English is taught daily with handwriting and phonics taught as specific skills. Our aim is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure.


Spoken Language

The children are taught to speak clearly and confidently, thinking about the needs of their audience. They work in small groups and as a class, each child contributing to the discussions and listening carefully to each other. They learn to use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings in role play and through discussing books and poems. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear are key factors in developing their vocabulary, grammar and understanding for reading and writing and as such we strive to provide stimulating opportunities for this.

Reading: The teaching of reading is based on a strong foundation of phonic knowledge, which begins in the reception year and develops throughout the school. The school provides a rich, well-resourced environment where children discover the pleasure of reading in a wide variety of situations, supported by a range of interesting and attractive books. As part of our English curriculum, the children explore quality texts to support the learning of writing. Guided reading groups, class novels and individual readings support our children to learn to read. 


Phonics is taught as a way of decoding written letters and spoken sounds in the early stages of learning to read.

At Coalway Community Infant school we use a synthetic phonics approach. We teach phonics clearly and systematically; the order of teaching each sound has been specifically taken from the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.  Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.

The teaching of phonics begins in EYFS and children enjoy a fully decodable phonics reading book right from the start so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible.

Please click on the link to access further resources and help support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home. https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/




At Coalway Community Infant School, we strive to create a positive writing culture which enthuses, inspires and equips our pupils to become skilled, fluent writers. We aim to develop a love of language in all our learners.

We want every pupil to communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through being able to writing confidently.   As is outlined in the aims of National Curriculum 2014, we want our learners to ‘write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences’ at an age appropriate standard.

Effective composition of writing is dependent on the ability to articulate and communicate well.   We firmly believe pupils need to acquire a wide and varied vocabulary in their writing, and use grammar effectively; they need to hear, and use, high quality talk.  We will teach pupils to consider the audience, purpose and context of their writing and to organise their ideas coherently.

Equally important, is developing competency in transcription skills.   We have high expectations of our pupils; we aim for learners to understand and then effectively apply grammar skills into their writing.

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to have pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a neat and clear handwriting style. Refining, editing and revising writing over time is an instrumental part of the writing process. We will teach pupils to do this independently in their journey as writers.

At Coalway Infants, we teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge. Teachers and teaching assistants target support as and when needed.  This may involve a greater level of scaffolding, extra modelling or access to additional support materials such as word banks, phonics cards etc.

A ‘Yearly Overview’ of the writing genres taught, both narrative and non-narrative, has been devised to show the variety of genres encountered by each cohort and the progression of skills from year to year.  Each writing unit takes between two and four weeks to complete which culminates in an independent piece of writing.   These units are designed to motivate and inspire children, combining structured provision with exciting memorable experiences.  These may include drama, handling of artefacts, visits out, or visitors into school.

The approach we have adopted to teach writing is based upon Jane Considine’s book ‘The Write Stuff’.  High quality demonstration writing is the basis of this model. Children are explicitly taught and shown how to craft the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing. 

This leads to children writing independently, applying their skills and showcasing what they have learnt.  Throughout the learning process, children’s writing is celebrated and displayed.

Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum.

Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught in context during English writing lessons., Teachers may deliver a stand-alone lesson if they feel that the class need to consolidate their skills further.

Feedback and marking is completed, where possible, within the lesson or as a close to the lesson as possible. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy.

Assessment is a continuous element of teaching and learning: through the verbal feedback children receive during lessons; the written feedback following lessons and the questioning used to ascertain children’s understanding. 

We endeavour to ensure that writing is an area of the curriculum at Coalway Infants that children can achieve success and ‘be the best that they can be’. We want our pupils to be inspired to write, to take pleasure in writing and to see themselves as writers.

By the end of Y2, we want our learners to write at the expected standard for their age and begin to write for different audiences and purposes. We want them to have a good foundation of writing skills and knowledge so that they are ready for the KS2 curriculum.