High Seaton, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 1NP

01900 66982


“Educating our children with the skills they need to live fulfilling lives.”

English Policy

Effective from: September 2021          Reviewed annually


At Seaton Academy we believe that the Literacy curriculum prepares all pupils to lead an enriched, fulfilling life by teaching the skills they need to communicate effectively and confidently with others, using the spoken and written word. We aim to promote a life-long love of reading which develops their cultural, emotional and intellectual awareness so they can participate fully in the world around them.


  • To develop in our pupils the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing, developing a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar.
  • To listen with understanding and use discussion in order to learn, explaining clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • To enable our children to become fluent and responsive readers.
  • To develop a lifelong love of reading and writing.

 To develop our pupils as Speakers and Listeners we:

  • Give them opportunities to express their ideas to a range of audiences.
  • Give them opportunities to take part in group discussion and drama activities.
  • Encourage them to listen and respond appropriately to others.
  • Help them to understand the need to adapt their speech to different situations.
  • Give them opportunities to evaluate and reflect on their own speech.
  • Encourage them to use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English whenever appropriate.

 To develop our pupils as Readers we:

  • Teach them to read accurately and fluently using a range of strategies.
  • Give individual reading targets to children.
  • Help them to understand and respond to what they read using inference and deduction where appropriate.
  • Allow the opportunity for children to reflect on and discuss what they have read, including the language and punctuation choices made by the author.  
  • Enhance their understanding of a variety of text types including non-fiction, fiction and poetry. 
  • Encourage them to develop a love of reading and become confident, fluent and independent. 
  • Explore new words and decipher their meaning using a dictionary.
  • Teach them how to seek information and learn from the written word.
  • Use drama and role-play, where appropriate, to engage children in the text.   

 To develop our pupils as Writers we:

  • Teach them to write effectively for a range of purposes and a range of reasons, adapting their vocabulary and style as appropriate.
  • Give individual writing targets to children.
  • Encourage them to write with interest, commitment and enjoyment.
  • Model how to write in a variety of forms such as stories, poems, reports and letters.
  • Demonstrate and allow opportunity to evaluate and edit in order to improve their own writing. 
  • Show them how to use punctuation to make meaning clear to their reader.
  • Give them the knowledge and the strategies to become confident and accurate spellers.
  • Use a dictionary and/or thesaurus to introduce and explore new words.
  • Teach them a fluent and legible style of handwriting, promoting an understanding of how to present work appropriately.  


Curriculum Organisation

In the Foundation Stage the skills of listening, attention, understanding and speaking are encompassed in the prime area of Communication and Language and are fundamental to allow children to be successful in all other learning.  In Key Stage 1 Reading and Writing skills are delivered through the specific area of Literacy and enhanced in cross - curricular activities.

Teachers provide activities which are interesting and motivating and provide the best context for increasing children’s knowledge about the English language.  It is also necessary to focus separately on aspects of knowledge about the language such as phonics and grammar so that children learn what they need to know in a systematic way.

Our teaching is planned from the Development Matters 2021 and the National Curriculum programmes of study. We plan literacy sessions flexibly and ensure that the appropriate balance of whole class, group and individual teaching is retained.  More time in the week is set aside for independent reading and writing when this is appropriate.

We make clear to children the qualities and success criteria we are looking for in their work. In Key Stage 1 children also have individual literacy targets in their books. Each child is given a reading diary for staff and parents to record the book title etc., to make comments in and to give pointers to help the child make progress with their reading. In each classroom there is a wide range of non-fiction and fiction books from a range of publishers, in each book band that children can choose from. We encourage children to read as regularly as possible with an adult at home.  

In the Foundation Stage the skills of listening, attention, understanding and speaking are encompassed in the prime area of Communication and Language and are fundamental to allow children to be successful in all other learning.  


In the Early Years early phonetic awareness is promoted and developed through every day activities and routines such as listening games, shared reading, singing and interactive planning sessions. Children are encouraged to listen for sounds and remember them, identify familiar letters in their name and hear the sounds these are making. In Reception and Key Stage 1 a programme of systematic, synthetic phonics is taught daily, adapted from Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics. Children are taught explicitly the corrospondence between phonemes and graphemes, as well as the skill of blending the individual sounds together to read decodable words. Word reading and spelling are 'reversible' so the children practise segmenting whole words into phonemes for spelling. Common exception words are taught systematically. A wide range of activities are used by practitioners to help children achieve the goal of fluent word recognition and successful spelling. Children are ability grouped in order to ensure good progress and maximise individual learning.

