English sits at the heart of the primary curriculum and at Portreath Primary School we value our children’s right to be literate and to enjoy literature. All at Portreath Primary School recognise the central importance of English. Gaining and using skills in language not only affects the child’s progress in school, but also has a profound influence upon the course of his or her whole life. We aim to develop pupils’ abilities in Speaking & Listening, Reading & Writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum.


Pupils at Portreath Primary School will leave Year 6:

  • Being able to spell, punctuate, edit to a suitable standard
  • Being able to compose pieces of text for a variety purposes and audiences
  • Reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning including self-monitoring and correcting their own errors
  • With a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment
  • With an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in relation to grammatical terminology
  • Understanding a range of text types, media types and genres
  • Able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation
  • Using their developing creativity, imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
  • Having a suitable technical vocabulary to respectfully articulate their responses in a discussion

For more details please click on the link below for our English policy:

English Policy Portreath April 2019

Portreath School places great emphasis on ‘every child a reader’. We understand that educational success is more easily achieved by those children who read readily and fluently. We are determined to teach every one of our children to read and the emphasis in our KS1 classes is on providing our children with rich opportunities to talk, listen and build as wide a vocabulary as possible to form a solid foundation for reading, writing and spelling.

Our KS1 children are taught Phonics systematically and rigorously using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Read Write Inc is the scheme by which our children initially learn the sounds of letters.  Read Write Inc continues to build on the children’s growing knowledge in a systematic way and close tracking of individual achievements ensures no child is left behind.  Parents share in their child’s journey and a meeting takes place at which this system is introduced in detail and allows parents to ask any questions.

Letters and Sounds: Phases of Development

Please click on the links to below to see the details of each Phase:

Phase One

By the end of phase 1 children will have experienced a wealth of listening activities including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend (put back together) and segment (separate) words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming words, but inability to do this does not prevent moving on to Phase Two as these speaking and listening activities continue.

Phase Two

By the end of Phase Two children should:

  • Give the sound when shown any phase two letter, securing first the starter letters s, a, t, p, i, n
  • Find any Phase Two letter, from a display, when given the sound;
  • Be able to orally blend and segment CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) words
  • Be able to blend and segment in order to read and spell (using magnetic letters) VC (Vowel Consonant) words such as: if, am, on, up, and silly names such as ip, ug, and ock
  • Be able to read the five tricky words: the, to, I,  no, go
Phase Three

By the end of Phase Three children should:

  • Give the sound when shown of all, or most,  Phase Two and Phase Three graphemes (letters);
  • Find all or most Phase Two and Phase Three graphemes, from a display, when given the sound;
  • To be able to blend and read CVC words (i.e. single-syllable words consisting of Phase two and Phase Three graphemes);
  • Be able to segment and make a phonemically plausible attempt at spelling CVC words (i.e. single-syllable words consisting of Phase Two and Phase Three graphemes)
  • Be able to read tricky words he, she, we, me, be, was, my you, her, they, all, are;
  • Be able to spell tricky words the, to, I, no, go
  • Write each letter correctly when following each model.
Phase Four

By the end of Phase Four children should:

  • Give the sound when shown any Phase Two and Phase Three grapheme;
  • Find any phase Two or Phase Three grapheme, from a display, when given the sound;
  • Be able to blend and read words containing adjacent consonants;
  • Be able to segment and spell words containing adjacent consonants;
  • Be able to read the tricky words some, one, said, come, do, so were, when, have, there, out, like, little, what;
  • Be able to spell the tricky words  he, she, we , me, be, was, my, you, her, they, all, are;
  • Write each letter, usually correctly.
Phase Five

By the end of Phase Five children should:

  • Give the sound when shown any grapheme that has been taught;
  • For any given sound, write the common graphemes;
  • Apply phonic knowledge and skill as the prime approach to reading and spelling unfamiliar words that are not completely decodable
  • Read and spell phonetically decodable two-syllable and three syllable words;
  • Know and use in spelling words phonemes (letter sounds), consonant digraphs (two letters making one sound), vowel digraphs and rules and guidance which have been taught;
  • Form each letter correctly


If difficulties or barriers to progress are identified additional resources are put in e.g additional adult help, targeted group or 1: 1 work and close monitoring of the effectiveness of this additional support takes place.

Reading for pleasure is emphasised across the academic year and across the school. Book Weeks, ‘Snuggledown’ (an evening on which children return to school to listen to stories at bedtime read by staff and Governors), Class Readers, the school Library (maintained by a Teaching Assistant and parent helper) a mobile Book Shelf utilised at lunchtimes, Book Corners and Book Displays all contribute to a whole school emphasis on the importance of reading.

Children select Home- School reading books from coloured banded boxes, graded according to difficulty. Once children are fluently reading they are directed to select appropriate paperbacks from the Library before becoming a ‘free reader’.

Children are encouraged to read at least four times per week, as part of their homework, and there are various reward systems in place to encourage children to read regularly e.g. ‘Karate Reading’.

Recommended reads link for each year group

Reception: www.booksfortopics.com/reception

Year 1: www.booksfortopics.com/year-1

Year 2: www.booksfortopics.com/year-2

Year 3: www.booksfortopics.com/year-3

Year 4: www.booksfortopics.com/year-4

Year 5: www.booksfortopics.com/year-5

Year 6: www.booksfortopics.com/year-6

Recommended reads for child wellbeing:

Recommended Reads for Wellbeing


At our school, children are taught the skills of reading comprehension through the use of VIPERS. All children will be working on VIPERS during class reading, whether it is reading as a class, in a small group, or one-to-one with an adult. It would be fantastic if parents could also be referring to VIPERS when they listen to their child read at home.

This poster is displayed in all classrooms. Up to the end of Year 2, the ‘S’ stands for ‘Sequence’. Once children move into Year 3, the ‘S’ stands for ‘Summarise’.

If we ensure that children are competent in all of these reading skills, we are covering all of the National Curriculum requirements and enabling them to be strong, confident readers. This acronym is just a great way of helping children and parents to remember what these vital skills are.

Question Openers

VIPERS can be used on any text that a child is reading, as well as on pictures, picture books and films! When any adult is listening to a child read, all they have to do is think of questions about the book/picture/film that cover all of the VIPERS, and there are great examples below of how you can create your own questions using the following question openers.

EYFS – Y2 Y3 – Y6
Vocabulary What does the word ….. mean in this sentence?

What does this word or phrase tell you about …..?

What do the words ….. and ….. suggest about the character, setting and mood?

Find one word in the text which means …..

Which word tells you that …..?

Infer Why was …..? feeling …..?

What do you think the author intended when they said …..?

How can you tell that …..?

What impression of …..? do you get from

these paragraphs?

Predict What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?

What is happening? What do you think happened before?

Do you think ….. will happen? Yes, no or maybe?

Explain your answer using evidence from the text.

What does this paragraph suggest will happen next? What makes you think this?

Explain Who is your favourite character? Why?

Is there anything you would change about this story?

Do you like this text? What do you like about it?

The mood of the character changes throughout the text.

Find and copy the phrases which show this.

How does the author engage the reader here?

Why is the text arranged in this way?

Retrieve How many …..?

What happened to …..?

How would you describe this story/text? What genre is it? How do you know?


What happened after …..?

What was the first thing that happened in the story?

Can you summarise in a sentence the opening/middle/end of the story?

In what order do these chapter headings come in the story?