Spoken language 

At all ages, the ability to listen and respond appropriately to others is a critical life-skill and key to accessing and developing children’s learning in school and the world around them.  We use talk in the classroom daily, we model and teach children to articulate their answers, questions, opinions, arguments, descriptions and explanations, as well as express their feelings.  We encourage children to use the English language articulately in order to communicate with their audience effectively. We regularly use talk to clarify and solidify thinking and learning through ‘Talk Partners’ in the classroom or following the principles of 'Talk for Writing'.  We provide real life contexts throughout the curriculum that provide opportunities for children to adapt their tone and style for a particular audience, from presentations to performances and role plays to debates. Talk is very much seen as a key to success.

Phonics and Early Reading 

At Primrose Hill C of E Primary Academy we are proud of our approach to reading, recognising its importance in opening up an exciting world of discovery.  The first step in enabling children to access the joy of books is for them to learn the sounds associated with each letter and critical to this is the use of a structured phonics scheme.  We use the Essential Letters and Sounds scheme to support our phonics teaching. This systematic teaching of phonics, along with working in partnership with parents, really supports early reading and writing and provides children with a firm foundation on which to build. Our aim is that all children will have a sound knowledge and understanding of phonics by the end of Year 2. We have clear milestones for Reception, Year 1 and 2 to reach which enables rapid learning as well as time for consolidation and assessment. These can be found here - Phonics milestones

Our Oxford University Press reading scheme supports the teaching of phonics by providing children with fully decodable reading books, linked to the Essential Letters and Sounds phases. When children are confident with the sounds in the phrase, they move to phoentically plausible reading books and eventually to richer readers when they are secure in all phonic phases.  Children remain on the reading scheme throughout their time at Primrose Hill and supplement their scheme book with a richer reading book from our well stocked library. 

We provide support to parents with early phonics through information workshops.

Learning to Read

At Primrose Hill we have a passion for reading from early reading until the children are ready for secondary school.  We have prioritised the importance of reading by starting each day with a class read in KS1.  This novel is deliberately challenging therefore exposing the children to a wide range of vocabulary and themes.  Our curriculum each term is centred around a core class text.  Our curriculum outline can be found here

All children have a reading book and reading record book which goes home on a daily basis. It is expected that all children will read at least four times a week at home and have this recorded in their record book.

We have a school library, which is well stocked and all pupils are allowed to borrow a book at any time.  Teachers can also access theme books to support learning in classes.  Newspapers are also available for pupils to read. We have a dedicated, trained group of KS2 librarians who help to run the library during lunchtimes and help to organise the borrowing and returning of books.

We promote a love of reading through displays of books, book corners, author visits, trips to the Cheltenham Literature festivals and theatre group productions.


Children start making marks on paper at an early age and from these early mark makers we aim to develop confident and fluent writers. Across the school children are encouraged to write for different purposes and we constantly look to develop their vocabulary and sentence structure skills.   


The National Curriculum requires children to learn to spell different words in different year groups. Please find further information below.  There are a number of games which can aid spelling that are available free of charge on the internet or via an app store if you would like to practise together at home.

Key stage one

In Year 1, children are taught to:

  •          Spell words containing each of the 40+ phonemes (sounds) already taught.
  •          Spell common exception words (e.g. such as the and was)
  •          Spell the days of the week
  •          Name the letters of the alphabet
  •          Add some prefixes (e.g. un–) and suffixes (e.g. –ing and –ed) to words

In Year 2, children are taught to:

  •          Use knowledge of phonics to spell words correctly
  •          Learn new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones (e.g. there/they’re/their )
  •          Spell common exception words (e.g. because)
  •          Spell more words with contracted forms (e.g. it’s)
  •          Learn the possessive apostrophe (singular)
  •          Add suffixes to spell longer words (e.g. –ment, and –ly)

Key stage two

In Years 3 and 4, children continue to develop their spelling. 

  •          Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them (e.g. dis– and –sure)
  •          Spell further homophones (e.g. except/accept)
  •          Spell words that are often misspelt
  •          Use the possessive apostrophe accurately (plurals)
  •          Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary

In Years 5 and 6 children learn to:

  •          Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them (e.g. –able and –ible)
  •          Spell some words with ‘silent’ letters (e.g. knight)
  •          Continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
  •          Understand the origin of words and know their relationships to other words in the English language.
  •          Use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
  •          Use a thesaurus

Below is a link to the National Curriculum expectations for spelling in primary schools for your information. 

National Curriculum Spelling