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Portway Infant School

Learning, Caring, Sharing

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Leaders are determined that pupils will develop a love of reading. The newly designed
library provides pupils with a vibrant environment where they can read the books they
choose. The school also works with parents and carers to promote the value of reading.

OFSTED September 2023

English In Action At Portway Infant School


Throughout the school, the English curriculum enables children to develop the necessary skills to become successful readers and writers and we place a high emphasis on enjoyment of the subject too. Alongside the teaching of reading, phonics, grammar, spelling and creative writing, we also encourage good speaking and listening skills.


The curriculum is delivered in a variety of ways such as; whole class teaching, paired, group and independent learning. 



Our reading scheme consists of texts from Oxford Reading Tree, Collin's Big Cat and Unlocking Letters and Sounds. All of our books are carefully matched to phonic phases from our phonics scheme 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds.' We recommend that children read each book three times and read at home at least four times a week because we know that this has a huge impact on their fluency, enjoyment and comprehension. We have a reading reward system where children earn a badge when they have read 25 and 50 times at home and then they can choose brand new book to take home when they have read 100 times. 


In order to encourage a life-long love of reading, the children take home a 'Dream Book' from their class book corner, they visit the school library to borrow books for their classroom, they have daily story-time and they enjoy DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) throughout the week.


We are fortunate to have a team of volunteers comprised of parents and grandparents who visit regularly to listen to children read. Staff are keen readers and attend book clubs for children's literature after school to make sure we are getting the most up to date quality texts for our children.  


We have a fantastic local library at Park Farm. We encourage our families to visit as they have a wonderful range of children's books.



Across school our writing scheme is called 'The Write Stuff.' It was created by Jane Considine and is a programme that is designed to sharpen the teaching and learning of writing within your child's class. We are passionate about writing and know the benefits it has consolidating information in to the long-term memory. The ethos around the write stuff is that children from Foundation Stage to Year 2 are exposed to rich vocabulary and are given the opportunity to use these when writing sentences. We plan in exciting experience days and independent writing opportunities within a unit of learning to enhance the quality of the writing experience. The Write Stuff covers all National Curriculum outcomes for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and meets these through the teaching of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. 



As a school we use the "Achieving Excellence in Handwriting" scheme by Martin Harvey to teach handwriting. We believe that teaching handwriting effectively impacts the wider curriculum and the development of the whole child offering, among others the following benefits:

  • When children can write autonomously, they can concentrate on what to write rather than how to write so their ideas and writing content will improve.
  • A significant impact on children's self-esteem when they see beautiful writing which they have created with their own hand.
  • The huge effect of good handwriting on children's motivation and enjoyment for writing.
  • Develops a strong sense of pride which cannot be measured by attainment level or standardised testing.
  • Where children have good handwriting, and are proud of how their work looks, they become far more meticulous about spelling, punctuation, grammar and their use of language.
  • When children take care to produce beautiful work, they are more likely to take care in other areas of their life e.g care for resources, care for each other.


At the start of every handwriting lesson across school all children take part in a Funky Fingers activity. 

Funky Fingers is a series of fun activities for children to build up their upper body strength (gross motor skills) and finger/hand strength and control (fine motor skills). There are all sorts of activities that we do across school including talking tennis balls, peg boards and funky scissor skills. 


We celebrate handwriting through the use of writer of the month displays and 'Handwriting Hero' certificates in our weekly celebration assemblies. 



English Curriculum Map

Spelling requirements for Year One

Spelling requirements for Year Two