English at New City Primary School

Click to read our English Vision

Click to read the Primary National Curriculum for English

Click to read the curriculum overview for English

English is a core part of the whole curriculum at New City. Children are exposed to a number of high-quality texts from Nursery to Year 6 that build upon and widen their experiences as well as engage their learning.

Children learn about different characters and how to describe them, they become familiar with the key parts of the story and begin to use what they have learnt to write in a similar style to the author they are studying. Children are also encouraged to apply the skills they have learnt in their English lessons to Foundation subjects such as History, Geography and Religious Education.

Research is also encouraged through books and the internet where the children feel inspired and equipped to write about what they have found out. See some of our fantastic examples of the cross curricula displays in the gallery below.

Speaking and Listening

Developing key skills in Speaking and Listening are fundamental in providing the building blocks to promoting key oracy skills. This this fostered from our Early Years in Nursery and Reception and right up to Year 6. Opportunities to nurture and grow these skills are incorporated throughout the English curriculum as well as our wider broad and balanced Curriculum.


From Nursery to Year 1, children have Phonics lessons every morning. We use Jolly Phonics which helps children to learn their sounds while having fun.

During their lessons children learn all the sounds needed to be able to read and then apply these in their English lessons. Children learn the skills of segmenting words down into the individual sounds and then blending them together to read the whole word. At the end of Year 1 most children take part in a Phonics Screening Test.

Phonics overview - NurseryReception | Year 1


Children at New City read every day and as often as possible. We want to promote and embed a ‘Pleasure for Reading Culture’ that will encourage life-long skills to promote inquisitive, confident independent learners through a passion and enjoyment for reading.

The children have daily Shared Reading sessions as well as every year group being read to by their teacher every day. In addition, the children have access to a range of texts that they can take home for home reading with parents. All children also have access to an exciting programme called Bug Club. This is an online system where children can read hundreds of books suited to their level that can supplement their opportunities and access to reading further.

We encourage the children to read every week as part of their homework and children can take books home to enjoy. Children are rewarded on a weekly basis in assembly for their effort and hard work in reading. We also have a well-stocked library and reading areas which children can use during lunchtimes and after school. In addition, we have established links with our local public library where our children have visited and attended workshops and taken part in Reading challenges over the holidays. We were the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge winners with most children completing the challenges in Plaistow as well as all the schools in Newham.

More information about the Summer Reading Challenge can be found by clicking on the link.


At New City children begin writing from Nursery where they develop their fine motor skills. From Reception to Year 6 children explore different genres of writing and record every day. 

We encourage purposeful opportunities to inspire writing through cross-curricular links, visits, planned workshops, topical events and relative real-life experiences.

We have high expectations of our children and this is shown in the pride they have of their work.

We try to incorporate writing in all other subjects to maintain high standards. Presentation is an important factor of our school and we reward children with neat handwriting weekly in assembly with a Golden Pencil Award.

Competitions / Events

We celebrate, participate and hold events throughout the year to support children with their English.

Here are but a few:

  • World Book Day
  • Book Bus
  • local Spelling Bee
  • ‘Every Child A Theatre Goer’ 
  • Pantomime visit
  • Author visits/workshop
  • Debate Mate
  • Poetry competition
  • After school clubs

Writing at New City Spring 2022

At New City, our vision for writing is to develop children as authors and embed writing as a lifelong skill, which enables our learners to access the curriculum and succeed in the wider world as global citizens.

Our writing curriculum is developed following a sequential and progressive approach to meet and exceed National Curriculum expectations by covering a broad and balanced range of texts, genres and authors, relevant to children’s background, interests and linked to the broader curriculum.

Our planning and teaching weekly cycle incorporates a writing cycle as follows: EYFS and Year 1 practice weekend news and retelling, description and changing the narrative of a familiar story (our children begin describing characters and retelling stories in Nursery!)
In the Early Years, phonics sessions take place daily (following the programme Jolly Phonics). Year 2 do a weekly retell of the story they are learning, followed by a grammar and short write session and begin to edit and improve their work which will prepare them for Key Stage 2.

From Years 3 to 6, weekly lessons include a grammar and short write (linked to the subsequent long write), a long write and an editing and improving lesson.

Grammar and spelling are carefully and sequentially planned to reflect the National Curriculum expectations as well as be applicable to the text and genre being covered; spelling and grammar rules are taught every day at the beginning of the lessons and embedded in the subsequent learning.

Below are some examples of our children’s fantastic writing work.