Dorridge Primary School

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Independent life-long learners SCHOOL AIMS

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The School recognises the integrity of English as a subject as well as its being an essential component of all curriculum areas. We endeavour to provide every child with a wealth of experiences to develop the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. Reading, in its many forms, is positively promoted through an extensive selection of books and other resource materials, in order to enable children to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers. English is taught as a daily lesson, in ability groups.

The document immediately below provides an outline of how English is covered in the curriculum. This document reflects the previous curriculum however it is still useful as an overview of progress.

PDF icon Understanding Progress in English - A guide for parents

The remainder of this web page is divided into sections, click on the headings here to go to each section of the page more quickly:

Early Years and Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2 (Years 3 - 6)

Reading at Home

Some recommended websites

Early Years and Key Stage 1

We use Letters and Sounds as our Phonics approach from Nursery to Year 2. A document with details of this scheme is available from the link below.

PDF document Letters and Sounds

Book sharing begins in Nursery followed by a scheme of books introduced in Reception. Our Reading Scheme is banded at each stage, primarily based on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and the Big Cat Collins scheme, supplemented with a variety of free choice books at each stage to provide breadth and depth.

Further information on these schemes can be found at the following links. Please note that both of these links will take you away from our website and therefore changes to the content are outside our control.

Oxford Reading Tree

Big Cat Collins

Phonics Information for Parents

PDF icon Letters & Sounds Information , PDF icon Phonics Information Evening 2016

English Homework

English homework will be given out each week in Year 1 and 2. See the handout above from our Information Evening for advice on how you can help your child with their homework.


Practising letter formation at home benefits children. The resource website has a useful presentation that shows you how to form the letters correctly. 

Guided Reading

Guided reading sessions are part of our daily English lessons. A teacher will share a text and scaffold discussion with a group of similar ability children. High quality guided reading has many benefits, as explained in this document from Oxford University Press.

PDF icon Teaching the Reading Curriculum: The role of high quality guided reading


The video here shows you the correct articulation of all 44 phonemes.

Tips for helping your child to spell

  • Shut their eyes and try to picture the word in their head
  • Repeat the words several times over
  • Write out the word a few times
  • See if the word reminds them of any others which they can spell
  • Compare their version with the correct spelling and, if theirs is wrong, concentrate on the bit they got wrong
  • If you and they haven’t got access to the correct spelling, write your version down and see if it looks right
  • If the word is familiar but spelled in an unusual way (for example, with a silent letter) try deliberately mispronouncing it in accordance with the way it is spelled to get used to the spelling. An example of this is the word "Wednesday".

The Mr Thorne website provides fantastic support for your child with phonics, reading and spelling. The creator, Mr Thorne, started his teaching career at a local school in Solihull and now teaches in Marleybone, London. As well as teaching full time, he has developed several interactive web resources that we thoroughly recommend.

Please click on the image to the left to get started!

The following two websites are also excellent for supporting your child's understanding of phonics, both in blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.

Web icon

Web icon

Reading in KS2: Years 3-6

Reading is essential for all of our children to help them become independent life long learners. The stages of the Oxford Reading Tree books are carefully designed to be progressive and, when in KS2, reading is for meaning - not just decoding the text. Parental discussion is essential to deepen the understanding of the texts.

As children enter Year 3, they will continue with their reading record from Key Stage 1. Each child has an individual record for each stage of the reading program and, on completion of a stage, class teachers or English teachers will move children onto the next stage and also give classroom rewards. Children are expected to be more independent in changing their books when completed. Parents can encourage this and also record their reading in their Home School Organiser, which is monitored in school. Oxford Reading Tree books up to Stage 12 are stored in the Year 3 corridor.

After completion of Stage 12, and as they progress through school, children can choose their books from the Year 5 corridor, for Stages 13 to 16, and the school library, for Stages 17 to 20. For these stages, daily reading plus parent signature is still recorded in their organiser and monitored by teachers.

In addition, reading is also recorded in the half termly reading challenges. This ensures that children read a breadth of text types and genres. Each term, Oxford Reading Tree books, library books and books from home are recorded. Teachers may tailor the number of books to pupils’ abilities and completion of the challenge is rewarded with classroom rewards.

The reading challenge is to encourage children to read a wide variety of books from our excellent and well stocked library. Mrs Train is always happy to recommend new authors to children if they need a change or a challenge!

We welcome in school any parents/grandparents who would like to help with reading both listening and discussing with individuals or small groups. Please let your child’s teacher know if you can give some of your time to help.

Reading at home

We encourage all children to read aloud to an adult and to share books at home regularly. This document has been written in school to provide parents with information and questions to support reading at home.

PDF icon Developing Your Child's Reading at Home

You may find it interesting to listen to Michael Rosen's YouTube tips for reading bedtime stories. Please note that this is a link to YouTube. We take online safety seriously and would not expect children to use YouTube unsupervised.

Recommended Books from the National Literacy Trust:

PDF icon Books with Hooks

PDF icon Books for 5-8 year olds

PDF icon Books for  9-12 year olds

Some recommended websites

The following websites are recommended in supporting children in all areas of English. Please note that, as these are external sites, it is possible that they may change or disappear without warning!

Web icon BBC website Spelling Games

Web icon Random House Publishers

Web icon BBC Revision support

Web icon Poetry Archive

Web icon Children's poetry

Web icon Love Reading for Kids - recommended reads, good for finding new authors

Web icon - some useful games for English and Maths, including some phonics and spelling activities

Web icon Spell Anywhere - a very comprehensive list of spellings and you can practise Look, Cover, Write, Check!

Web icon Oxford Owl

Web icon Scholastic Earth Adventures - to practice your grammar!

Web icon CrickWeb literacy - sections for Early Years and KS1.

Web icon Bookstart Bear Club

Web icon Scholastic Children's Books - this gives information on 'book of the month' and recommended reads for children.

Web icon Storynory - please encourage your children to listen to such stories at home.

Web icon Reading Planet - lots of activities to do on here. Watch and listen to animated stories and songs.