English enriches all other areas, as it is key to all, in both school and society and it facilitates the acquisition of knowledge. Communication allows ideas and emotions to be conveyed and it allows individuals to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and socially.
When planning, delivering and evaluating our English curriculum, we take into consideration three key strands:
1. Reading, including phonics
2. Writing, including handwriting and spelling, grammar and punctuation (SPaG)
3. Speaking and Listening
Handwriting and presentation is something we highly value at Kielder Primary School. Children are taught to use the continuous cursive style of handwriting.

Features of Continuous Cursive

● Each letter starts on the line unless they follow a top joining letter (o, r, x or v)

● The child keeps the pencil on the paper for the whole word, giving a very fluent style

● Pupils should eventually develop the ability to produce letters without thinking

● The automatic style releases the brain to concentrate on other ideas i.e. spelling, grammar, syntax, style and content.


Benefits of Continuous Cursive

● By making each letter in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’ of it, making it easier to form the correct shape;

● Because letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (like b/d or p/q);

● There is a clearer difference between capital letters and lower case letters.

We acknowledge that discussion and oral rehearsal in our understanding of the written word is important, as is teacher modelling of the writing process. Through high-quality teacher modelling, we ensure that the children have a clear understanding of writing expectations and embed this ethos in all of their writing no matter what the subject is. We value the importance of writing across all subjects and ensure the children are reminded that writing is not just in English and that it should be carried across all subjects. 

We aim for all of our children to write independently in a variety of genres and for a range of purposes with fluency, accuracy and enjoyment. We believe that children should understand from a young age that writing needs to be accurate, legible and set out appropriately. Our hope is for our children to enjoy writing, be confident and become accomplished writers in all subjects of the curriculum.

At Kielder, we recognise that the really effective writer will reach a stage when the mechanical aspects of writing, such as spelling and punctuation, become second nature to them. At this point, children are able to give all their attention to experimenting with language and form to engage and inform their readers.

Staff embed and develop rules and strategies at the point of writing, allowing children to experiment, demonstrating and exploring the decisions writers make as the writing happens. Staff guide learners through the whole process (modelling the way a writer thinks through shared and guided writing sessions) so that the process becomes familiar and fully understood by all learners.

Effective teaching will focus on particular aspects of the writing process (e.g. planning an explanation, instructional writing, an argument or a story, or revising a draft to change and improve it).

At Kielder, we believe it is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.

To support this, in Class 1 children are taught to learn to write sentences by:

• saying out loud what they are going to write about
• composing a sentence orally before writing it
• sequencing sentences to form short narratives
• re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense
• discussing what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
• reading their writing aloud, clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher

To develop the understanding of the basic skills, all children are taught to write sentences by:

• leaving spaces between words
• joining words and joining clauses using ‘and’ and other conjunctions
• beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
• using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’

Children are given the opportunity to develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:

• writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)
• writing about real events
• writing poetry
• writing for different purposes

At Key Stage ,2 children will develop a sustained fluency and stamina that allows them to create cohesive extended writing.  

They follow the process of:

• Planning
• Drafting
• Evaluating and editing

Children in Key Stage 2 will read their own writing aloud to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear

Create immersion in the text; inspire enough to generate ideas, plan and write; for pupils to be able and confident to proof read and redraft;

  • Ensure that the vocabulary is taught, along with the spelling focus;

  • Use trips and visiting experts to stimulate and focus creative writing experiences;

  • Encourage publishing of children’s writing in various ways to appeal to a wider global audience.


At Kielder, we assess writing by teacher judgment and cross referencing with the children’s individual NC objectives. 

Children at Kielder will;

  • ​understand and apply the fundamental principles of spelling, grammar and punctuation in their writing;

  • evaluate, improve and redraft their writing:

  • be competent, confident and creative writers;

  • develop an author’s voice;

  • develop competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) at national expectation and at greater depth;

  • use their writing skills in subjects across the curriculum;

  • develop a love of writing as a means of communication and expression.

By implementing the current legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the National Curriculum (NC), we aim to promote a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages. With this in mind, we aim to ensure all children can read, write and understand before they leave our school. 

Speaking and Listening
At Kielder Primary School, we believe that the development of speaking and listening should be carefully planned for and embedded across the curriculum from the moment the children start our school, we therefore carefully build opportunities for speaking and listening at the beginning of a lesson in every subject. We use talk partners and word walls which are both carefully planned for and implemented through subjects. 

Opportunities to develop and hone children’s oracy skills are embedded not only in the English curriculum but also across the wider curriculum at Kielder Primary School and Nursery. We are resourceful in our planning of topics and look to include learning end points involving speaking and listening wherever possible such as through discussions, debates, performances and presentations.  Children practise speaking for a variety of purposes and audiences, adapting their language appropriately as well as their intonation, tone, volume and actions, and are able to work individually or in small or larger groups with peers or older or younger children. We are working with the Voice21 project to develop and enhance our children’s oracy skills across the curriculum.