Ravenor Primary School

English Rationale

What is our ambition for reading?

At Ravenor, we aim for children to have a deep love of reading and a passion to explore a wide range of vocabulary and stories. Through enjoying  literature, our children develop efficient skills which equip them for the next stage of their lives and give them the skills to access the best that the world around them can offer.


How do we achieve this ambition?

At Ravenor, reading and writing are closely linked and are taught through a selection of diverse and quality core texts. The core texts are used as a stimulus for writing. Reading consists of the following areas:

  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary and Language
  • Retrieval
  • Inference
  • Comprehension


Early Reading Skills

  • The systematic teaching of phonics is at the heart of our approach to the teaching of reading.  Phonics is a way of developing the ability to read quickly and accurately; in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1, it is taught every day to give our children a solid foundation in their decoding skills.
  • Our learning environments are language-rich, and these enable our youngest learners to develop their very early reading skills. Our curriculum provides our children with an array of opportunities to listen to and engage actively in a wide range of stories, rhymes and songs.
  • When our children begin Key Stage 1, the teaching of phonics continues to be a part of their daily routine; this ensures that our children’s decoding skills are fully embedded.


Our children are taught to:

  • identify and recognise that each individual letter makes its own sound;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘ay’;
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word;
  • use the correct terminology e.g. digraph – 2 letters that make one sound (e.g. th, ey and ph), trigraph – three letters that make one sound (e.g. igh) and split digraph (e.g. i_e, a_e)


Developing Reading Skills: Vocabulary, Inference and Comprehension

In addition to the teaching of phonics, we begin to develop our children’s early comprehension skills through the use of quality core texts read in our English lessons and in the non-fiction texts that are used across the wider curriculum.

From FS2 to Year 6, our children engage in daily guided reading sessions which enable the children to practise their decoding skills, as well as develop their comprehension skills.


By the end of Key Stage 1, our children are able to:

  • draw on knowledge of a broad vocabulary to understand texts they have read;
  • identify characters and sequence key events from fiction texts;
  • decipher information from non-fiction texts;
  • make simple inferences and explain these;
  • make predictions about texts from book covers and titles.

Reading continues to be prioritised through a whole class approach as quality core texts are used as a stimulus. The chosen texts link reading and writing together, creating dynamic English lessons, that inspire quality writing.

In our daily guided reading sessions, children are presented with suitably challenging texts that are used to enable our children to build on their comprehension skills, whilst also building up their stamina and pace, in an age-appropriate way.


By the end of Key Stage 2, our children have to been taught to:

  • explain the meaning of new vocabulary, including subject-specific vocabulary, in context;
  • locate, retrieve and record specific, relevant and important information, from a range of fiction and non-fiction texts;
  • make inferences from what they have read and justify, with supporting evidence, from the text;
  • make predictions from key details in the text;
  • make comparisons, within texts and across texts;
  • summarise main ideas from the text;
  • understand and explain how content within the text can contribute towards understanding the meaning of the whole text.


Developing and Instilling a Love of Reading

Developing and instilling a love of reading is of paramount importance in our school. Our children are exposed to a diverse range of quality reading materials; they are provided with opportunities to read across all subjects, in the curriculum, and are given time to read for enjoyment, as part of their guided reading sessions. We have taken our children to visit different libraries in the local area, including Northolt Library, Ealing Broadway Library and Greenford Library. Every year, we celebrate World Book Day, and our KS2 children are taken to Waterstones’ to purchase a book with their World Book Day voucher. Staff-led and informal reading clubs have been set up to provide the children with an opportunity to discuss the themes and characters within a book, as well as share their views about what they have read.


Our children have had the opportunity to meet a range of authors; we have at least five different authors visiting us each year. All of our author visits, from Michael Rosen, to Onjali Q. Rauf, have been a huge success, as the children have been able to learn from and be inspired by experts in their field. Additionally, our children have had the opportunity to write to some of the authors they have read the books of, as part of their learning in their English lessons.


We firmly believe that our families play a crucial role in the development of reading; therefore, we have fostered a strong home-school partnership, by using reading diaries as a tool for communication between class teachers and parents.


Our vision for writing

Through a foundation of reading, children will develop in to competent and skilful writers, who can write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Through the mastery approach, children are provided with opportunities to talk about their ideas, role play scenarios and deliberately practise skills so they understand how to build on the basic skills of sentence writing, to produce pieces that are interesting and engaging for the reader, whilst being punctuated correctly and being grammatically correct.


How do we realise our vision?

At Ravenor, we have adopted the mastery approach, which ensures that the children master the basic skills, before they move on to more complex skills. We have categorised sentence writing in to four types, and these are taught in each year group, as follows:


Writing at Ravenor in KS1 and KS2

Starter sentences (Y1-Y6)

A sentence with one idea.

E.g. Stanley did his chores.

The rules-

It must have one clause (idea) only.

It must make sense.

Main sentences (Y1 from Spring 2 and Y2-Y6)

A sentence with two ideas.

E.g. Stanley did his chores while listening to music.

The rules-

If you want to carry on after a main clause, you must use a sticky word or phrase (a conjunction).

It must only have two clauses (ideas).


Sub sentences (Y3-Y6)

A sentence with two clauses (ideas), beginning with a subordinate clause.

E.g. While listening to music, Stanley did his chores.

The rules-

It must only have two clauses (ideas).

To carry on after a subordinate clause, you must use a comma.


Burger sentences (Y3-Y6)

A complex sentence with an inserted subordinate clause.

E.g. Stanley, who was very well behaved, did his chores.

The rules-

Start with a starter sentence and split it after a noun.

The sentence must make sense without the inserted clause (idea).

Teachers plan for writing opportunities, by following specific grammar sequences, to ensure skills are taught progressively and in a logical order.

Writing consists of the following areas:



  • This is taught as part of a main English lesson, and teachers use shared writing sessions to model how different genres are composed.
  • Composition refers primarily to writing for a specific purpose and audience. From KS1, children are taught to recognise and master the style of differing text types – beginning with simple text types e.g. narratives. Text types progress in KS2 to include more complex genres e.g. persuasion and discussion. As the curriculum progresses, children are encouraged to develop their own authorial voice and recognise how to vary their style of writing for different readers.


Grammar and Punctuation

  • Grammar and punctuation is taught as part of the main English lesson, and specific skills are always modelled, through shared writing sessions.
  • Grammar and punctuation are the make-up of a piece of writing. These skills begin in Early Years as children learn speak and then to write for meaning. In KS1, children build on this, learning to write in complete sentences, understand different word classifications and develop sentences that link together, within a text. In KS2, children hone and develop these skills further by learning how to vary sentence types and use different language, tense and punctuation for effect, eventually choosing to do so independently.



  • Spelling is taught explicitly; teaching a specific spelling rule and practising related words using this rule. Spellings are assessed through a weekly test.
  • Spelling is an essential part of ensuring writing can be understood. Every year group is taught a specific set of spellings rules, building on from phonics, which build upon one another and are necessary for accurate spelling, all the way up to Year 6.



  • Handwriting is taught explicitly in discrete sessions, depending on the year group. We begin teaching the cursive style from Year 1.


Writing Overviews

Please see our writing overviews to see what core texts we use in each year group, and which genres we cover.