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Colham Manor

Primary School

Aspire, Achieve, Thrive

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What does English look like?



Reading is at the heart of our English curriculum at Colham Manor and because of this, our curriculum has been created through a book-based approach, with the aim that our children will leave Colham Manor Primary School with a wide book repertoire.


From the Early Years, our children are exposed to high quality literature throughout our English curriculum and we aim to use a range of texts that offer opportunities for empathy and that can aid philosophical enquiry. We want our children to see the pleasure in reading that will last a lifetime.


At Colham Manor we use the phonics programme Read Write Inc. (RWI) We begin the programme in Nursery from the summer term for children who are ready and will continue teaching RWI. to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support with their reading.


In Read Write Inc. Phonics, Pupils:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Read common exception words on sight
  • Understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary 
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • Acquire good handwriting


We also teach 'Talk Through Stories' and 'Vocabulary Time' as part of the RWInc. programme. Talk Through Stories and Vocabulary Time is designed to extend and deepen children’s vocabulary so that they can understand the books they will soon be able to read for themselves. 


(please click on the phonics icon on our curriculum page for more information).


From year 2 onwards, reading is taught through whole class reading sessions as the first lesson every day. During whole class reading sessions, children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail. Reading helps to develop vocabulary, comprehension and information processing skills. Children also have the opportunity to read 1-1 or in a small group with an adult regularly. As the children move through the school, opportunities to read independently for a sustained period of time are offered to them.


We offer exciting reading experiences in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, for example, the celebration of world book day, author visits, extra-curricular reading clubs and reading advocates who lead parent reading events.






We use "The Literacy Tree" approach as a basis for our writing. This is a complete, book-based platform that covers all requirements of the Primary English curriculum, including the statutory Early Years Framework and non-statutory Development Matters guidance.


We choose books to cover a range of genres from a range of diverse authors; the texts we choose allow our children to explore:

  • classic literature such as Shakespeare 
  • current world affairs such as conservation
  • variety of different cultures, ethnicities and faiths through stories
  • books which are relevant to our school community


Through this approach, the children are exposed to high quality texts which aim to stimulate and aid their vocabulary, comprehension skills and understanding of the English language. 


At the beginning of every writing unit, children are immersed in their focus text through a hook and exploratory point which is aimed at getting children engaged in the text throughout the unit. Children then engage in a variety of writing tasks, with grammar, spelling and punctuation objectives being taught within the context of the books studied.


Children are taught the writing process throughout the main writing outcome, and each main writing outcome ensures a clear audience and purpose is planned for.


We support pupils to use a cursive handwriting style, through the use of the "Letterjoin" program, which is practised from key stage 1 through to upper key stage 2.




Speaking and Listening


Speaking and listening is a vital part of the entire curriculum. Strategies are used to engage pupils in partner talk, group work and discussion throughout lessons. Pupils are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life and to further develop their reading and writing skills.

Approaches to speaking and listening:

  • Whole class discussions
  • Talk partners
  • Group work
  • Role play/ drama activities
  • Presenting work
  • Debates
  • Assemblies

Whole School Curriculum Overview