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Larkspur Community Primary School

Growing Towards Tomorrow


English at Larkspur

Welcome to our English home page.  This section is designed to keep our pupils, parents and Larkspur Community up to date with the current key priorities within English, our exciting plans for the forthcoming academic year and how you can work with us to achieve these goals.


Reading and Phonics:

Children are given daily opportunities to develop their reading skills. Children learn to read using the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics program. This consists of six phases. This is carried out daily in the foundation Stage and KS1. Where necessary phonics will continue into KS2. Once children master accurate decoding , a greater emphasis particularly in KS2 is placed on comprehension and spelling.


Through reading independently, guided, shared and paired reading children learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding. Reading takes place with a variety of adults, peers and mixed age groups. Home/ school reading partnerships support every child to become an independent reader. At Larkspur Primary we encourage a love of reading through a well resourced libraries, special events, themed days, book fairs, reading clubs and a strong partnership with Wrekenton Hub Library.


Pupils read through a set of book banded books. Each colour in the book band is a different level. We provide a diet and range of books at different levels within a book band. The pupils know which book band they are working at and recognise the book band that they are working towards.  Our new Reading Quest Challenge encourages pupils to read a greater variety of texts and to read more regularly at home and in school.



As children enter Early Years Foundation Stage there are writing opportunities in all areas of learning . In KS1 and 2 transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) form the basis for what is taught. Children apply the skills they have been taught in all areas of the curriculum. Children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing takes place in many forms - through word and sentence level activities ,independently, modelled, shared, paired and requires an awareness of audience, purpose and context.



Through synthetic phonics children are taught the different ways of spelling sounds and apply their growing knowledge in writing words, caption and sentences. Alongside decodable words, the reading and spelling of common exception/tricky words (those which can't be sounded out) are taught. Phase 6 of the Letters and Sounds program focuses on spelling strategies. As children enter KS2 pupils are taught a series of spelling patterns taken from their programme of study. We encourage children to explore words and think about the origins and connections between words.


Wordlists for Years 3&4 and Years 5&6 are taught and contain a mixture of frequently used words as well as those that children often misspell.  Our half term Solar Spelling Challenge gives pupils opportunities to learn, practise and be rewarded for their improvements in spelling. We try to embed spelling opportunities in all areas of the curriculum.


Grammar and Punctuation

Through talk and reading children's vocabulary is developed. Children are taught grammatical concepts and then encouraged to apply and identify these in the written and spoken word. Specific punctuation and grammatical terminology is taught in each year group.


Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening are not taught as discrete subjects, but are embedded in all aspects of school life, across all areas of the curriculum and are part of everything we do. Pupils are provided with many and varied contexts for talk enabling them to communicate confidently and effectively.  


This year's key priorities:

Developing reading across the whole school.  Creating more opportunities for our pupils to develop a love and confidence in reading through:

  • Exciting New Oxford Reading Tree reading books across all age phases.  New ORT Phonic Books added for the Spring term.
  • Guided Reading Sessions in years 1 and 2 providing opportunities for pupils to share reading experiences in small groups.  New Guided Reading Materials purchased to extend the range in KS1.
  • Parent and pupil workshops to support our families with phonics, reading and writing.  Keep your eyes on our newsletters to for upcoming events!
  • Parent Reading Squad - welcoming parents and friends of Larkspur to join us in listening to our pupils read....come and sign up, we're eager for as many helpers as we can get.
  • Token Trolley incentive for regular reading books in school.
  • New Reading Quest Challenge - children rewarded for the number of books they can read over the course of the year.
  • Developing children's spelling skills.  Ensuring more focused teaching of spelling within the classroom and across the whole school.
  • Solar Spelling Challenge - half termly spelling quiz across whole school.  Can they move to the next planet in the solar system?
  • Weekly spelling tests with focused spelling lessons to support understanding of spelling strategies.
  • Homework activities - pupils encouraged to learn new words and their meanings at home.

Long Term Planning

Phonics Overview

Handwriting at Larkspur

Here at Larkspur Primary we are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in our cursive/joined-up handwriting style. We use Letter-join as the basis of our handwriting policy that covers all the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum.


Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. At the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes. 


See below for our cursive handwriting style (taught from the beginning of year 1 - notice the 'lead' in lines for each lower case letter) 

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events in English at Larkspur!


Current Developments in English:

  • A number of our pupils have been lucky enough to have their Sense and Emotions Poems selected to be published!  All pupils received a sticker and bookmark to praise them for their fantastic poetry writing skills.  Well done!


Artyfacts Theatre Company Visit

  • Our KS2 pupils enjoyed a 'Reading Room' performance...

    "The annual story competition has begun. A young writer struggles to find inspiration for her story. She sees a light on in a library that has been closed for years. As she enters a mysterious looking gentleman appears..."   

  • As well as a Y6 Macbeth Workshop... 

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