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Dame Ellen Pinsent School

Dame Ellen Pinsent School


At Dame Ellen our aim is to develop pupils' ability to listen, speak, read and write. The outcomes of this will enable pupils to express ideas, views and feelings more effectively.

In our school, English is linked to our teaching of topics. Where appropriate, there is a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry taught across the year. The teaching of phonics, grammar, punctuation and spelling is woven into the English units as well as being taught through intervention schemes.

The whole school are taught phonics.  In Key Stage 1 (lower school) we use Jolly Phonics to recognise letters and sounds. Children may also follow the Read Write A to Z scheme to develop their knowledge of sight vocabulary.  As children move up through the school, some may move on to a reading and writing scheme called Read Write Inc.  Others follow a different pathway, specific to their own needs, we have Words First and See & Learn to support children in class.

You may hear your child talk about 'Fred'. Fred is a frog who helps us with our phonics (letter sounds), he helps us to put letters together to make words.                                                                

National Curriculum

A new National Curriculum for Literacy came into force in September 2014. We follow this curriculum at Dame Ellen, tracking back to ensure that it meets the needs of our children. Many children are working on P Levels, which come before the National Curriculum levels. 

Details of the National Curriculum can be found by clicking on the button below.

P Levels

Details of current P Level descriptors for all subjects, including Literacy, can be found by clicking on the button below.


Children in Lambs and Caterpillars (Reception - Year 2)  follow the EYFS curriculum for Communication and Language, Reading and Writing. 

  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


During the year different classes follow different genre themes, this may be through speaking, role play, drama or writing.


English Genre Medium Term Overview 2018-2019

Our pupils have regular opportunities to produce extended pieces of writing. Children produce a ‘Wow Writing’ piece (using their preferred medium of communication) linked to their current genre. Weekly ‘Writing Wizard Lessons’ will take place in every class and teachers will nominate a star ‘Writing Wizard’ to receive a certificate in the Star of the Week assembly  fortnightly.

Please click the link at the bottom of the page to view our current English Medium Term overview.


English is different in each class as we consider individual children's needs. A range of strategies and reading pathways are listed below:

Lambs & Caterpillars - See and Learn, pre-reading & writing skills and RWInc                                                WordTime.

Monkeys -  See & Learn, RWinc Word Time, RWInc Ditties including                                              segmenting and blending activities.

Seahorses & Bears - See & Learn, RWinc Word Time, RWInc Ditties & Get                                                   Writing including segmenting and blending activities.

Dolphins - See and Learn, pre-reading & writing skills and RWInc WordTime.

Owls - See & Learn, Read Write Inc (Word Time) Word Time, RWInc Ditties                          including segmenting and blending activities.

Foxes - Read Write Inc, Get Writing and Ditty Books.

Hedgehogs -  Read Write Inc, Get Writing and Ditty Books.

Sharks -  Read Write Inc, Get Writing and Ditty Books.

Meerkats - Read Write Inc, Get Writing and Ditty Books.

Lions - Read Write Inc (Word Time) and See & Learn.

The Words First scheme, Read Write A2Z and Colourful Semantics are used, where appropriate, in classes across the school for pupils that require additional comprehension and word/sentence structure support.

Information about Read Write Inc and the 2014 Curriculum

How you can support at home


  • Share a book with them.
  • Read for 10 minutes every evening.
  • Talk about the pictures.
  • Ask questions that encourage your child to think about what they have read or shared with you.
  • Use exciting words.
  • Add an extra word when describing something.
  • Give them opportunities to colour or write, practice writing in the air.

Useful websites that you can use at home.

Oxford Owls

Story Time on Line



Lil Fingers Story Books

Jolly Phonics Songs

Jolly Phonics Vowel Songs

There are lots of great quality stories to share with your child available on you tube.

Where you can buy Literacy resources

  • Waterstones
  • WHSmiths
  • The Pound Shop (they do workbooks for both Maths and English)
  • Car boots and second hand shops are great for books!
  • Public library - pop into your local library, they often have a selection of second hand books for sale if they no longer wish to keep them in stock.