Welcome to English at Clapham Manor Primary School.

We believe in a creative and inspiring approach to English that meets the statutory requirements of the new curriculum introduced in September 2014.

We are passionate about creating a rich literature diet which will create aspirations and engagement for all our pupils.


“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

Roald Dahl, Matilda

We achieve this through:

  • Quality first teaching and well matched interventions to support all learners.
  • A comprehensive curriculum map that ensures high quality, engaging texts are used throughout the school. This is inspired by the Core Knowledge Curriculum published by CIVITAS. We ensure a cross curricular approach is implemented and computing skills are embedded.
  • Regular drama and storytelling workshops across the school. This is to create an active and creative literacy diet for our children.
  • Visits and real life experiences for the children to create a stimulus for our children’s writing.
  • Author celebration days, such as Roald Dahl day and visits from key authors such as Faustin Charles. Such experiences create literacy aspirations for our children.
  • Clear learning journeys that are communicated to the children. This is to ensure that previous learning is identified and all learning is given a greater purpose.
dahl 1

Reception recreating the Enormous crocodile for Roald Dahl day.

dahl 2

The Enormous Crocodile














Key Stage 1

Our children are taught phonics through the Letters and sounds guidelines. In year 1 all children complete a phonic screener test. We offer parents a phonic workshop in the autumn term to support the teaching of phonics at home. We adopt a creative and kinaesthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. All our lessons follow the following structure:

Revise previous learning of the letter/s-sound correspondences from previous or current phase.

Introduce new learning of ‘next’ letter/s-sound correspondence/tricky words in current phase.

Practise the three skills of blending, segmenting and letter formation at word level.

Extend to sentence level and text level

Spelling, punctuation, handwriting and grammar are important parts of the new national curriculum and are tested at the end of year 6.
At Clapham Manor we have introduced a zero tolerance ladder. This is to encourage children to take care when writing high frequency and tricky words.


We have recently introduced an interactive, visual and exciting scheme called Penpals. Improving handwriting skills is a focus in our school as it impacts on pleasure, presentation and speed.

This core curriculum area covers speaking, listening, reading and writing (including handwriting).  Children enter school at different stages of development in their English skills.  We aim to develop these skills so that each child becomes an increasingly confident and proficient language user.  English is taught daily in the literacy hour, as well as at other times of the day and through other areas of the curriculum.

Speaking And Listening

These skills are developed in a variety of settings and throughout all curriculum areas to encourage communication in purposeful, clear and orderly dialogue, that is appropriate for a range of occasions and purposes, and which invites careful, sympathetic and responsive listening.


As children learn to talk by talking, so they learn to read by reading.  We aim to give children the opportunity to view reading as an intensely enjoyable and exciting experience. We do this by:

  • Making sure that each child has easy access to high quality books that make sense at the appropriate level
  • Building confidence and self-esteem
  • Encouraging children to talk about their books and share them with others
  • Arranging for classes to have shared reading experiences once a week with each other
  • Reading stories aloud and encouraging discussion about them
  • Using a variety of teaching strategies and approaches to reading
  • Encouraging parents to support the development of reading skills at home
  • Using the school library as a valuable resource for our teaching and reading
  • Setting reading targets to focus learning

All classes have a variety of books appropriate to their level, and these class libraries are updated as much as possible to allow for a variety of reading materials.

All children are equipped with folders and are encouraged to take books home.

If you would like more detailed information on how your child learns to read and how you can help, we recommend that you refer to our Information to Parents’/Carers’ booklets that are given to parents at the first open evening of the academic year.


We aim to provide children with the understanding and skills they require to become independent writers. We teach children to write in a variety of genre and contexts.

We aim to develop children’s creativity, imagination, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting through the teaching of writing. We do this by:

  • Modeling good practice and using good text examples
  • Setting writing targets to aid self improvement
  • Encouraging emergent writing in the Early Years and then the confidence to ‘have a go’
  • Giving opportunities to discuss and assess own writing and the work of others
  • Providing opportunities to review and redraft work
  • Teaching phonics, work patterns, punctuation and grammar

All classes are equipped with materials appropriate to the children’s age and interests. The materials available are chosen to motivate and stimulate children.


This is recognised as a skill which can only be improved by constant practice and refinement. Al Clapham Manor we pay close attention to the development of children’s handwriting and the use of quality materials to support this.

English As An Additional Language

Approximately 45% of the children in Clapham Manor speak, read, write, understand or are exposed to another language – skills we celebrate and encourage in order to support their acquisition of English.

Spanish, Yoruba, French, Bengali, Portuguese, Tigrinya and Somali are the most commonly spoken languages at Clapham Manor.  There is specialist support from one teacher who works three days a week.

We have a good selection of dual language books, as well as books from a wide variety of cultural settings.  These offer support to bilingual children learning to read, and also widen all the children’s experiences of other languages and cultures.

Theatre groups, social events and experiences are organised to help increase understanding of cultural diversity within the school. Parents are seen as a valuable resource in helping with translation, reading in their home language and sharing language skills.