The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Speaking and Listening

At Chipstead Valley Primary our aim is for children to learn to communicate their thoughts, ideas and opinions clearly and succinctly, as well as to listen to and reflect on the ideas of others. We encourage children to turn-take in conversations and adapt their speech to a range of situations and audiences. From an early age, the children are encouraged to participate in a range of activities such as drama and role-play.

Phonics and Early Reading

At Chipstead Valley Primary School, we have chosen to use a DfE Validated synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called ‘Success for All’ Phonics from FFT.

Success for All Phonics allows children to learn phonics through a highly structured programme of whole class daily lessons across FS/KS1, using a variety of fun activities in multi-sensory and systematic ways. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned and celebrate their achievements.

It follows the teaching principles of:

  • Revisit and Review
  • Teach and Model
  • Practise and Apply
  • Celebrate Achievement and Assess

What will this look like for my child?

  • Nursery – Children will begin the ‘First Steps to Phonics’ programme.
  • Reception and Year 1 - Children will have a daily whole class phonics lesson and a daily whole class shared reading lesson.
  • Year 2 – Children will have a daily whole class spelling lesson and a daily whole class shared reading lesson.

Children are regularly assessed informally by the teacher within the lessons and over a sequence of lessons to ensure they keep up. If children need additional support, they are provided with ‘keep-up’ sessions to ensure they stay on track with the rest of the class. More formal assessments are completed every half term using FFT’s Reading Assessment Programme (RAP) which covers all Reception and KS1 assessments including phonics skills, decoding, reading fluency, comprehension and the Year 1 phonics screening check. Children who require further additional support (catch-up) are identified using a range of assessment information and will be supported through small group or one-to-one interventions.

Home Reading

Children working on the phonics programme will have a link to a virtual copy of their decodable shared reader book sent home each week. This will be the book the children have been reading the week before in class, will be familiar to the children and will include the sounds they have been taught. (Please contact your Class Teacher if you are unable to access this online)

Children will also take home a reading for pleasure book each week.

Once children have completed the phonics programme, they will move on to coloured stage books, in line with the rest of the school.

Further information

For further information including useful videos and tips on how to support your child with reading at home, please visit the FFT parent portal:


You will also find more information in the guide attached - FFT Parent and Carer guide.

Reading for pleasure

At Chipstead Valley we want children to develop enjoyment of reading. We encourage children to read for pleasure and to develop the ability to read fluently and with understanding. We have a recently refurbished library area that all classes have access to throughout the week, which is generously stocked with age appropriate and popular texts. Book corners in each classroom celebrate reading for enjoyment and we also have a beautiful reading garden.


Writing is developed from an early age by mark making and activities to develop fine motor skills.

We aim for our children to develop their ability to write in a wide range of genres, both fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

In KS1 children are taught to use finger spaces, full stops and capital letters and progress to using other forms of punctuation such as question and exclamation marks. They are taught about using engaging and meaningful vocabulary to make their writing interesting. By the end of KS1, pupils begin to evaluate and make some improvements to their writing.

In KS2, pupils develop competence in the accuracy of grammar, punctuation and spelling and the structure of text composition. Children are taught the skills of planning and drafting an extended piece of writing, organising their work coherently and the processes of evaluation and editing. Pupils will apply their skills through a range of genres considering vocabulary and structures appropriate for the purpose and audience.