English at Richard Avenue

We believe that a curriculum should change all pupils, providing them with a broad and balanced foundation of knowledge, skills and experiences empowering them to confidently, curiously and proactively embrace the next steps in their learning journey.

Through the careful sequencing and teaching of writing and reading at Richard Avenue Primary all children will build on their knowledge and skills each year and will be encouraged and supported to make explicit links in their learning.


At Richard Avenue School, it is our intention to provide pupils with a high-quality education in literacy, which will provide them with the necessary skills to prepare them for life beyond primary school.


In the EYFS teaching focusses heavily on building speaking and listening skills, acknowledging the children’s starting points and providing a firm foundation in which to start building the literacy skills that follow. In Reception the children begin to recall sounds and use them to write words and simple phrases, during their daily phonics lessons. Key stage one builds upon the work from the EYFS, introducing the children the spoken and read word before building on their writing skills. We are very aware that many children who come to Richard Avenue need support to build their cultural capital, so need experiences (through visits in and out of school, drama or role play and reading) before they can write.

As children move through the rest of key stage one and key stage two, the children hone their skills with composition, spelling, punctuation and grammar across a range of text types. We have high expectations of the children’s writing in all subjects, not just literacy, and we are proud that the children rise to the challenge.

At Richard Avenue School, we acknowledge the importance of vocabulary and make time for exploring meaning and acquiring new and ambitious vocabulary.

We encourage the children to take ownership of their writing and actively promote editing and redrafting of their work; we encourage the children to take responsibility for their own work, persevere to reach their potential, respect their work and that of others and ultimately shine in their work as creators. This combination, we believe, will instil independence and resilience that we hope will stay with children long after they have left primary school.

We have more information about our reading program here.


At Richard Avenue School, it is our intention that all children take pride in their handwriting and presentation of their work. We aim that by the end of key stage 2 children will have developed fluent, legible, joined handwriting, alongside printed and capital letters and for children to understand that each style has a purpose. We want handwriting to be an automatic process so that it does not interfere with thinking or creativity, and we want children to see handwriting as a lifelong skill that will serve them in their future education and beyond.

We have adopted the Penpals Handwriting Scheme.

This was chosen for the following reasons:

  • Continuity of skills and progression from Reception through the Year 6.
  • Initial focus on building both gross and fine motor skills before children are expected to pick up a pencil.
  • Its continuation of the development of core strength skills, showing it’s understanding that handwriting is a whole-body process, and many skills required in creating fluent handwriting are not always developed fully in preparation for starting school. These skills are nurtured throughout KS1 as part of the scheme.


Please see the following guide for how we teach phonics and spelling:

Useful documents

Please find school documents relating to our english curriculum below: