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At Norman Pannell, in English, we intend to provide a curriculum that equips children with key life skills. We believe that good English skills are a necessary preparation to allow our pupils to effectively engage in further education and training, employment and ultimately achieve economic well-being. English also fosters the ability to use language purposefully and creatively, to encourage powers of imagination and to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding. The children can do this most effectively if they are taught how to speak it, understand it, read it and write it to a high standard across a wide range of purposes. 


Our children come to school with varying levels of language skills which we extend and deepen and provide them with a variety of language experience, gaining an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Every day, children use their knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of different situations: Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing and Spelling.


At Norman Pannell we use English, Year 1 and 2 Phonics and Spelling Toolkit plans produced by School Improvement Liverpool. We complement these by using a Quality Text Based approach when covering all of the objectives for each year group, as well as using Read and Respond for Guided Reading, Letters and Sounds for Phonics and a varied Reading Scheme.


At Norman Pannell we believe that Phonics is the children’s gateway to reading. We want all of our children to have the very best support when learning to read and write and therefore ensure that children receive high quality daily sessions in phonics from the moment they enter our school in Nursery.


Early Years, Key Stage One and selected children in Lower Key Stage 2 follow the Letters & Sounds and LA Phonics documentation for phonics. This involves teaching a daily four-part lesson with the children learning their phonics in 'phases' outside of the English hour. These schemes adopt the synthetic approach to teaching phonics. Children in Year 1 will sit the statutory phonics screening in June. Those who do not pass this in Year 1 will receive interventions in Year 2 and then resit the test at the end of Year 2. If a child then gets to Year 3 and they still have not passed the phonics screening, they will continue their phonics lesson in Year 3 which will also be supplemented by precision teaching and toe by toe.


Year 2-6 follow the local authority’s Spelling Toolkit Planning which is linked to National Curriculum requirements. This is taught daily, incorporated into the English lesson and assessed regularly. Spelling is tested and analysed termly using Nfer tests.


At Norman Pannell, reading is taught daily. Our children have access to a wide range of rich and challenging texts that cover an equally wide range of emotional, cultural and empathetic themes. Reading does not just take place in the reading sessions but throughout the whole curriculum. There is a combination of individual reading, group reading, whole class texts, home reading and reading for pleasure. Our English Curriculum is centred around quality texts.


Reading in Year 1, 3, 4 and 5 is assessed by doing termly Nfer tests that are tracked throughout the year in pupil progress meetings and also tracked year on year. The level awarded by the teacher at the end of the academic year is a combination of both summative test performance and teacher assessments. In Years 2 and 6 the children will sit SATS tests for reading which is also tracked throughout the academic year.

Class Texts:

Every half term, teachers create planning around a quality text. These texts are chosen by the class teacher and English lead and are sometimes chosen based on the class topic eg. Year 6 topic - The Victorians, Class Text – Street Child. Teachers will plan their genres around their texts, opportunities for comprehension and character analysis. The class text will underpin the whole of the English Curriculum, Reading, Speaking and Listening, SPAG and Writing.

Reading Scheme:

At Norman Pannell all of our books are organised and book banded, to ensure that children are reading at the appropriate level. We do not rely on one scheme, and instead want our children to read a wide range of books that are Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry and allow them access to a wide of different styles, genres and characters. We have books from the following schemes:

  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Floppy Phonics
  • Fireflies
  • Project X
  • Graphic Novels
  • Ginn
  • New way

Individual Readers:

We aim to listen to children read individually as often as possible. This is done by a range of people: Teachers, Teaching assistants, Students and Parent Volunteers. All stakeholders that are involved in reading are trained by the English Co-ordinator to be ‘reading experts’. We also promote peer on peer reading (Year 6 with Year 1) where possible.


During individual reading time, children will read their book from the reading scheme. Those who are falling behind are given extra support as and when is needed to ensure that they catch up quickly.

Home Reading – Advice for Parents and Carers

We would like to emphasise that teaching a child to read is a partnership between home and school.  We depend on parents to give children this individual time - just five minutes spent reading with your child each day helps to build the child's interest and confidence.  It is important that you talk about the book before and after you listen to the child read.  It is also important that this does not stop as soon as a child is able to read independently; discussion of plot, characters, etc. is very helpful even in Y6. All children are provided with a reading book and a home reading record. We ask that when you hear your child read you record it in the record book. This, along with their reading book needs to be returned to school each day, so children can continue to read this book in school and so teachers can monitor their progress.

Guided Reading:

Every child receives one guided reading session per week, delivered by their teacher. We use the Local Authority's Read and Respond planning, using quality text and carefully focused questions from all of the reading content domains. We also supplement this with a range of poetry and Non Fiction texts. Whilst the group are reading with their teachers, the rest of the class take part in a reading carousel, where they complete a range of activities that develop comprehension, vocabulary and word meaning.

Speaking and Listening:

We believe that before children can write, being able to articulate their ideas verbally is crucial. Our Quality text based planning places a huge focus on including drama and role play to explore imaginary situations. We also have regular class discussion and debates on topical or contentious issues, both parochial and world-wide, this is complimented by philosophy sessions that are delivered right across the curriculum. These type of activities allow the children to express their views and opinions. We also plan in opportunities for activities such as conscience alley, hot seating and interviewing as this is often a crucial part of the writing process.


Writing Process:

Writing at Norman Pannell is all taught alongside the quality text. Teachers use the Liverpool School Improvement Plans to select genres the link well to the text. Teacher will then follow our writing process for all genres: analyse the genre, highlight features of the genre, Reading comprehension of the genre, plan the write, write, edit and re-draft. A SPAG objective will also be selected and taught discreetly each week.


Writing is assessed solely by Teacher Assessment and is moderated internally and externally at the local authority standardisation sessions and local network cluster groups. SPAG in Year 1,3,4 and 5 is assessed by doing termly Nfer tests that are tracked throughout the year in pupil progress meetings and also tracked year on year. The level awarded by the teacher at the end of the academic year is a combination of both tests and teacher assessments. In Year 2 and 6 children sit SATS which is tracked throughout the year through pupil progress.