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English at Dalestorth

English is one of the core subjects and is broken down into components.

They are: Writing, Reading, Grammar & Punctuation, Spelling and Handwriting.

More detail is provided below, of all the areas of English.

Book Week 2022

As is now our tradition, rather than having a day to celebrate World Book Day, we once again enjoyed a full week! Along with watching 'Matilda and Friends Live', working on a whole school text, enjoying and author visit and our dress-up day (which inspired us to write some poetry), teachers also chose some other activities for their own classes. These included sharing favourite stories and watching author and illustrator workshops. We hope you enjoy looking at some of our memories from this year.


This year's whole school text is the beautiful 'Love is...' recently written by Sarah Maycock. Each year group spent time enjoying the book and talking about what love means to them, before creating some beautiful work based around it. Here are some examples...



Author visit - we had a great time working with Faye Evans. She talked to us about her writing process and inspiration, and we all enjoyed a workshop with her.

Look at our amazing winners sporting their brilliant expanded noun phrase costumes!

Writing Intent

At Dalestorth Primary and Nursery School, we teach writing by meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum. We aim to deliver a high-quality education which teaches pupils to write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas to others. We want them to write clearly, accurately and clearly, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We aim to deliver quality first teaching that follows a carefully planned sequence of lessons through exposure to high quality texts. We provide the children with opportunities to explore precise and enriched vocabulary to use within the context of the lesson and to connect to wider subject areas. Writing is taught in each year group progressively through a wide variety of genres. We want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. Teaching is designed to take account of our progression documents to ensure age appropriate content. Where appropriate, links are also made to ensure that children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is enhanced through writing.


The sequence of teaching involves:


  • Selecting and reading high quality texts which enrich children’s knowledge and experiences.
  • Teaching of challenging vocabulary with cross curricular links.
  • Grammar and punctuation related to the current writing genre.
  • Planning, composition, editing and evaluating their writing.
  • Completing a final piece per unit/genre.

Reading Intent

At Dalestorth Primary and Nursery School, we teach reading by meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum. We aim to deliver a high-quality education which teaches pupils to read accurately and with good comprehension so that they can effectively access the world in which they live. We want them to develop a love of reading, reading with good pace, fluency and expression in a range of contexts. We aim to deliver quality first teaching that follows a carefully planned sequence of lessons through exposure to high quality texts. We provide the children with opportunities to explore precise and enriched vocabulary to use within the context of the lesson and to connect to wider subject areas. Reading is taught in each year group progressively, using a wide variety of quality texts. We want children to become independent readers who choose to read for pleasure. Teaching is designed to take account of our progression documents to ensure age appropriate content. Where appropriate, links are also made to ensure that children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is enhanced through their reading experiences.


The sequence of teaching involves:


  • Selecting and reading high quality texts which enrich children’s knowledge and experiences.
  • Teaching challenging vocabulary with cross curricular links.
  • Developing pace, fluency and expression when reading.
  • Teaching and developing the skills of understanding and using vocabulary, inferring, clarifying, summarising and sequencing, predicting, retrieving and questioning.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 children have an English session every day and an additional 20-30 minutes of work on Letters and Sounds. Both sessions follow the objectives set down in the National Curriculum for English. We follow the LCP Phonics Planning which is based on Letters and Sounds. It is broken down into a series of phases. Children practise handwriting and work on their fine-motor skills through a range of activities. Reading sessions, whole class or group work, take place daily and opportunities are provided for regular 1:1 reading.


Key Stage 2

Children from Years 3 to 6 have two whole class reading lessons each week, as well as a Spelling, Puncutation and Grammar (SPaG) lesson, and three writing lessons and a handwriting session. There are also two short spelling lessons each week, as well as a weekly spelling test.  

