Subject Leader

Hi there,

My name is Mrs Luck and I am the leader of English at Laycock Primary School.

I love English because I am a bookworm and always have been! In fact, some of my best memories of primary school are of the books that were read to me by my teachers: ESIO TROT and Stig of the Dump were my favourites. I want every pupil in our school to discover books and stories that they love. English is a subject that gives you the chance to use your imagination, to find your voice and to tell your own stories. Who knows, maybe the next J K Rowling, or David Walliams is a pupil here at Laycock.

Seeing your amazing work always makes my day so if you are feeling proud of your English, ask your teacher if you can show it to me.


The English curriculum at Laycock Primary will transform children’s lives through the power of the spoken and the written word. We will ensure that pupils leave our school with the language, the skills and the passion to communicate with confidence and to achieve their goals. Whatever their individual starting points, learners will be guided to make excellent progress in English and to maximise their potential. Children who are deaf will follow Laycock’s creative curriculum for English and will be taught using strategies and learning materials that match their particular needs.

Teachers at Laycock plan exciting reading and writing units that challenge and enthuse our learners. The technical aspects of the subject are delivered with creativity and energy so that children always know what they are learning in English and why it is important. We work with partners in the local community and beyond to provide access to a wide variety of texts and experiences; these are used to stimulate the imagination and inspire writing outcomes. Reading material in our school is carefully chosen to reflect realities in terms of gender, ethnic representation and diversity.

Children at Laycock will develop a love for reading that will broaden their horizons and equip them with the tools to access all other curriculum areas. Pupils will learn to write for real audiences and purposes through engaging, cross-curricular writing opportunities. Our children will visit the theatre; they will meet authors and storytellers; they will take part in national events and competitions. During their time at the school, pupils will have many opportunities to perform and publish in their own right. As they mature, Laycock learners will discuss, debate and write on topics and themes that are relevant to their lives. This will give them the knowledge and the voice to build bright futures.


English Progression Map

Reading for Pleasure

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” Dr Zeus

Reading is at the heart of our creative curriculum and many of our lessons, from English to Science, to PSHE, begin with a story. The books we read include a wide and diverse range of characters from different backgrounds and cultures. We use books to promote our Laycock values of Respect, Creativity, Aspiration, Friendship, Curiosity and Resilience, helping our children to become life-long readers and learners.

Early Reading - Book Bags

Children in mainstream classes at Laycock learn to read by following the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. (Please see our separate phonics page here: link it in) Each stage of the Read Write Inc scheme has a large selection of colour coded ‘book bag books’ that perfectly match the relevant levels of phonic development. Each week, children learning to read will bring home a ‘book bag book’ that they have chosen, as well as a copy of the story that they are reading in their phonics group. Children may, additionally, bring home a book to read for pleasure from their classroom book corner or the school library.

Children in deaf provision classes at Laycock learn to read by following the Floppy’s Phonics programme. The stages of Floppy’s Phonics are perfectly matched to the highly popular Oxford Reading Tree books, featuring the much loved characters of Biff, Chip and Kipper. Each week, children learning to read in the deaf provision classes will bring home an Oxford Reading Tree book that they have chosen from the book boxes in their classroom. They may also bring home a book to read for pleasure from their classroom book corner or the school library.

All children at Laycock have a reading record book to record their reading at home. Children in Years 1 and 2 have space to record a daily entry. Children in Years 3-6 have space to summarise their reading at least once a week. Reading logs are checked by the class teacher every week to ensure that all Laycock pupils are reading regularly at home.

As well as daily reading in phonics lessons, children in Early Years and Key Stage One read at least once a week to an adult in school and are encouraged to read regularly to an adult at home too.

Reading VIPERS

From the end of year 2, Children at Laycock will have a daily reading lesson focused on a book or other text that they are reading as a class. This is a whole class guided reading lesson and tasks are carefully designed to develop children’s key comprehension skills. These include lessons on vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieving information and sequencing/summarising. To support learning in these areas, Laycock uses Reading VIPERS. Here are some question stems that you could use when reading with you child at home:

Oxford Reading Buddy

As a school we are subscribed to Oxford Reading Buddy, an online platform where children can read books and take quizzes at their level. Teachers can monitor their pupils’ levels of engagement and progress. Please talk to your child’s teacher to find out their log on details as this is an excellent way for children to enjoy reading at home.

