skills that underpin all other learning.

2. Aims and Objectives

The study of English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.

The aims of Literacy are:

  • To enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners
  • To encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard
  • To enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands
  • To develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and other’s contributions and the language used
  • To enable children to evaluate their own and other’s contributions through a range of drama activities
  • To develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text-level knowledge
  • To encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and lengthy texts
  • To help children enjoy writing and recognise its value
  • To enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction
  • To increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work

3. Time Allocation

English is taught in a cross curricular approach. Discrete Guided Reading sessions and phonics teaching take place daily. In addition, time is set aside set aside for Literacy related activities. This includes the provision of the wider English curriculum e.g. drama, extended writing, independent reading, story time, specific library times, spelling and handwriting.

4. Teaching and Learning Style

At Krishna Avanti Primary School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles, as recommended by The Primary Strategy Renewed Framework. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in English. We do this through a daily lesson that has a high proportion of whole-class and group teaching. During these lessons children experience a whole-class shared reading or writing activity, a whole-class focused word or sentence activity, a guided group or independent activity and a whole-class session to review progress and learning. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses and letter and sounds strategy to support their work. Wherever possible we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum.

There are children of differing ability in all classes. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We differentiate in the group work sessions to challenge all children regardless of age or ability.

We achieve this through a range of strategies. In some lessons we do it through differentiated group work, while in other lessons we ask children to work from the same starting point before moving on to develop their own ideas. We use Learning Support Assistants and specialised support teacher to assist some children and to enable work to be matched to the needs of individuals.

5. Home Learning

Through home learning pupils have the opportunity to practise Literacy skills, develop a love for books, reading and use their knowledge to enable learning in other areas of the curriculum. Our home learning policy outlines the type of frequency of home learning recommended. Children are encouraged to begin Literacy home learning from their term in Foundation Stage.

6. The Foundation Stage

We teach English in reception classes as an integral part of the school’s work. The format for the daily lesson is similar to that used in the rest of the school. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the English aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the EYFS, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. We also follow the Primary National Strategy Renewed Framework and objectives for Reception Year. Teachers will plan for the use of Letters and Sounds material. We give all children the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, to respond to adults and to each other, to listen carefully, and to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and communication skills. They have the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn about, and use words and text in a range of situations.

7. Contribution of English to Teaching in Other Curriculum Areas

The skills that children develop in English are lined to, and applied in, every subject of the curriculum. The children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enable them to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work in school.

8. Information and communication (ICT)

The use of ICT enables pupils to use and apply their developing skills in English in a variety of ways. Younger pupils use ICT as source of information and as a way of enabling them to present their completed work effectively. Older pupils use the Internet when searching for information. Pupils use the planning and proofing tools to in a word processor when checking their draft work. We encourage all pupils to use ICT as a resource for learning, whenever they feel it is appropriate. Pupils have opportunities to use Note pads, Digital cameras for animation, and short stories. Teachers develop pupils understanding of texts through the use of visual texts.

9. Equal opportunities

All children cover the content made statutory by the programmes of Study within the National Curriculum regardless of age, ability and gender in line with school’s policy.

Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts brings them into contact with their own literacy heritage and texts from other cultures.

10. Assessment and Recording

Assessment and Recording is in line with the school’s policy ( Target Tracker). We use a Progression in Skills document to record pupils progress. Teachers meet regularly to review individual examples of work against the interim TA frameworks and national exemplification materials: exemplification material produced by Harrow LA, the DfE and the QCA.

11. Resources

There is a range of resources to support the teaching of English across the school. All classrooms have access to dictionaries, thesauruses and word banks. Speaking and Listening facilities with a tape recorder and a range of audio texts are available. DVD and video sets are available for teachers to use.

There is a central library for non-fiction books to support children’s reading development. Each classroom has a range of fiction books. Guided Readers are located centrally for Foundation, KS1 and KS2. Big books are stored within classrooms and in the library. Individual readers are also located where pupils can access them easily. We audit the central library stock and update of new non-fiction books on annually. Topic boxes contain a selection of non – fiction packs to support teaching and learning. These are loaned from Harrow Library Services.

13. Monitoring and Review

Monitoring of the standards of the pupil’s work and of the quality of teaching and learning in English is the responsibility of the SLT and Literacy Subject Leaders. The role of the Subject Leader also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of English, being informed about current developments in the subject and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The Subject Leader will have the opportunity to evaluate the Literacy action plan and indicate areas for further improvement. The Subject Leader has allocated management time in order to enable her to monitor the quality of teaching and learning of English across the school. The named governor responsible for literacy meets with the co-ordinator in order to review progress.