Letters and Sounds

These sessions start in Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 children continue to work through the phases. These sessions take place with children, grouped by their current phonic ability. This sessions are run by both teachers and experienced Teaching Assistants. Details of the sounds and spelling patterns are provided in a link below. Many ‘Tricky’ words are looked at in these session, these are also known as common exception words and cannot be decoded using a knowledge of sounds and corresponding graphemes.


For more information about how we teach phonics - letters and sounds please click the link below. 

  • During FS1, children are given regular opportunities to develop their listening skills which forms the basis for their future learning in Phonics. High-quality continuous and enhanced provision enables children to develop and apply their skills through the seven aspects of Phase 1, alongside carefully planned small group time sessions.
  • In FS2 and Year 1, children have a daily Phonics session which follows a structured sequence from Phase 2 – Phase 5 (see below). This ensures that children make rapid progress in systematically learning and revising phonemes and graphemes and common exception words.
  • In Year 2, children have a daily Phonics/spelling session, revising previously taught phonics content and teaching spelling rules and strategies as set out in the Spelling Shed scheme of work (Phase 6).
  • Assessments are carried out regularly to identify those children who may be falling behind. 1:1 and small group interventions are then put in place to enable these children to catch up. Phonics Tracker is used to monitor all children’s progress in FS2 & KS1 and with children identified as needing ‘catch-up’ Phonics support in KS2.
  • Children are given a reading book to read independently once they are able to recognise the first two sets of Phase 2 sounds and read some tricky words. The books given are initially phonic based and are matched closely to a child’s phonic knowledge in order that they can be given opportunities to read words by blending the sounds that have already been taught. This then gives them early success in reading and prevents them having to ‘guess’ words. Children will progress through the ‘phonic-banded’ books from P2a – P5c in line with their learning in Phonics sessions. Children in FS2 and KS1 have phonically decodable books from Big Cat. Children in KS2 who still need phonically decodable books have books which have been selected to be more age-appropriate, and these are from both Big Cat and Rising Stars.
  • When children have a secure phonic knowledge, they then progress to ‘colour banded’ books (orange book band upwards). These are carefully selected books that are colour-coded according to their level of difficulty. We regularly assess children’s reading, to check that the child is reading books with an appropriate level of difficulty (95%+ accuracy).
  • Children are exposed to a wide variety of literature covering different genres. This includes listening to stories read by adults, taking home reading for pleasure library books (carefully selected from ‘recommended reads’ lists by year group), studying books in more depth in reading lessons and having the opportunity to independently explore topic books and books by our ‘Author of the term’.
  • Highly skilled teaching assistants hear children read their individual reading books weekly in FS2 and KS1 to check that books are of an appropriate level of challenge. Children who have been identified as being in the bottom 20%, being PP and WT the expected standard, or who may simply not read regularly at home, are identified as being priority readers and read 1:1 at least once a week with an adult. 
  • In FS2 and KS1, reading books are changed once a week. We encourage children to re-read books at least three times before progressing onto the next book. In doing this, they can focus on Read 1 – Word accuracy, Read 2 – Reading fluency and Read 3 – More sophisticated reading comprehension.
  • In KS2, the children are likely to be reading longer, more challenging texts so are not expected to read the same text multiple times before changing. They are encouraged to change their books independently when they have finished one, but teaching assistants will hear all children regularly to ensure they are on the correct book band.
  • Alongside daily Phonics teaching in FS2 and KS1 (and for those children who still need it in KS2), children also have regular reading lessons. In FS2 and KS1, these are a combination of guided groups which are matched to phonic levels, and whole class reading sessions which are focussed on using high-quality texts to develop vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. In KS2, children have whole class reading lessons twice a week. These reading sessions focus on teaching the children to: 
  • Develop positive attitudes to reading;
  • Develop skills and strategies to read for understanding;
  • Understand vocabulary;
  • Express, record and present their understanding;
  • Understand the whole text;
  • Retrieve information from texts;
  • Infer understanding, and;
  • Read to find out

The children will then be able to apply these skills in their own independent reading. 

