Balmoral Drive, Manchester, Lancashire, M34 2JX

0161 336 3409

Denton West End Primary School

Only our best is good enough



For further information please see the English Policy in the policies (curriculum and assessment policies) section of the website.


The study of English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, so using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.

Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking, reading and writing across a range of different situations.


The aims of English are:

  • to enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners;
  • to encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard;
  • to enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands;
  • to develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used;
  • to enable children to evaluate their own and others’ contributions through a range of drama activities;
  • to develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text-level knowledge;
  • to encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with engaging, enjoyable, challenging and lengthy texts;
  • to help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
  • to enable children to write with accuracy, meaning and purpose in narrative and non-fiction;
  • to increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work;
  • to enable children to write in a neat and fluid handwriting style and take pride in their presentation.

At Denton West End we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in English lessons, as stated by the National Literacy Strategy. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding in English. We do this through a daily lesson that has a high proportion of whole-class and group teaching. During these lessons children may experience a whole-class shared reading or writing activity, a whole-class focused word or sentence activity, a guided group or independent activity and a whole-class session to review progress and learning.

They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses, spelling books, phonics charts, working walls, word mats and phonic paddles to support their work. Children use ICT in English lessons where it enhances their learning, as in drafting their work and using multimedia to study how words and images are combined to convey meaning. Wherever possible we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum.

EYFS anD Key stage 1 reading schemes and phonic scheme

At Denton West End we believe that the ability to read opens the door to a rich world of books, knowledge and opportunity. Children can use their imagination to explore new worlds, to feel safe in familiar environments, to find out about different people and cultures and most importantly to enjoy!

We believe that:

  • Reading is a passport to the world.  The benefits of reading go beyond the opportunities offered by being well-read with a good command of English; 
  • Reading great literature opens children up to ideas, experiences, places and times they might never otherwise experience in real life;
  • Reading for pleasure gives opportunities to learn about a multitude of things that cannot be covered by a school curriculum;
  • Reading and books is at the centre of the curriculum;
  • Being able to read well is a key life skill for all children, whatever their background;
  • High quality phonics teaching is an essential part of teaching reading;
  • Decoding skills are vital for children to become confident and fluent readers;
  • Children need explicit teaching of comprehension skills to become real readers;
  • Every child can learn to read with the right teaching and support;
  • A love of reading can be taught and encouraged at school – just like any other area of the curriculum;
  • Children should have time to read independently, read aloud and be read to every day;
  • Reading for pleasure and reading for purpose are equally important;
  • Providing good quality reading resources is a priority;
  • Developing an environment which supports and encourages reading is vital;
  • Every teacher should be an advocate for reading;
  • Reading at home plays an essential role in developing enjoyment and self-esteem;
  • Staff should receive training so they are equipped to teach all aspects of reading and to develop children’s enjoyment of reading.

As soon as children come to Denton West End they are introduced to a wide variety of good children’s literature. We encourage the children to listen to stories and to handle books carefully. Story time takes place each day and through this, children are encouraged to respond and join in with familiar texts. This is the first step on the exciting journey of learning to read and one which continues throughout your child’s time at primary school.

We teach the children to read using a wide range of strategies. These include the teaching of phonics, identifying whole words, using picture cues, discussion about the text and predicting what might come next.

We use a variety of reading materials throughout school, including Big Cat Phonics, Word Sparks, Project X,  First Phonics, Pearson Bug Club, Reading Planet, Book Life, Navigator, Chucklers, Pocket Reads and Alien Adventures .  Our books are chosen because they are fun to read, colourful and appropriate to the age and development of the children. The first books that our children read are closely linked to their phonics knowledge and are phonetically decodable.

We use First Class Phonics to teach the children phonics.   This begins in nursery and develops listening skills in the early stages.  We use songs, rhymes and actions to help the children learn. They are taught how to blend and segment words to help them read and spell. The children enjoy these sessions which are timetabled daily in Early Years and Key Stage One.

Parents’ are encouraged to play an active part in helping their child to read. This can be through reading stories to their child on a regular basis, reading with them or listening to them read. We expect children to read at home and share their reading books with their parents. A little and often is best, especially in the early stages. It is important to remember that reading can include stories, poems, comics, fact books, magazines and newspapers. We also use Reading Eggs which is an online reading resource.

By working together, we hope that our children will read with confidence, enthusiasm and enjoyment. We want our children to be lifelong lovers of reading.


Reading is a priority at Denton West End.  Here are some of the things that we have and do to promote a love of reading:

We have - 

  • Two Reading Ambassadors in every class;
  • A termly reading challenge every term with a reward for those who succeed;
  • A book banded reading system which uses a variety of different schemes to capture the interest of all children;
  • Phonetically decodable rrading books;
  • Reading books that promote and celebrate diversity;
  • Two well resourced libraries;
  • A huge variety of guided reading books and resources;
  • Reading areas in all classrooms stocked with age appropriate books, newspapers and magazines;
  • Story time every day;
  • An author, poet or story teller visit at least once per year;
  • Phonics workshops, reading leaflets and information for parents;
  • As many reading volunteers as we can get to do additional reading with our children;
  • Recommended New Books Leaflets which we send out to parents;
  • ERIC (everyone reading in class) time most days;
  • Opportunities to celebrate reading events like World Book Day;
  • Opportunities to recommend books to each other.



This gives more information on reading at Denton West End



Learn and play.  Why not try these activities at home with your child?



Below are some leaflets with recommended new reading books for Early Years, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6.  There are some great new books on here! These leaflets will be updated throughout the school year (as well as being emailed to parents) so keep checking for new recommendations.


YEAR 1 and YEAR 2

YEAR 3 and YEAR 4

YEAR 5 and YEAR 6


Click on any of the pictures below. Sit down and relax and listen to the  story. We hope you enjoy them. Let your teachers know what you think.


Learning how to read can be quite complex and involves many different factors:


Here are all of the English units that are taught in each year group:

We LOve reading, writing AND PERFORMING at denton west end



The following website also gives parents advice on what children should be reading at different ages, ideas of what to read to your children and downloadable activities to promote vital communication and literacy skills from birth to age 11. WordsForLife

Holiday Reading

It’s important for children to rest and recharge over the holidays. But whether you’re taking a trip or staying home, there are lots of ways you can encourage your child to practise their reading, writing and communication skills over the break. This will help children boost their literacy skills over the holidays, and prevent the learning loss that can happen when they’re not at school.  

 Words for Life have put together a range of activities and ideas for your child to keep reading over the holidays.


For more information about the curriculum areas please contact the school