Our subject lead for English is Mrs C Johnson.
The aims of our English curriculum taken from the National Curriculum

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 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
Overall English intent

At Russell Lower School we are passionate about the importance of our English Curriculum; we aim to provide our children with a high-quality English education, one that will develop a love of reading, writing and discussion. 

We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.

We ensure that the children have a secure knowledge base in literacy/English, which follows a clear pathway of progression from Foundation stage to Year Four. Our curriculum follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to develop speaking and listening, reading and writing skills as well as acquisition of vocabulary.

At Russell we believe that the best learning and outcomes come from real life experiences. As part of our English curriculum we regularly have visits from authors from the local and wider community such Tom Palmer and Peter Laws to ensure the pupils are learning from masters of their trade.  Pupils across the school also take part in local writing competitions bringing purpose to their writing. 

World Book Day is celebrated in style and includes dressing up, a whole school author focus, with a plethora of activities and tasks around key texts.  Parents are also invited into school to participate and afternoon teas are served with the parents also being able to enter competitions themed around books.

We further recognise the importance of our parents and carers in supporting their children to develop all areas of English through encouraging a strong home-school partnership. This enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through parent workshops in reading and phonics.

We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our pupils the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.


Speaking and Listening intent

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives” (Tony Robbins).

At Russell Lower School we are resolute that the pupils will have a clear understanding of the power of the spoken word.  It is our intent is that all pupils should be able to express their opinions, articulate their feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations.

Pupils are encouraged and given opportunities to participate within different groups to present their ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others.  They are supported to speak audibly and confidently before an audience, for example within class discussions (hot seating, conscience alley, debates) and in whole school and year group assemblies and performances.


Writing intent

Writing at Russell Lower is a key element within our curriculum so that pupils are able to communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively

Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that pupils’ English writing is relevant and meaningful. Where possible, meaningful links are made within all areas of the curriculum to ensure that writing remains enjoyable, purposeful and challenging. For example, in year 3 pupils write a story about how water is transported in plants for Science, year 2 write a set of Fire Safety instructions in PSHRE and in year 1 pupils become weather reporters for Geography and write their reports before presenting to an audience.

We believe in the importance of pupils seeing the purpose to their writing and developing understanding around how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.

It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their time at Russell Lower, all pupils are able to:

  • write for a purpose
  • regard themselves as writers
  • enjoy all processes of writing from generating ideas to reading aloud their work and are able to organise and plan their written work, adapting and editing where necessary in order to further improve their piece.
  • use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting in a cursive style.
Writing documents


Spelling and Grammar intent

At Russell Lower School we ensure that our pupils have curiosity and an understanding of the meaning of language.

We ensure pupils feel equipped to understand the evolving English language and take joy in applying and understanding punctuation rules. We value the importance of our pupils acquiring a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and being able to spell new words effectively by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time with us. 

Long term phonics/spelling and VGP plan
Handwriting documents
Example of an English medium term plan