  • Each class has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age as well as year group specific books which the children are encouraged to take home to read for pleasure alongside their banded reading books. We also use the Education Library Service and draw on their expertise to source a range of high-quality materials to enhance our topic work. Children are given opportunities to read throughout the day, including during topic lessons.

Not sure what to read next? These documents will help you choose

The Curriculum Maps on the Dalestorth Curriculum page explain the key texts used in all year groups.


At Dalestorth, writing is based on the use of high-quality texts as a starting point; it is also linked to termly topics and special events when possible. Objectives come from the National Curriculum and are specific to year groups. Talk for Writing is a feature and is the skill of drafting, editing and proof-reading work based on a model text. We aim to provide a broad range of text types across school. Grammar and punctuation are included within the teaching of writing as they are intrinsic components to effective writing. The three areas of composition and effect, text structure and organisation and sentence structure and punctuation are developed across years and text types.



Grammar and Spelling

At Key Stage 1, much work is done through the Letters and Sounds scheme to develop children’s spelling choices. The teaching of grammar is integrated within English sessions and then consolidated during writing sessions.

The terminology of Grammar is an important aspect to the teaching of this subject. Our aim is to develop the following skills: knowledge and understanding, and ability to recognise different grammatical features and then the confidence to use these skills in their own writing. We use a range of resources to deliver these skills.

From years 2 to 6, we follow the "Spelling Shed" scheme.

All KS2 children have a spelling lesson and a test once a week. The spelling patterns are set down in the appendices below. Spelling patterns and rules are looked at and learnt to help pupils make informed spelling choices when wishing to write an unfamiliar word.

Please see the Grammar glossary below.




At Dalestorth we follow the Pen Pals programme of handwriting, this scheme is used across school. Work starts in the Foundation Stage on letter formation and Key Stage 1 continues to secure correct letter formation and improve fine-motor control skills through a variety of activities. Joining starts in Year 1 and continues through KS1 covering a range of joins and refining previous joins. Some children benefit from additional support and intervention groups target these children. Good posture and pencil grip are continuously reinforced. Through Years 3 and 4 handwriting joins are concluded, refined and consolidated. All children should be joining  and developing their own style. They work in pencil during these sessions. They may earn a "pen license" graduating on to writing in pen . Pen is used all the time in Years 5 and 6. Support is given for those who still struggle with the control needed; this may be as simple as a different pen or pen gripper.

National English Curriculum

Special Events!

Book review Competition

Thank you so much to all the families who joined with the book review competition. Mr Taylor had the tough job of choosing the winners. Lucy and Neve won £5 book vouchers, Erin a £3 book voucher and Ava and Isla a knitted book character. All the entrants received a book of their choices  and a book mark. Well done everyone!

World Book Day - "vocabulary" dress up day!

What a fabulous turn out! Each year, you astound us with your creativity! There was a super range of words including  swashbuckler, reflective, significant to mention just a few with matching costumes. Thank you so much for all your efforts. In assembly, we had our annual fancy dress competition with staff choosing the winners from each class - a tough job! Congratulations to the winners!

Reading Champions 2020

We are delighted to announce this years reading champions. These children stand out above the rest with their passion and enthusiasm for reading. As a school we celebrated their commitment to reading in a special assembly. Congratulations to all our champions. Below is the list of those children who received a reward.


Corey Marsh-Saunders (Lions): For trying so hard with reading and really taking on board new learning, using his new skills to help decipher words. Corey has made great progress and has a wonderful attitude to reading, showing real enjoyment.

Favourite book: Zog by Julia Donaldson


Leah Goddard (Lions): For always reading regularly at home (a real family affair!) and having a passion for reading. Leah is always enthusiastic about new books she has read and loves to share these stories with the class. A great ambassador for reading.

