Message sent from:

Literacy & English


At Yox Valley we believe that all children can achieve in Literacy. Our staff combine a positive mindset with strong subject knowledge to encourage a love of learning and a resilience that enables everyone to achieve.

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


The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017 sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and supports an integrated approach to early learning.  In relation to Literacy, this involves

  • encouraging children to link sounds and letters
  • developing opportunities to read and write.
  • Igniting their interest by giving children access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials)


Handwriting is taught through the Nelson Scheme of handwriting with teachers modelling this throughout school.

Nelson develops children’s personal handwriting style to ensure they meet the ‘expected standard’ in the end of key stage writing teacher assessments. It introduces letters in line with Letters and Sounds and includes pattern practice and motor skills work with three levels of differentiation.



At Yox Valley we teach phonics using Letters and sounds:

Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words.

In phonics lessons children are taught three main things:


They are taught GPCs. This stands for grapheme phoneme correspondences. This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.


Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.


In Years 2 to 6, the class teachers and teaching assistants, follow the No Nonsense Scheme for spelling.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions.

Phase Four

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.


Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continuous process and is used to inform future planning and teaching. Teachers make assessments of children daily through:

· regular marking of work and feedback

· analysing errors and picking up on misconceptions

· asking questions and listening to answers

· facilitating and listening to discussions

· making observations

Termly assesessments for reading are carried out across the schools using the assessment materials for each year group provided by PIRA.

In the EYFS, children's achievements are on-going and are assess against the Early LEarnin Goals. Theese are captured on Tapestry, which is an on-line Early Years Learning Journey.

Teachers in Years 1 to 6 track the progress on Pupil Asset Tracking tool which sets out the learning objectives for each year group and can then be used to set targets for individuals.