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Barcroft Primary School

Unlocking potential today for a brighter tomorrow





At the heart of our English lessons lie high quality texts, which act as a vehicle for learning across the whole curriculum. We aim for our pupils to become confident readers who read fluently, widely, and for pleasure.  Our Key Stage 2 curriculum ensures that children are immersed in at least five quality texts, which cover a range of genres, forms and styles. In Key Stage 1 and Early Years, immersion in carefully chosen narratives, allow teachers to teach rich and varied vocabulary.  We aim to close the vocabulary gap for our disadvantaged children. 


Carefully planned writing lessons allow pupils to study high quality modelled texts and adapt their own language style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences, whilst developing their own individual flair and promoting their creativity.


All English lessons are differentiated to ensure all pupils access the learning at their specific level but still ensures that all children are given the same curriculum diet.



Spelling rules from the National Curriculum have been mapped out across the writing units to match (where possible) to allow the children the opportunity to apply the rule in their writing. Spelling is taught through a separate spelling lesson and the children are then given the opportunity to practise these spellings at the start of every English lesson. Alongside the spelling rules, children are taught the common exception words for their phase.  A mix of the spelling rule spellings and common exception words are sent as homework for the children to practise at home. All Spelling lessons are differentiated to ensure all pupils can spell words which are appropriate for their ability linked to the curriculum.



Handwriting is a priority at Barcroft Primary School. Children complete daily handwriting tasks to make sure that their letter formation is correct and that their work is presented neatly.  We are currently following the 'Letter-Join' scheme of work which will help the children to develop a cursive handwriting style by the time they leave primary school.


Guided Reading

At Barcroft Primary School, like our writing, we have designed a bespoke curriculum which aims to build on the children’s knowledge of phonics by enhancing their reading and fluency and strengthening their comprehension skills.  There is a clear reading journey which starts by studying vocabulary within a given text and then it moves onto teaching the children how to be confident and successful readers.  It then ends with a comprehension focus which prepares the children to answer a range of different style comprehension questions. 


Early Years

In Early Years the children learn the subject English through the Subject Literacy where they develop their Reading and Writing skills. Children develop these skills by listening to and discussing stories, through daily RWI sessions, and reading and writing activities which are linked to the weekly/fortnightly topics through play, continuous provision and adult led activities. Children also develop their English skills through their play including role play, Poetry Basket and Helicopter stories.



How we promote reading at Barcroft Primary School


‘Reading is dreaming with open eyes’ -Anissa Trisdianty.


At Barcroft Primary School, we promote a culture of love for reading. It is the heart of everything that we do and our aim is for children to develop a passion for reading for pleasure.


Reading with an Adult

Our pupils read regularly with an adult (at least once a week).  Some pupils who need more support with their reading are identified and read up to three times a week with an adult.


Reading Volunteers

We have a group of parents, carers, grandparents who regularly support our pupils with reading.  Our reading volunteers have a scheduled timetable and regular pupils they listen to read.


Star Reader Award

Star Reader is awarded to pupils who have been identified making super progress in their phonics or reading sessions.  This award is also awarded to pupils who are reading for pleasure at home and recording their reading in their ‘Reading Record Book’.   The Star Readers receive a golden token which they have used in our Reading Vending Machine to receive a book prize. 


Rocket into Reading

At Barcroft Primary School, children get the opportunity to change their reading books as often as they like. We use assessment information and teacher judgement to ensure that reading books are suitable for children’s reading level. Each time that their reading journal is signed by their parent, they are able to move up a planet. Children will receive a prize each time that they reach the sun.


Reading Forest

At Barcroft Primary School, we have a school library 'The reading forest' which is well stocked with lots of fiction and non-fiction books which children can enjoy and develop a love of reading. This library is aimed for our children in Early Years, Y1/2 and Y3/4. The children all get the opportunity to visit the library to borrow a book once a week.


Reading Sky Library

We are lucky enough to have a second library in our school, our ‘Sky Library’. This is well stocked with more complex texts making it suitable for Y5/6. The children also get chance to visit this library once a week to change their library books.


What we are reading

Outside each classroom, there is a poster of what each class is reading for story time at the end of the day. There is a poster of what each member of staff is reading. Adults talk to the children about books they are reading to promote a love of reading. They also discuss the importance of reading as it is a skill you need in life.


Playground Libraries

On Early Years, KS1 and KS2 playground there are sheds full of lots of books which the children can enjoy reading whilst outside at playtimes and lunchtimes. There are also benches where the children can sit and enjoy a book together with a friend or adult. 


Early Years – 1000 stories

1000 Stories is a Walsall Early Years Initiative to promote bedtime stories at home. 


We know that for children to thrive in reading they need too...

•Hear 2,500 words per hour.

•Learn at least 400 new words a year... That’s just over 1 per day!

•Be able to talk about their feelings and manage their emotions.

•Use words to imagine and create stories.

•Understand the world around them.

•Make friends and empathise with others.



Please use the link below to view the English Policy:

Year group Coverage

Key Information Graphic