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Early Years

At Aston by Sutton Primary School, we promote early reading and writing at every opportunity.  We believe it underpins children’s natural curiosity of storytelling and enjoyment of books. Within every area of the classroom, we have carefully planned exciting and engaging texts that support prior knowledge as well as exposure to new skills.

We plan carefully for mark marking and writing throughout our continuous provision, enabling early sound recognition throughout.

In Reception, we begin to teach individual phonemes during our daily phonics session following the Song of Sounds scheme.  In addition, we share a love of reading with high quality texts and traditional stories and rhymes.

English Curriculum Intent:


At Aston by Sutton, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.

We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.

We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.


At Aston by Sutton, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts.

We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts


English Curriculum Implementation:

At Aston by Sutton, we create a positive speaking and listening, reading and writing culture, where all are promoted, enjoyed and considered ‘a pleasure’ for our pupils.  All classes have an English working wall to aid pupils and guide them through the process of Reading and Analysing, Gathering Content, Planning and Writing. 

There is a regular focus on vocabulary in reading and writing sessions and across the curriculum, and high quality texts are used to support vocabulary development. Thesauruses and dictionaries are easily accessible for pupils to use in reading and writing sessions, as well as across the curriculum.  Teachers and TAs support ALL pupils on a regular basis; providing intervention, support and challenge that individuals require to advance their learning in all areas of English. To encourage and promote enjoyment in reading and writing, events take place often throughout the year. These include: writing workshops, Whole School Writing Projects, World Book Day, visitors to assemblies, author/poet visits, Book Fairs and clubs.


Coherent units of work are planned that involve immersion, analysis, planning and writing and cover a variety of genres and literary styles using the Literacy Company’s Pathways to Write Units. Several short writing opportunities are planned for and at least one longer independent writing task in each unit of work.  Lessons are sequenced and lead towards a quality written outcome. 

Grammar and punctuation is embedded in the units of work and children understand how to use them for effect.  Teachers and TAs regularly model planning, writing and handwriting. Pupils are encouraged to discuss ideas with each other prior to writing.  Editing and proofreading skills are modelled by adults and used by the children. Working Wall displays support children’s writing.  Our Aston’s Amazing Authors display encourage pride in work, give a purpose and audience and show that work is valued.  Feedback is used to develop children’s writing skills.  Regular spelling lessons are delivered in years 2-6 and children learn a range of spelling strategies and conventions.  Teachers and children follow our handwriting policy and Letterjoin scheme.


Teachers and TAs regularly model reading skills and strategies to the whole class, using high quality, language-rich texts using the Pathways to Read units.  Children are then encouraged to practise and apply these skills to a range of texts, working collaboratively with their peers.

Guided reading sessions allow them to apply these skills and strategies to books appropriate to their individual reading development, with the teacher or TA scaffolding and supporting them.  Reading journals are used to record responses to reading. Pupils in EYFS and KS1 have daily phonics sessions, following Song of Sounds phonics scheme.  Children are monitored closely for progress and given further support and intervention where necessary. 

All pupils take reading books home frequently and read regularly at home, supported by their parents and carers.  Information about how best to support children with reading at home is frequently shared.   Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure – Strive for 5, reading corners, book clubs, book fair, author visits, reading buddies etc. and teachers read out loud regularly to their class.


English Curriculum Impact:

Regular moderation ensures that accurate assessments are being made.  Assessments inform planning and teaching and any interventions are targeted and meet the needs of each pupil.  Pupil progress meetings with the Headteacher and teachers each term ensure different groups and individual progress is monitored and interventions organised to support progress.  Intervention sessions enable a greater proportion of pupils to be on track to meet year group expectations or, in the case of those working significantly below expectations, to make better than expected progress. The subject leader:

  • Provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement annually.
  • Reports to the governors so they are up to date with any new initiatives that have been introduced and the impact of these.
  • Conducts learning walks, lesson observations, pupil interviews and book monitoring throughout the year. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.

Standards being met at the end of EYFS, Phonics Screening Check, KS1 and KS2 are broadly in line with local and national averages. Each year data is analysed and any areas for improvement identified and addressed. These are included on the School Improvement Plan and English Action Plan.  There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged).


Pupils enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles. They can write for different purposes and audiences and are proud of their writing. Pupils know that others value their writing; they see it on display and it is shared with their families etc.  Skills progress (grammar and punctuation) throughout the school is evident in children’s books and they use grammar for effect. Pupils are being adventurous with vocabulary choices. 

There is evidence of a clear teaching sequence in books;

  1. Immersion in reading and responding
  2. Analysis
  3. Gathering content and planning
  4. Writing

A range of genres are taught across the school following Pathways to Write resulting in pupils being exposed to, and knowledgeable about, literary styles, authors and genres. Feedback provides positive support and directs pupils on their next steps to improve their writing. Pupils use classroom resources to support their learning.  Pupil’s presentation is of a high standard following the school’s handwriting policy.


Pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment/pleasure and they discuss books with excitement and interest. Pupils enjoy reading across a range of genres.  Pupils of all abilities succeed in all reading lessons.  Pupils use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics.  Pupils will have a good knowledge of a range of authors.  Pupils will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.  Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading and home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.


Respect – Inspire – Achieve

Through Writing all of our learners have the opportunity to reflect our Values of Respect – Inspire – Achieve by

Respect - We respect other people's authorial choices and will support each other with editing, we respect that learning is a journey and we won't always get it right first time, we are respectful of the opinions and experiences of others.

Inspire - We are inspired by the texts we use, we inspire others by sharing our writing and ideas with them, we take on the challenge of applying our grammar into our work and are positive about our learning.

Achieve - We push ourselves to achieve the very best that we can, we strive to achieve more over time and think about the application of spelling, punctuation and grammar into our writing.

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