At Stanton Harcourt we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through broad and balanced reading experiences, reading for enjoyment and purpose.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



Children are read to at every stage of school life and are encouraged and given many opportunities to retell stories and learn poems by heart to enable them to experience a wide range of rich vocabulary that can be found in quality literature.

We aim to foster a love of reading, and enjoyment from exploring books. Children are taught to read using a variety of strategies that suit their differing experiences and abilities. In EYFS and Key Stage 1 children use ‘real’ books to learn to read. These books are banded to the national Book banding scheme. Reading is regularly assessed to ensure children are reading books correctly matched to their stage of reading and phonic development, taking into account not only their ability to decode and read words but also their speed, fluency, expression and comprehension of what they are reading. Phonics is taught daily in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. All children receive their statutory age related teaching in phonics and for those who need additional teaching, additional phonic intervention. At Stanton Harcourt we use the government recommended guidelines in Letters and Sounds which ensures children are prepared for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills so that by the end of Key Stage 1 they are fluent readers.  In Key Stage 2 children continue to develop their skills in reading with an ever increasing focus on reading more complex texts and reading comprehension.

All children have personal reading diaries and are expected to be reading at home on a regular basis building on a partnership approach with parents/carers and teachers. We also use many reading interventions including Project X Code, direct phonics teaching and ARCH, for children who need that extra support in becoming a proficient and competent reader. At Stanton Harcourt we also make links with the wider community through our Early Birds Scheme. Members of the community come into school to read with children before 9.00am.


Visiting poets, authors and literature workshops, plus local library links to display our work, help bring reading experiences alive.





Writing is a skill that begins from the earliest days in the school. Early attempts are valued and a high emphasis is placed on developing good fine motor control in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as this is important if children are to write in a legible joined cursive script in line with the Nelson Handwriting Programme. We believe that writing should have a purpose and we actively encourage enthusiastic and interesting and creative writers. With the introduction of the new curriculum we recognise the high emphasis in the importance of teaching spelling, punctuation and grammar.  At Stanton Harcourt all children follow the daily Read Write Inc Spelling programme from Year 2 onwards. Children have direct teaching in grammar but links are made to spelling and grammar through all English lessons. Writing is assessed each half term in an assessment book which records their journey as writer from EYFS through to Year 6 and teachers regularly moderate writing to ensure progression in consistent across the school.



The images below show using mnemonics to aid spelling: