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Riverbridge Primary School


English is central to the curriculum at Riverbridge as it is the gateway to all learning. Everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of situations. Learners in school communicate daily through speaking and listening, reading and writing. We aim to introduce a range of literature to pupils to improve the quality of their own language and to help them reflect on and consider the world.  Our English provision is supported by the use of the Power of Reading programme, a programme which ensures our curriculum is enriched by the use of quality children's texts from which a number of cross-curricular links can be made.  More information about the programme can be found here: http://por.clpe.org.uk/

Speaking and Listening

From their earliest time in school children are taught to listen effectively and to develop their ability to talk in a range of situations; for example taking messages, carpet discussions, circle time, sharing opinions, class debates and speaking in assembly. Opportunities for role-play and drama further develop qualities of empathy and oracy and impact positively on children's reading (comprehension) and writing skills.


From the Foundation Stage a strong emphasis is placed on the teaching and learning of phonics. This is supported by a variety of other strategies designed to support each child's development as a fluent, independent reader who chooses to read for interest, information and enjoyment. Each class has a collection of books in addition to the school library. Children take home a book from their classroom that is an appropriate level for their reading ability and a book of their choice from the school library. Parents are encouraged to support their child's reading at home by listening to them read, reading with their children and reading to their children.

Towards the end of the Summer term all of our Year 1 children take part in the national Phonics screening test.


Cursive handwriting skills are taught from Reception where the Riverbridge Handwriting Script is introduced. Reading, speaking & listening and drama all support learners in a wide range of writing tasks linked to our Power of Reading texts and other areas of the curriculum. Children are taught grammar, spelling and punctuation in line with the National Curriculum through the high quality texts that are read in class. Daily teaching of spelling is also carried out using the Read Write Inc. spelling programme.

Reading is formally assessed at the end of Year 2 and end of Year 6 within the context of the End of Key Stage Assessments. Writing is also assessed through teacher assessment and is moderated by the local authority


At Riverbridge we currently teach phonics using Letters and Sounds. Throughout this academic year we are going to be building on this provision through the use of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. In Reception and Key Stage 1 phonics is taught daily in discreet 20 minute sessions. For information about what is taught in each phase of letters and sounds please see the table below.


Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks

Set 1 - s a t p

Set 2 - i n m d

Set 3 - g o c k

Set 4 - ck e u r

Set 5 - h b f ff l ll s ss

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

Set 6 - j v w x

Set 7 - y z zz qu

Consonant digraphs - ch sh th ng

Vowel digraphs (and trigraphs) ai ee igh oa oo ar or ur ow oi ear air ure er

By the end of phase 3 children will know 1 grapheme for each phoneme.

Children are taught letter names

Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know. They are also introduced to split digraphs.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Riverbridge Primary School