Favourite book: The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson


Noah Cudworth (Tigers): Noah reads so often at home that he has had to have a new record book! Noah tries really hard with his reading and as a result he is improving his skills everyday.

Favourite book: Jack and the Beanstalk.


Mia Hitchcock (Tigers): Mia has amazing enthusiasm for books, she spends a lot of time in our reading area and loves to ask for a special book from the library service. Mia will read stories to others and enjoys reading at home as well.

Favourite book: Cinderella


Penny Campbell (Bobcats): Penny has made fantastic progress in her reading since September. She is confident to talk about different types of books during guided reading and practises a lot at home too. Favourite book: Ultimate Pocket Fun - Knock, Knock Jokes


Quinn Cook (Bobcats): Quinn doesn't always find reading very easy but he is always willing to give it a try. His confidence in blending is growing every day and he is always eager to practise his skills at home too.

Favourite book: Mega Wheels - The most exciting cars in the world!


Harry Marriott (Pumas): Harry works so hard at home reading nearly every night and he continues to work hard during the school holidays too! This is helping him make great progress. Well done!

Favourite book: Harry and the Robots by Ian Whybrow


Tyler Kirby (Pumas): Tyler is so enthusiastic about reading at school. When a staff member or volunteer asks Puma class who would like to read, his hand shoots like lightning! He would miss break times and privilege time to read - he just loves reading!

Favourite book: Norman the Slug who saved Christmas by Sue Hendra


Ola Foster (Panthers): What a super reader Ola is! Her reading diary is bursting full from all the reading that she does at home. She loves to read and her Grandma loves to celebrate her reading by rewarding her with lots of stickers!

Favourite book: The Rainbow Fairies Series by Daisy Meadows


Lincoln Ashley (Panthers): Lincoln earns a raffle ticket each week. He not only reads his reading book but he does lots of other kinds of reading at home. He loves to read magazines, word searches and the football results!

Favourite book: I need a new bum! by Dawn McMillan


Benjamin Fryatt (Wildcats): Hearing Benjamin read is like hearing an adult! He has such an amazing understanding of reading! He always knows what do with his voice because he reads ahead to check for punctuation and uses great expression for character voices. He understands what he reads and often chuckles while reading if something is funny. He is a very mature reader and  definite champion! Favourite book: Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face by John Dougherty


Grace Tagg (Wildcats): Grace has a clear love of reading and she shows her enjoyment by reading every night at home. Grace is so dedicated to reading that she has already filled up the reading section of her diary and has had to be given an extra book to write this down! Inspirational!

Favourite book: The Midnight Gang by David Walliams


Lily Kirby (Lynx): Lily can always be relied upon to enthusiastically throw herself into whatever we are doing, and that includes reading. She makes superb, thoughtful contributions to guided reading and whole class discussions and is always ready with ideas. She seems to enjoy reading in a wide range of contexts and approaches all texts with a great attitude and enjoyment.

Favourite book: Rainbow Magic Books by Daisy Meadows


Max Wilson (Lynx): Max is an enthusiastic reader and works hard both at home and at school. He thinks carefully about what he reads and enjoys reading both on his own and in a group. He contributes lots of great ideas to our discussions, thinking carefully about what he has read.

Favourite book: Fing! by David Walliams


Declan-Lee Toye (Cougars): Declan always reads every week and he is so enthusiastic about reading. He often takes more than one book home and will read a range of books. He is getting more confident in guided reading too.

Favourite book: Horrible Histories - Rotten Romans by Terry Deary


Lacie Spencer (Cougars): Lacie is an avid reader both at home and at school. She is really enthusiastic about different authors and she enjoys learning about new ones as well. Lacie also encourages her little brother to enjoy stories by reading to him.

Favourite book: Compton Valance - The Most Powerful Boy in the Universe by Matt Brown


Lewis Moore (Cheetahs): Lewis simply loves to read, he is often found engrossed in books whenever he gets the chance! He has shown others a passion for reading and inspired us all to grab a book and enjoy it!

