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  • Bolden Terrace, Westhouses, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 5AF. Tel: 01773 832 518


English at Westhouses Primary School



At Westhouses Primary School all children will have experience in the following areas in English: speaking and listening, reading, writing, grammar spelling and punctuation, as well as handwriting. Children are encouraged to communicate their ideas through writing and speaking which includes: drama, performance, creative writing, poetry and prose. Children’s work is celebrated both in school through display and out of school on the school website, through publications and competitions.


At Westhouses we teach reading using a variety of methods which allow children to be fluent and confident readers. We outline the way we teach reading on our Reading and Phonics curriculum page.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using sound blending
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions


The children:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes
  • write simple sentences
  • compose stories based on picture strips and their own ideas
  • develop ideas through group, shared and independent writing
  • compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.


Children are encouraged to work with children of similar and different levels. This allows them to take a full part in all lessons. They work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in reading texts which are challenging and thought provoking
  • have the chance to develop skills with different pupils to develop communication skills

In KS2 pupils in all classes also read a class novel each term, which includes both classic novels and novels with specific links to cross-curricular work.



We assess reading and Grammar using NFER tests and for Years 2 & 6, past SATs papers. We assess on entry into the new year group, mid-year and end of year for progress. Interventions are also used to support pupils to fulfil their potential and accelerate progress. Reading levels are assessed termly and we use benchmarking schemes analyse their progress in lexile levels and to ensure the children are reading suitable, challenging texts.



We promote reading through use of our school library, Book Week, the Book Fair and other themed activities. Our aim is for every child to leave Westhouses Primary as a fluent and keen reader.

Writing involves the teaching of fiction and non-fiction genres. Varied resources are used. Publishing for an audience is an essential part of writing, with pupils writing for a purpose e.g. to share through displays, competitions, on the school website etc. Writing is assessed termly through joint moderation of pupil’s independent work in books in school and with other schools across our partnership. Pupils needing additional support in writing take part in interventions.


Spelling, Grammar and Writing:

Grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught, where possible, through writing and reading. There are times discrete lessons may be appropriate and we use a variety of resources. Assessment is through termly NFER assessment test to track progress, teacher assessment and through our school tracking system. Phonics and spelling rules are taught, and consolidated during class sessions. Spellings and spelling rules are taught at least three times a week in school. Pupils are encouraged to learn spellings at home and spelling lists are sent out each week. We also teach Year Group lists as appropriate – please see the Spelling curriculum page for more information.

Handwriting is taught through whole class modelling and is commented upon in children’s work. Where necessary, additional support is given to develop fluency and legibility.


If you would like further information on how we teach specific areas of English, current texts and units being taught in class, please speak to your child’s class teacher.