William Shrewsbury Primary School


The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.



English at William Shrewsbury Primary School

At William Shrewsbury we aim to create a generation of enthusiastic and confident readers who go on to have a lifelong love of reading.


The English curriculum has been designed so that pupils are taught how to speak and write fluently so that that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Pupils are exposed to a range of engaging and challenging texts aligned to our 'Book Based Curriculum' and develop a love of literature and reading for enjoyment. At William Shrewsbury we are all avid readers! The curriculum also ensures that pupils develop all the skills of language which are essential, not only in order to access the rest of the curriculum, but also to participate fully as a member of our community and ultimately aid in their development as a lifelong learner. 


Our English curriculum develops essential characteristics of:


  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • An excellent comprehension of texts.
  • The motivation to read for both study and pleasure.
  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.


  • The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
  • A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
  • A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend detail and description.
  • Well organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
  • Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelt correctly and is neat.
  • A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.


  • An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said.
  • A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
  • Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
  • An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tense and the grammatical structure of sentences.
  • A delight in initiating and joining in conversations
  • Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.


How English is taught at William Shrewsbury Primary School

Everyone values reading.                                                          OFSTED 2022 


Phonics and Early Reading:

The school has a rigorous and structured approach to the teaching of phonics and reading based on 'the William Shrewsbury Phonics Scheme'. Children are introduced to initial phonic work in the Nursery and from Reception to Year 2 a daily focused phonics session is taught to all children. We plant the seeds of early reading through segmenting, blending and storytelling which then grows into appreciating texts in greater depth through the explicit instruction of reading strategies in KS1 and KS2.

A range of decodable reading books are used to support the early reading process which matches their current phonic level. Children are also encouraged to read a wide range of texts and our book based curriculum helps to provide this.

The teaching of phonics is continued in the Juniors and leads into a support for spelling programme when the majority of children have acquired all phonics. For the small number of children who need further support intervention, catch up programmes are used.

Book Based Curriculum:

Our school uses five exciting texts each year to inspire our reading and writing curriculum. This helps us explore high quality, wide-ranging text to achieve a depth of thinking in English and the wider curriculum too. Please see attachments below for our whole school book based curriculum overview.

Book Based Curriculum Overview

Whole Class Reading Sessions:

At William Shrewsbury Primary, all children read every day. Our broad and exciting reading curriculum offers daily reading for all children in class and opportunities to learn key reading skills. Our whole class reading lessons follow a weekly reading structure which is adapted for our infant and junior children. We understand the importance of modelling key reading skills before giving children the opportunity to consolidate these independently. Reading lessons in KS2 last for 40-60 minutes and 35-40 minutes in KS1.

Recommended Reads:

Our 'Recommended Reads' offer 50 books for each year group to challenge themselves to read. These are in every reading corner and provide a range of genres, cultures and styles.

Please see individual year group recommended read mats below:

Reception Recommended Reads

Year 1 Recommended ReadsYear 2 Recommended Reads

Year 3 Recommended Reads

Year 4 Recommended Reads

Year 5 Recommended Reads

Year 6 Recommended Reads



Writing has a close link with reading and we ensure this is evident throughout the school and within our book based curriculum. We encourage enthusiasm and passion for writing through many ways. In the infants children use familiar stories, their own experiences and topics to support and enhance their writing. As children move through the school, writing becomes more precise and technical as it links to SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) teaching.

We believe it is important for children to use their real life experiences to guide their writing so it becomes personal to themselves. In addition to this, writing is planned through cross curricular opportunities as it is important for children to transfer their writing skills to all areas of the curriculum.


English across the curriculum

Pupils get to rehearse, apply and consolidate their learning in all other areas of the curriculum. Careful planning ensures pupils continue developing all areas of English in other subjects.


English Events

At William Shrewsbury we celebrate our love of reading at every opportunity! From book fairs to author visits, the joy we find in books can be seen in so many places. Our last Scholastic Book Fair raised nearly £3000 which we are reinvesting into high quality literature across all year groups. 

We also enjoyed welcoming many authors into school such as Luke Temple and are always on the look out for new and exciting opportunities to develop our language rich curriculum. 


Our Reading Environment

In addition to our stunning school library, all of our classrooms have exciting, themed book corners that give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. Books are also available for home use. The Reading Maze library is available for use by Infant children and the Nursery and Reception children also have dedicated home libraries.


English at Home

There are lots of ways you can help support your child at home with English.  

  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills and understanding.
  • Listen to your child read every night. Find a quiet time to hear your child read and use lots and lots of praise to encourage them. Record your reading on Boom Reader, our online reading log. 
  • Encourage your child to record their writing in a variety of ways. They may wish to keep a diary, write a story or send a postcard. Support their ideas and give plenty of encouragement!
  • Make use of your local library. Children love going to the library and having access to such a huge, diverse range of books.


Current National Tests in English

Year 6:

  • Reading Assessment Test
  • Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) Test
  • Writing is judged through on-going Teacher assessment throughout the year and moderation through the Central Cooperative Learning Trust (CCLT).


Useful Documents

English Policy