Reading Road Maps

Islington Education Library Service has created some fantastic reading challenges for primary aged children. We currently have Reading Road Maps in Years 4 to 6, to inspire and encourage our pupils to try new genres and develop their sense of identity as a reader. Each class receives a set of 30 different, brand new books at the beginning of the year. The books have all been published in the last 12 months (excepting the classics) and are classified by genre and difficulty. Children are rewarded with stickers and certificates along the way.

Reading Interventions

Here at Laycock, teachers constantly monitor children’s progress in reading to ensure that learners are on track. There are a number of reasons why a child might find learning to read tricky at times, so teachers use a range of strategies to support those who need an extra boost. These include: extra one-to-one reading with an adult, targeted phonics sessions, reading intervention groups, TutorMate reading volunteers and the use of SEND assessments and resources. If you have any concerns about your child’s progress in reading, please arrange to speak to your child’s teacher.


Reading Assessment  

Teachers at Laycock regularly assess student’s progress in reading through a number of methods. By reading 1:1 with children and listening to them regularly within whole class reading sessions, teachers build an ongoing picture of each child as a reader.
In Years 1 and 2 of mainstream, and in all Deaf Provision classes, teachers use PM Benchmarking every half term to monitor their pupil’s fluency and comprehension in reading. This helps teachers to track the progress that children are making, as well as identifying the areas that they need to work on. In Years 1-5, children also complete a termly Progress in Reading Assessment (PiRA) which informs teacher’s assessments at the end of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. In Year 6, children are given the opportunity to practise for their reading SATs test by regularly completing past papers, and reviewing their answers.



English Progression Map


Children at Laycock are taught to write though exciting cross-curricular English lessons that are linked to their driver subject. Over their time in the school, pupils learn to recognise and use the features of key writing genres, for example: story, letter, diary, explanation, balanced argument and many more. Wherever possible, children at Laycock write for a real audience and purpose so that they are motivated to do their best work for a real reader.

For each unit of work, children will learn ‘What A Good One Looks Like’ by reading
and appraising a model text for their new writing project. They will spend time
gathering the vocabulary and writing skills that they need to be successful, as well
as planning and drafting their ideas before embarking on their final piece. Children
will learn to proofread and edit their work, using their purple polishing pens to
make corrections and improvements. Finally, they will publish their work using their
very best handwriting.

Students in Y6 editing their writing:


Here at Laycock we follow the Letter-Join scheme of work to teach our pupils a fluent and legible, cursive handwriting style. This approach is designed to ensure that students reach the standard expected at the end of each key stage. Letter-Join is a fun and interactive programme that combines traditional handwriting tasks with an exciting digital platform. Children across the school will have 2-3 short handwriting lessons a week, plus regular opportunities to practise their skills across the curriculum.

From the Early Years, children are taught to ‘lead in’ and ‘lead out’ of each letter so that they are able to join quickly and efficiently as soon as they are ready to do so. Here are the individual letters and the joins so that you can practise with your child at home:

Effort and achievement in handwriting is rewarded through ‘Improved Presentation’ and ‘Perfect Presentation’ stickers:

From Year 2, children can also earn a pen licence. This shows that they have met the handwriting standard for their year group and are allowed to use a handwriting pen in their English and Curriculum work.



In the Early Years and Key Stage One, children at Laycock are taught strategies for spelling through their daily Read Write Inc Phonics lesson. Please see our separate phonics page for more information.

In Key Stage One, children are also taught to spell the Common Exception Words as specified in the National Curriculum. Children will have weekly spellings to practise at home.

As children move into Key Stage Two, they begin a structured programme of spelling lessons in order to learn the spelling patters and rules as specified in the National Curriculum. Children in Key Stage Two have weekly spelling to practise at home which will cover the spelling patterns and rules as well as the statutory word lists for Y3/Y4 and Y5/Y6/.

Grammar and Punctuation

As they progress through the school, Laycock learners are taught the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation objectives, as set out in the National Curriculum. Wherever possible, these concepts are taught within the context of a writing lesson, so that children learn to use these skills with purpose and for effect.


Writing Assessment

Children complete a minimum of two published pieces of writing every half term which teachers assess against National Curriculum objectives. This information is used to track each pupil’s progress and inform planning so that common errors and misconceptions are addressed. Each term, children are given the opportunity to compete in a whole school writing competition. Winning pieces go on a special display board and children can win a £10 book token. These pieces also allow teachers to moderate writing across the whole school to check for progression in key writing skills. In addition, teachers regularly moderate in a cluster with local schools which is a great opportunity to show off the amazing work of our brilliant
Laycock writers!


Learning Links