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English at Carlton Colville

At Carlton Colville our children undertake a learning journey, beginning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and building on those early experiences. Language and communication underpin everything we do.

We believe that reading is the key that unlocks learning and we understand the vital connection between learning to read for pleasure and academic success. Children who read, really do succeed!


In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we teach reading through a rigorous phonics programme - ‘Letters and Sounds’ together with ‘Storytime Phonics’, an exciting new scheme which teaches phonics through real books and stories and uses drama and roleplay to embed and deepen their understanding of letter sounds. In Key Stage 2 we teach spelling and word level through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ and ‘Big Spelling’ schemes.  All these schemes are compatible with the requirements of the National Curriculum.

We use a range of reading books for our children, some of which are from published schemes and some are ‘real’ books. All of these have been book banded in order that the children can progress in their reading at an appropriate level. Shared reading is undertaken with the whole class but the teaching of reading mainly happens in ‘guided’ groups, which may be linked to ability in the earlier years but will become mixed ability when the children are ready for this.

Some children require more rigour, support and structure when learning to read.  These children may have a daily one to one reading session with a Teaching Assistant or Learning Support Assistant alongside their regular guided sessions. They will follow a structured reading scheme – ‘Project X Alien Adventures’ in Key Stage 1 and ‘Rapid Reading’ in Key Stage 2. They may also be put onto an intervention scheme for a period of time [ARROW or Nessy] which supports the development of reading and spelling. All our staff have been trained in Reciprocal Reading which encourages independence in reading and the development of comprehension.

Storytelling and Writing

At Carlton Colville we believe that writing should be an integrated part of our thematic work so it is pertinent, contextual and for real purposes. Writing skills may be taught in isolation [eg. grammar, spelling and handwriting] but longer writing tasks will always be linked into our creative thematic curriculum. Great writers emerge from great readers so much of our wider curriculum is built around quality fiction and non-fiction.

We were the first Suffolk school to be accredited as a ‘Storytelling School’ and our English leader is a Storytelling Schools trainer. All our staff are trained to use this approach in our classrooms.

The storytelling Schools model uses the power of stories and storytelling to raise standards in reading and writing and provide an engaging way to learn other subjects in the curriculum in a way that is enjoyable and inclusive.

The ‘Storytelling’ approach also fits in well with the ethos that underpins our school curriculum and curriculum drivers:-

  • ‘What we learn with pleasure we never forget’ [our school motto]
  • Active learning
  • Reading and writing linked to curricular themes
  • Grammar taught contextually as part of writing
  • Reading for pleasure; love of stories
  • Building confidence and fluency in spoken language
  • Development of key learning skills [curiosity, communication, teamwork, determination, confidence, independence, focus, aspiration] in order ‘To Be the Best We Can Be’.
  • Authorship
  • Developing depth of learning


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