Linked Policies


  • Special Needs
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment and Recording
  • Home Learning 



  • To give the highest priority to the provision of books, which will meet the personalised learning needs of all children as they progress through the school.
  • To ensure that access to books is an integral part of the curriculum and that children are confident and increasingly independent in finding and using books, which supports them in becoming real-life learners.
  • To enable staff to keep abreast of developments within school and national issues and concerns.
  • To foster co-operation between home and school, recognising that this is the basis of success with reading and learning.
  • To develop and foster a lifelong love of books.
  • To regularly monitor, review and evaluate our library provision and policy to inform the School Improvement Plan.
  • To support the work of the National Curriculum.
  • To ensure that books are organised and displayed in a way that is manageable useable and promotes an attractive library environment.



  • The aims of the policy must be understood and supported by all teaching and non-teaching staff involved with the library.
  • Training and guidelines will be given to all staff and volunteer helpers.
  • The library will be the overall responsibility of the Library co-ordinator, supported by the staff.
  • Children will be taught to assist with library organisation.
  • The help and support of volunteers in the library is invaluable and should be actively encouraged.



  • Teachers and children will select collections of books. These will be issued to the on the database and changed on a regular basis.


It is an effective piece of software that does much more than keeps a stock inventory of books across the school.


Track children’s reading progress

Helps children to review books and select similar genres

Recommends books by building a profile about what your child likes to read

Helps children to become reporters and writers

Helps the school to understand which genres, authors, titles are the most popular so that more books can be purchased

There is access to watching online chats of authors and how to become a good writer

  • Certain books to support topic work are for reference only and are labelled accordingly.
  • The non-fiction books will be organised by a colour coded system.



  • Children will be taught a progression of skills to enable them to make informed choices about their reading material.
  • Children will be trained in the skills of library management.
  • The library will be timetabled for use by all classes.



The children will develop their library skills through the Early Years and Key Stage 1 by following a developmental skills programme as outlined. These skills will be acquired through practical library experiences. Each year will consolidate and reinforce previously taught skills.


Future Development: a published scheme may be used to supplement our library skills booklets.



In Nursery and Reception children will be taught:

  • to hold the book the right way up
  • to know that a story starts at the beginning of a book
  • to turn the pages one by one
  • that text is read from left to right
  • to choose a picture book from the fiction library
  • an awareness of the alphabet
  • that books in a library are stored in a particular place
  • an introduction to the different categories of books
  • to sequence a story that has been read to them
  • to retell a story
  • an introduction to the correct terms relating to a book e.g. author, title etc.
  • to make books


In Year 1 children will be taught:

  • the correct terms relating to a library e.g. fiction, non-fiction etc
  • an understanding of the correct terms relating to a book
  • the difference between fact and fiction
  • a knowledge of the alphabet
  • to retell a story in more detail
  • to use initial letters when using a dictionary
  • to understand information in a simple diagrammatic form
  • to devise a simple set of questions with support that will help information
  • to begin to use the school’s library subject index to locate books
  • an awareness of the school’s Dewey system


From Year 2 children will be taught

  • to retrieve information from simple diagrammatic forms
  • to devise a set of questions to help select information
  • to understand key words in scanning
  • to ‘skim read’ title, contents page, illustrations, chapter headings and subtitles
  • to use a simple index to locate a subject
  • to use headings, sub-headings and captions
  • to make simple notes using key words and phrases
  • to read and match numbers up to 1000 to find a subject or book
  • to use a contents page to select relevant chapters/pages
  • to use headings to select relevant information
  • to find information using a one volume encyclopaedia
  • an introduction to further terms relating to a book e.g. Publisher
  • a knowledge of the layout of the library
  • to use the school’s library subject index to locate a book
  • an understanding of the school’s computerised system



The school will continue to use professional support in implementing the library statement of intent via Harrow Library Services and other organisations.

Books and other material will be selected and edited according to the following criteria:

  • physical condition - torn, dirty and incomplete books are unacceptable
  • information should be accurate and up to date
  • illustrations should be of a high quality
  • a range of texts should demonstrate and promote our multicultural world and equality of opportunity
  • there should be a wide range of genre, style, author and content
  • racist and sexist language, attributes and illustrations are unacceptable
  • there should be a match between the range of texts and the abilities and needs of the children
  • in general, text should be in good English, however use of dialect may appear in reported speech
  • to support the requirements of the National Curriculum and Literacy Strategy.



A PC is installed in the library which the children can use for:-

  • researching the internet
  • using encyclopaedia CD Rom
  • using the enquiry field of Junior Librarian to find books



Resources will be allocated each year according to priorities outlined in the School Improvement Plan. The library budget will include money for training, promotion and implementation of the policy.


  • The aims of the policy are implemented
  • There is evidence of children gaining pleasure from books.
  • Books are used to support and stimulate learning.
  • The library is used on a regular basis by all classes.
  • Children’s skills are monitored through teacher assessment.
  • The needs of all readers are met.
  • Funding is allocated annually.
  • Reading standards will improve.
  • Planned developments are implemented.



