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Downham Church Of England Primary School

Inspiring children to soar to new heights.


Church Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 1NU






Our English policy follows the National Curriculum for English (2014).

At Downham we believe that when our children leave us they should be avid readers; children who read fluently and widely and are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of genres and authors and high quality texts that expose them to a range of cultures and differences from our diverse world and promote insight, thought and discussion. We want to  produce children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair. We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat, cursive handwriting style. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of ambitious vocabulary so that they are able to decipher new words and then use them when speaking both formally and informally. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. Our curriculum is aspirational and will challenge the children whilst encouraging ever-increasing independence.


This is underpinned by:

  • High Expectations
  • Modelling
  • Developing fluency
  • Teaching ambitious vocabulary 



Phonics: In EYFS and KS1 we teach phonics through "Read, Write, Inc" Ruth Miskin programme. In KS2 children who require phonic support will undertake "Rapid Phonics" intervention

The Writing Cycle: In KS2 we are trialling "Big Writing Adventures".

Cross Curricular: Reading and writing is taught across the Curriculum Maestro topics ensuring that skills taught in English lessons are applied to other subjects 

Spellings: Spelling is taught weekly and taken from the National Curriculum. Grammar is taught throughout the "Big Writing Adventures" unit.

Reading: Reading lessons are taught weekly in KS2 where skills are practised.

Whole School events: We celebrate World Book Day, invite authors into school and hold whole school competitions.


Class Texts: Every class has high quality texts that have either been chosen by the teacher or from the Curriculum Maestro book list for their topic. 

Reading for pleasure: Once a day, children are encouraged to read for pleasure.

Reading after phonics: Once a child has completed the RWI programme they will be given a banded reading book which is at their reading level.



Assessment: Class teachers will assess whether children are working towards, at or above age related expectations English. 

Monitoring: English subject leaders will monitor the subject through: book looks, lesson dips, climate walks and through discussion with children, teachers and parents as necessary. 



English Curriculum Statement:


Reading Progression of Skills


Writing Progression of Skills



Miss Boyd Recommends....

How Do We Develop a Love of Reading at Downham?

  • We read across the curriculum: topic books, news articles, class magazines etc.;
  • Engaging reading corners
  • We do storytelling and re-enacting stories: we invite storytellers into school (drama)
  • We set up visits from authors and illustrators; James Carter video for World Book Day.
  • All class teachers are expected to read a class novel to model expression when reading aloud.
  • We have a Book Fair twice a year.
  • We take part in the Summer Reading challenge run by the library each year.
  • EYFS children have a reading buddy from Year 6. (Pre-Covid)
  • Staff recommendations in Library for books
  • Regular competitions such as sponsored read.
  • Children and parent books swaps on school bus.
  • Teacher swap books in staff room.
  • Children recommend books to peers
  • Engaging texts for reading lessons

"I recommend the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. I’ve read ‘Stormbreaker’ and ‘Point Blanc’ already and I love how they are full of thrilling excitement and there’s always a mystery to solve." Archie S


"I’m really enjoying ‘My Friend Walter’ by Michael Morporgo. It’s based around the famous explorer Sir Walter Raleigh and he comes back as a ghost to look after his cousin. I like the language that is used and the fact that it is a pleasurable read (nothing bad happens." Alexandra K


Top Tips for Reading with Your Child at Home