By the end of their time at Cumnor School we want children to be competent and enthusiastic users of the English language through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons throughout the school will include elements of all these aspects with a specific focus on developing skills in a particular area. 

At Cumnor we believe that developing positive attitudes towards reading is crucial in children’s development. We prioritise reading for pleasure across the school and we have developed a text rich curriculum. We celebrate reading regularly with 


special events and assemblies. 

Early reading, writing and phonics is taught in Reception using a combination of letters and sounds and Jolly phonics actions. In year 1, weekly spelling lists are introduced and synthetic phonics is still taught daily. A range of activities are used from schemes such as phonics play and letters and sounds. In Year 2, weekly spellings continue and the emphasis is much more on spelling and grammar rules rather than phonics. Direct phonics is used to consolidate phonic patterns for those who still need it. Reception closely match individual reading books with the phonic pattern being learned using Dandelion launcher reading texts. Year 1 continue this with Dandelion readers and OUP academy books. Jelly and Bean phonic texts are used in Year 2 for those who still need phonics matched texts. All pupils also have an ability banded reading book from the book bands scheme to read for pleasure.

We prioritise the teaching and learning of vocabulary across the school, building on focussed vocabulary work in Reception and the use of Nuffield Early language Intervention (NELI) for those who would benefit from it.

Throughout the school children are encouraged to become independent writers and to transfer skills acquired in speaking, listening and reading to their writing. Children have many opportunities to explore and enjoy writing for different purposes and audiences in a range of curriculum areas. In English lessons, writing activities link into our text rich curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to present their work in a variety of media including use of ICT. Specific skills in writing, such as spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar, are directly taught and applied through written work. 

Children are encouraged to develop their speaking and listening skills in a range of contexts across the curriculum through opportunities for paired, group and class discussion as well as exploration through storytelling and drama. 

Through our English curriculum we aim to give children a love of literature and effective lifelong communication skills.

Here is a video to explain our approach to reading and phonics and how parents can help:

Cumnor’s English Curriculum can be found here:



Key Stage 2 termly spelling lists: