English at Barcombe C E Primary


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

 - Dr. Seuss


When our pupils leave our school, we intend for them to be fluent, avid readers who read for pleasure.  We intend for our pupils to write clearly and coherently, adapting their language and style for a variety of contexts and purposes. Through our reading, writing and oracy schemes, we intend for our pupils to acquire a vast vocabulary and be confident expressing their thoughts, opinions and preferences.  

Our overall intent, with our bespoke English curriculum, is that all pupils of Barcombe C E Primary reach their full potential through a broad, balanced and rich English curriculum.

We aim to ensure all pupils:

  •          Read fluently with good understanding.
  •          Develop good reading habits, reading widely for pleasure and for information.
  •          Acquire a wide vocabulary and a sound understanding of grammar.
  •          Express their ideas and opinions through accurate writing.
  •          Articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language.




High-quality, engaging texts are at the heart of our English curriculum and used as the basis for pupils’ writing. The texts are carefully chosen and planned to ensure they build upon previous grammatical knowledge and skills; allow opportunities to write for different purposes and explore different genres. We aim to provide ample opportunities for speaking and listening, linked to our oracy framework, where we ask the pupils, 'What did you hear?'

Our carefully chosen texts are delivered using the CLPEs ‘Power of Reading’ Scheme and Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff.’ This hybrid model both scaffolds children’s writing and allows them to exercise autonomy.

Jane Considine’s grammar and writing progression is used by all teachers to ensure coverage and skill progression across the years.

Modelling and/or shared writing is evident in all of our writing sessions to ensure pupils are constantly seeing the writing process and are supported on their journey to becoming independent writers.

Writing moderation happens internally within our federation of schools and our bespoke Skylark ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) are used as our main assessment tool when it comes to reading and writing.



At Barcombe C E Primary, we use the Rocket Phonics SSP programme. 

Rocket Phonics is a systematic synthetic phonics programme that has been written by phonics experts. It includes a combination of digital and printed resources, and two fully matched series of decodable reading books. The reading books we use have been carefully designed to appeal to the tastes and interests of children who are starting out on their reading journey. They include a variety of fiction and non-fiction, and have been carefully devised to provide practice and application of phonics knowledge and skills in full alignment with the classroom lessons.

  • Phonics is taught for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. 
  • All staff are supported with regular phonics professional development training.
  • A clear pathway is followed through the alphabetic code.
  • Children are not asked to read texts by themselves that they can’t yet read.
  • The Teaching & Learning Cycle (revisit and review, teach, practise, apply) is followed. 
  • Phonics is taught at letter-sound, word, sentence and text levels. 
  • Teachers focus on details, such as accurate modelling and pencil hold.
  • In KS2 intervention sessions happen to support any pupils with phonics gaps.

Please click on the PowerPoint and video below to find out more about Rocket Phonics:  


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Whole-Class Reading

Throughout the school, pupils take part in shared reading, and are encouraged to enjoy texts and apply their phonics knowledge to read fluently. Pupils are encouraged to use a range of strategies to comprehend texts. 

We understand the importance of pupils being active readers and expect them to not only read fluently, but also to have a comprehensive understanding of what they read. We encourage them to engage in dialogue and answer questions about a wide range of texts, sharing their opinions, views and understanding of what they are reading, developing their oracy skills.  

In Reception, we: 

  •          Focus primarily on 1:1 reading and then small group reading with a focus on blending.
  •          Develop children’s background knowledge by building our curriculum around experiences and linked key texts.
  •          Share carefully selected ‘Core Texts’ and ‘Core Rhymes’ which are read multiple times allowing children to thrive on repetition.
  •          Expose children to VIPERS (Vocabulary/Infer/Predict/Explain/Retrieve/Sequence) in reading sessions.
  •          Introduce children explicitly to VIPERS comprehension skills in the summer term. 
  •          Use quality stories and non-fiction to support our unique Reception curriculum. 
  •          Embed stories throughout the day, all day, every day. 




In KS1, we: 

  •          Use a combination of whole class shared reading, 1:1 and small group guided reading sessions daily, for 20-30 minutes.
  •          Introduce the VIPERS comprehension skills through reading sessions.
  •          Use a VIPERS workbook for each pupil from Year 2 on.
  •          Ensure a range of text types are covered in each term.
  •          Ensure that texts are regularly appraised and changed where necessary, ensuring that they are: appropriate for the needs of the year group, progressive throughout the year and engaging for the children.
  •          Additional 1:1 and small group reading sessions are delivered for any non-fluent or struggling readers, with a particular focus on the bottom 20% of readers across the school.


In KS2, in addition to the KS1 programme we:

  •          Use whole class reading daily with VIPERS* comprehension skills.
  •          Use a VIPERS workbook for each pupil.

* Vocabulary/Infer/Predict/Explain/Retrieve/Summarise


Please click on the PDF links below to see example KS1 and KS2 questions using the VIPERS approach.




We are proud to have pupils who speak with enjoyment about their English lessons, are exposed to a wide range of diverse, high-quality texts and receive excellent results both in their phonics screening and at the end of each Key Stage.

When our pupils leave our school, they have made considerable progress from their starting point in EYFS. The implementation of our reading and writing schemes means they exposed to high-quality, diverse texts; all genres are writing are familiar to them; their confidence and fluency in reading has grown and they recognise the importance of reading for pleasure along with reading for information and knowledge.