Favourite book: How to train your Dragon - How to fight a dragon's fury by Cressida Cowell

Lyla Hill (Cheetahs): Lyla is an inspiration and ambassador for reading. She is awestruck by books and shares her passion for reading by being a class librarian where she often helps others gain a passion and love of books.

Favourite book: Journeys - Children of the Holocaust tell their stories by Wendy Whitworth


Frederick Ferguson (Jaguars): Freddie is so enthusiastic with everything to do with reading. He loves coming to tell me about his books. He really enjoys non-fiction books and telling me all about the facts he has learnt.

Favourite book: Dr Who - Sick Building.


Imogen Owen (Jaguars): Imogen is one of the most avid readers in school. She has a genuine love of reading. Her writing reflects her reading style and she has a fabulous grasp of language. Keep up your love of reading.

Favourite book: Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling


Mikell Manger (Leopards): Mikell is a very passionate year 6 reader and reads a wide variety of books including fiction and adult non-fiction such as sporting biographies. His favourite reading genre is adventure stories as he loves travelling back in time. He also enjoys reading non-fiction about sports, space and dinosaurs!

Favourite book: A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison


Leyla Whetton (Leopards): Leyla simply loves reading! She always has a book ready on her table and once she starts reading a book, she cannot put it down! Leyla much prefers reading to playing on computers and other electronic gadgets. Leyla loves both fiction and non-fiction. Her favourite authors are David Walliams and Roald Dahl; she thinks David Walliams is extremely funny and Roald Dahl is amazing at creating pictures in her mind.

Favourite book: The Pony with No Name by Tracey Corderoy


Well done to all our well deserved Reading Champions of 2020.

Paul Cookson Visits Dalestorth!

We had a wonderful day on 3rd March, when the poet Paul Cookson came to spend the day with us. He kicked the day off with an awe-inspiring assembly which had us all laughing and joining in with lots of silly poetry. He then spent the rest of the day working with all of the children, talking to them and helping them to create new poems of their own. We all had a brilliant time!

A mystery suitcase

Exciting news! Mr Price dug up a suitcase from our school field! It was buried under the field. The suitcase belonged to a story teller that had travelled the world. He had left a letter for us, along with his treasures and asked us to write some of his stories down. We wrote some fabulous stories using the treasures from the case.

Reading makes us feel good!

Match the book to the teacher competition. The children enjoyed trying to match the teachers with their favourite children's books. The children with the most correct answers received a prize, a book of their choice.

Gareth Baker, author comes to visit

Gareth Baker came to work with us as we celebrated World Book Day.

He talked about his work as a writer and that he thought he was one of the luckiest people alive to be paid for writing his stories. Everyone in school had chance to work with Gareth and we able to buy signed books too!

Please see his website for more information


World Book Day - "share a story"

The teachers spent the afternoon sharing their favourite story with a different class. This was enjoyed by all!

World Book Day theme "Historical Book characters" dress up competition 

The costumes on our book dress up day today have been tremendous – the best ever!

Thank you all for your very creative efforts.

Below are the children with the winning costumes.

Lions: Franca Guerriero –Blunt – a mummy

Tigers: Priya Reders – a cave girl

Bobcats: Nancy Boulton- a Victorian maid

Panthers: Arthur Meakin-Troke – Albert Einstein

Pumas: Leon Harvey – Napo-leon

Wildcats: Isla Cudworth – Florence Nightingale

Lynx: Tegan Redfearn – Miss Marple

Cougars: George Dudley- Winston Churchill

Cheetahs: Charlotte Heathcote – An evacuee

Jaguars: Callum Watson – A viking

Leopards: Harvey Onyeani – Beets Burger & Liam Hill as Abraham Lincoln

Whole School Writing Day - School on Saturdays!

News Report

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The Big Reveal

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Watch the children's reactions to the Big Reveal!

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