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 English at Holly Meadows School

What does English look like at Holly Meadows?

English is a key life skill, which is essential for all aspects of everyday life. 

 English is embedded within our thematic, book-based curriculum to provide a rich context for learning. At Holly Meadows, we aim to ensure that all children:

 Read, write and speak fluently and communicate their ideas and emotions to others.

  • Develop a love for English through their enjoyment of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Develop skills to communicate effectively in speech and writing.
  • Listen with understanding.
  • Are responsive, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable readers

MATILDA by ROALD DAHL "The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives."

 Reading across the curriculum                                    

Reading for Pleasure

  • A love of reading is developed through the careful planning of high-quality texts from a variety of authors and genres, that will uncover new vocabulary and themes, opening discussions around the language of books.
  • Children to take part in: book talk, opportunities to read as a reader, read as a writer and listen to stories.
  • All children, from early readers to those who are fluent, have a rich and varied reading diet, which promotes both reading pleasure and an appreciation of the written word.
  • Each class has a dedicated, engaging reading area for children to access independently.
  • Across the school, every class is read to by an adult on a regular basis, fostering a love for reading by exposing the children to high quality literature.
  • Teachers model reading with fluency and expression in class and in reading assemblies.
  • In addition to taking a reading book home to share, children read across the curriculum in all subjects with the same expectations to apply their decoding and comprehension skills that they have practiced in their reading sessions across the curriculum.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”


Puffins Class - EYFS/Year 1 




Kittiwakes Class - Year 1/2

Avocets Class - Year 3/4

Oystercatchers Class - Year 4/5

Guillemots Class - Year 5/6

Images to follow

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”

Writing across the Curriculum

In addition to an English book, children write across the curriculum in all subjects with the same expectations for presentation, marking and feedback.

Puffins Class - EYFS/ Year 1


 Kittiwakes Class - Year 1/2

Year 1



Year 2


Avocets Class- Year 3/4

Oystercatchers Class - Year 4/5

 Guillemots Class - Year 5/6



“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

Handwriting across the Curriculum

 Puffins Class - EYFS

Correct letter formation is taught from Reception, aligned with the Little Wandle phonics scheme in phase order using Little Wandle handwriting scheme resources.

In EYFS, children focus on developing the necessary fine and gross motor skills in readiness for handwriting within their continuous provision. Children will spend time learning and practicing how to hold a pencil with a firm tripod grip and how to develop their formation correctly using Little Wandle letter formation phrases, modelling and formation sheets for lower case and capital letters. 

 Puffins and Kittiwakes – Classes Year 1  

  • In Year 1, when the children are secure with Little Wandle phase 2-3 letter formation, Handwriting is taught through the Collins scheme, adapted to use a lead out stroke only.
  • During Year 1, correct letter formation should become an automatic habit. At the very end of this year, children will begin to join some pairs of letters within a word if they are secure in their Little Wandle letter formation.

Year 2-6

 In Year 2 – Year 6, the Collins handwriting scheme is followed using a lead in and out stoke to aid fluent joining. The Collins scheme offers a clear progression through five developmental stages. It teaches children a fast and fluent handwriting style to help them achieve their potential in writing. Having a flexible, fluent and legible handwriting style empowers children to write with confidence and creativity. Handwriting is practiced both discretely and in the context of other learning. Associating handwriting movement with visual letter patterns and aural phonemes will help children learn to spell.
  • In Year 2, children will learn all of the basic handwriting joins. However, if children are not confident when forming all letters yet, they should concentrate on this before they worry about joining. Children will gradually be introduced to more pairs of letters that are joined in the same way. At first, they are only asked to copy joins that they have seen before, but gradually they are encouraged to explore and experiment, joining more and more letters with the joins they know.
  • During Years 3 and 4, pupils will be introduced to the idea of joining most of the letters in a word and to trickier joins such as joining from r, s and f. As the movement for joins becomes more familiar and fluent, the focus moves to develop a neat and even style by looking at size and proportion, parallel downwards strokes and spacing.
  • Year 5 sees children working on a more sloped style to enable speedier writing. All of the letters and joins taught previously will be revisited to enable children to practice the slope in familiar contexts.
  • In Year 6 children are at a stage where they develop a personal, fast, fluent and legible handwriting style. There is a focus on legibility and speed as well as styles and writing tools for different purposes. At the end of this year the expectation is that children maintain legibility, fluency and speed in handwriting.
       Click on these links to see examples