Throughout school, children are assessed at the end of each phonic phase and either move on to the next stage or repeat the same phase according to the level they have achieved. 

Towards the end of Year 1 all children will take part in the national phonics screening test. They will achieve either a pass or fail. If a child fails the screening test they will retake it in Year 2.

Grammar and Punctuation

In Nursery and Reception, children are introduced to the basic principles of grammar and punctuation appropriate for their age range. They learn through a wide range of activities such as: singing rhymes, conversations with adults, stories, interactive educational programmes, phonics, reading and writing. 

In Key Stage 1 a more formal approach is taken with weekly grammar and punctuation teaching taking place in phonic sessions. Children's learning is also supported through weekly spellings and in teacher led writing and reading activities.


Children in the Foundation Stage have their attainment on entry assessed by observations and their progress is tracked and monitored throughout Nursery and Reception using tDevelopment Matters 2021 document. The Foundation Stage profile, at the end of the Reception year will inform Year 1 teachers where a child is in readiness for Key Stage 1.

In Key Stage 1 children will be graded according to work produced, observations and discussions. Assessments will be highlighted onto Seaton Academy Assessment Performance Descriptors.

In Key Stage 1 children are involved in a range of self- assessment activities where they evaluate their own work according to a set of criteria. Individual targets are also given in Literacy books to help each child understand what they need to do in order to make progress 

Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

  • All children are given access to a broad and balanced English curriculum regardless of gender, ability, race or religion.
  • Provision will be made for individual needs in IEP’s.
  • Equal opportunities are provided for boys and girls, also for children with special needs, those who are talented or gifted and children from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Children with English as an additional language (E.A.L.) will be given access to additional resources and teaching to support their learning and to ensure they make maximum progress from their individual starting points. 
  • A feeling of self worth will be engendered throughout the activities.


  • Children with special needs will be identified and work within their individual level. If needed, they will have an IEP and work with support under the direction of the class teacher. A range of adapted literacy intervention programs run throughout Key Stage 1 for those who need extra help.   


Enrichment/Extension activities


Children will be encouraged to use and develop higher order thinking skills in reading in many subject areas (not exclusively Literacy)

Enrichment/extension activities will be used to broaden the child’s understanding and will not be next year’s work taught earlier. However, the next developmental steps needed to extend the child’s reading skills may require the promotion of comprehension/reading for understanding skills modelled and used in other areas of school.

Children will be encouraged and given opportunities to increase the breadth, depth and quality of their reading by:

  • Reading for different purposes such as to gather information  
  • Evaluating texts they have read
  • Practising their reading skills in meaningful and varied contexts
  • Further develop their reading skills by provision of cross curricular activities and opportunities


  • Writing

Children will be encouraged to use and develop higher order thinking skills in writing in many subject areas (not exclusively Literacy.)

Enrichment/extension activities will not be next year’s work. However the next developmental steps needed to extend and encourage the child’s individual skills may facilitate the need for the promotion of skills modelled and used in other areas of school.

Children will be encouraged and given opportunities to increase the breadth, depth and quality of their writing by:

  • Being given different reasons to write such as :reports, lists, stories, recounts, poetry, captions, instructions, labels, questions, messages, dictionaries and reviews.
  • Practising their writing skills in meaningful and varied contexts.  
  • Exploring the depth of a piece of writing. 
  • Reviewing a piece of writing and considering how to make it more interesting for the reader.
  • Using descriptive writing to create a specific mood. 
  • Further develop their writing skills by the provision of cross curricular activities and opportunities.

Children will be given opportunities to

  • Analyse
  • Evaluate
  • Synthesise

The above list is not exhaustive and is intended as a guideline only. The individual children that will benefit from such enrichment/extension activities are likely to have individual needs, gifts and interests and these could provide a variety of starting points.

The provision of any enrichment/extension activity should be both rewarding, challenging for the individual child and enjoyable.

The age of the child also needs to be considered. Young children need to develop their writing skills in an environment where writing skills are promoted, modelled, practised and valued.

All teaching staff will ensure that appropriate time and regular feedback will be given to children so they can learn to evaluate, edit and improve their own work in order to become successful writers.

Handwriting Targets– For end of each year


Correct pencil grip


Correct letter formation

Year 1

Correct formation of lowercase letters, correct formation for uppercase letters, all lowercase letters starting with an upstroke (more able), flicks on appropriate letters.

Year 2

Ability to write in a consistent size, in a neat, (joined- more able) hand using ascenders above and descenders below the line.


Health and Safety

  • All aspects of this policy and practice are carried out with regard to our health and safety procedures.
  • All relevant risk assessments should be read in conjunction with this policy.