Collection of books to support author focus

Survey of children’s use of the library

Use of the library by families



The ABC’s of Reading

A look at the Primary phase reading strategy

The Krishna Avanti Primary School, Harrow Reading Strategy takes into account the Government’s expectation that all children should leave primary school able to decode words and have a ‘love of reading’. We have devised a strategy to build on synthetic phonics as one effective approach to develop children’s reading but also draw from an Australian research project which culminated in a programme called First Steps. This presents reading behaviours and attitudes in a less linear way and shows how in different phases there are different and complex processes involved in understanding how to read and the meaning behind reading.








• Letters and sounds (Reception to Year 2)

• Daily reading (Volunteers & TAs)

• Daily synthetic phonics sessions from Reception to Year 2

• Learn to read (focus is on learning to read for meaning and develop children’s comprehension)

• Oxford Reading Tree Scheme (home readers levelled books)

• Annual Book Week

• Annual Shakespeare Week

• High quality book corners in every class room

• High quality library in each school with wide selection of books, including multimedia texts

• Books chosen by children and taken home weekly

• Home Reading Record/parent training

• Book bags for every child

• Identified children/new starters/ EAL and SEN focused support using Reading Recovery

• Reading Support (group reading programme)

• Bespoke interventions including comprehension,













• Curiosity about printing and mark making

• Wants to look at books

• Points at text, has a go

• Expresses enjoyment

• Eagerly anticipates book-reading

• Plays out characters in stories

• Talks about their own reading

• Asks for favourite stories to be read

• Joins in and acts out stories

• Selects books to read for pleasure

• Has a go at reading own words

• Enjoys listening to stories

• Reads for a range of purposes (pleasure & information)

• Responds sensitively to stories

• Discusses favourite books, authors

• Selects own reading material according to interest

• Reconstructs information gained

• Self-motivated to read

• Reads for range of purposes

• Responds sensitively

• Discusses favourite books, authors, particular genres

• Makes comparisons with other texts

• Confidence to read a wide selection of texts

• Reads alone for prolonged periods of time

• Avidly pursues a favourite author, books compared and recommended

• Feels strongly about reading preferences

• Totally absorbed when reading & reads for long periods at home and at school

• Sees books and text as a major source of information

• Strongly relates to characters in fiction








• ½ hour Phonics session taught in whole group session. This is using The Letters and Sounds scheme which is based on Governments agreed Letters and Sounds strategy. As children progress at different rates, children will be supported in catch up groups. The main teaching is as whole class however (Teachers and TAs trained in Phonics)

• Repetition & consolidation activities planned for during free-flow and independent activities.

• Twice-weekly guided reading sessions taught by the class teacher.

• Oxford Reading Tree  Scheme (home readers levelled books)

• Teaching assistants will change children’s phonics reading books weekly. Children read their phonics levelled book to the TA/adult, who assesses confidence and identifies another book to support phonic learning or moves child to next level. (Led by TAs under Teacher’s supervision)

• As well as Phonics Levelled books, books chosen by children and can be taken home every day

• Book bags for every child

• Home Reading Record to record reading experience at school and at home.

• Story time each day for children during which teacher and other adults share their joy of reading. High quality texts with opportunities for children to read, act out, sing and listen.

• Will provide opportunities for children to read. Text on IWB. Children invited to read along.

• Key Vocab on display and used throughout sessions

• Literacy Learning Wall identifies focused language. Referred to by adults and children.

• Teaching demonstrates the excitement of stories and the importance of finding out information

• Everyone is celebrated as a reader. Adults are vigilant to identify how children have been successful in their reading development.

• Identified children/new starters/ EAL and SEN and G&T focused support

• Reading Recovery
Reading Support (group reading programme)








• Phonics Tests

• Sight Word tests

• Assessment informs groupings for Phonics sessions (particularly in later phases)

• Guided Reading assessment format completed and children tracked

• Running Record

• Home Records show daily reading at home

• They identify children’s enjoyment of texts

• Finding the ‘buzz’ in literacy sessions

• Lesson monitoring

• Shared best practice

• Learning Walls discussed by children – direct impact on children’s learning

• Tracking children

• Reading record completed after each session to inform planning and teaching



List of Recommended books:

Please click on the links below to download the recommened books for reading. 

Recommended Reading Books for Year 1

Recommended Reading Books for Year 2

Recommended Reading Books for Year 3

Recommended Reading Books for Year 4

Recommended Reading Books for Year 5

Recommended Reading Books for Year 6

Recommended Reading Books for 10 - 11 years old





Please click on this link to download the Progression in Calculations procedure.