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Hever Church of England Aided Primary School

A small school that offers your child outstanding learning opportunities


Literacy at Hever


Language is at the centre of identity, culture and learning. (David Allen)


Mastery of language facilitates communication and expression of thought, beliefs, concepts and feelings.


English language is the foundation for almost all learning which takes place in school, and communication within and beyond school.


The National Curriculum (2014) clearly states that teaching the English language is an essential, if not the most essential role of a primary school.


At Hever School, we recognise that without effective communication little achievement can be made. We therefore have a duty to ensure that English teaching is a priority; is necessarily cross-curricular and a constant through-out school life. It is part of the ‘essential knowledge’ (p6 National Curriculum) that is needed in society:


Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.’ (p10 National Curriculum)


We concur in the National Curriculum’s assertion that ‘pupils…who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised’ (p13 )



Hever Primary School Reading Scheme: Bug Club


Hever Primary School Phonics Scheme: Bug Club with support from Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics.




  1. That the teaching of English should uphold our core values of Love, Respect and Wisdom,
  2. That all students will be taught the necessary skills to use English effectively, confidently and accurately to the best of their ability,
  3. All students will be encouraged and expected to apply these skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts, for a range of purposes and to different audiences.
  4. Students will be encouraged to explore language experiences for the purpose of communication and enjoyment.


Spoken Language


We believe that students of every age need to express themselves orally in a respectful manner, adapting their style to the purpose and audience. Spoken language skills are fundamental not only to the effectiveness of teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum, but also for the emotional development and well-being of the students.


The National Curriculum states that pupils should be ‘taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently in Standard English’ (p10) They should:

  • Justify ideas with reasons

  • Ask questions to check understanding

  • Develop vocabulary and build knowledge



Our connected provision for spoken language:


We encourage our pupils to speak clearly and confidently and articulate their views and opinions. We teach students how to express themselves orally in a respectful manner, matching their style and response to audience and purpose. We provide varied opportunities for listening and responding to literature, giving and receiving instructions. Students are provided with activities and opportunities to develop the skills of participating effectively in group discussions.


Ways in which we support the development of spoken language include:


  • Activities which are planned to encourage full and active participation by all children, irrespective of ability

  • Children with specific speech and language and auditory problems are identified and specialist help sought, where appropriate

  • Encouraging talk-time through ‘show and tell’ which is shared in class

  • Activities that facilitate talking about books

  • Public speaking: poetry recitals; assemblies; worship; school shows

  • Class debates

  • Events within the wider community

  • School Council

  • Drama / role play

  • PSHE and circle time



Reading is an essential skill for lifelong learners and has a direct effect upon progress in many curriculum areas.

Hever students are encouraged to develop an enthusiastic, independent and reflective approach to reading.


The National Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it ‘pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually’ (p13) Reading allows pupils to ‘acquire knowledge’ and to ‘build on what they already know’ (p13). Schools are expected to have library facilities and support and encourage reading at home.


    The New National Curriculum divides reading skills into two strands:

  • Word reading/ Decoding

  • Comprehension


Our connected provision for Reading:

  • Students in Early Years and Keystage 1, begin their learning to read journey with daily phonics, using a combination of Bug Club Phonics, Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics

  • Students learn to read through daily phonics in Key Stage 1, regular reading to adults in school, and incentives to read at home

  • Guided reading is used to teach decoding and comprehension on a daily basis throughout the school

  • Students develop comprehension skills using the Bug Club Reading scheme. We have adopted this to meet the needs of all students. In essence, pupils have access to eBooks, banded by reading ability. They often study books which are more challenging than those which they might be able to read independently. Assessment of comprehension is an integral part of the scheme and used to track progress

  • Students are also encouraged to read from a wide range of texts: fiction, non-fiction and poetry from library visits and high quality attractive books in classrooms

  • Students are encouraged to read for pleasure using quiet reading time, being read to by or reading to an adult, and by taking part in special reading events such as book day, book fair week and readathons.



At Hever, we recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We understand that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We are also aware that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise students at every stage of it.


Ways in which we support the development of Reading include:



  • Guided reading

  • Reading for pleasure, quiet reading time, being read to by or reading to an adult, taking part in special reading events such as book day, book fair week and readathons

  • Students are exposed to a range of texts from British heritage and those of other cultures during their school career

  • Students enjoy a reading-rich environment; they have generous access to reading material in inviting book corners in classrooms and in our well-stocked school library, manned by staff, volunteers and trained student librarians

  • Reading ambassadors - students with a particular passion for reading - lead whole school initiatives. They also promote reading in the wider community by writing reviews for publishing companies and sharing these with the school and in reading magazines and journals

  • We publish recommended reading lists online with www.lovereading4schools which provides parents with appropriate reading suggestions by Year Group, as well as access to highly discounted books to purchase

  • Visits by published authors of fiction, non-fiction and magazines are a regular part of the Hever academic year

  • Hever School actively supports and participates in the annual Chiddingstone Literary Festival



Writing is a developmental process; students require frequent opportunities to write for a range of purposes and to experiment with different forms. We aim for Hever students to become confident, independent writers who are reflective about the process, content and accuracy of their written communication.


The National Curriculum states that pupils should:

  • Develop the stamina and skills to write at length
  • Use accurate spelling and punctuation
  • Be grammatically correct
  • Write in a range of ways and purposes including narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations
  • Write to support their understanding and consolidation of what they have heard or read


The 2014 National Curriculum divides writing skills into two strands:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas in speech and writing)



Our connected provision for Writing:

  • Students are taught either in year or class groups

  • Teachers provide differentiated work where necessary to individuals or groups within the class

  • We teach SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) as a separate lesson where necessary

  • We have a systematic approach, we revisit key learning and build upon it in all areas from phonics, through to grammar and spelling

  • We use high quality texts, meta, modelled and shared or collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice

  • We use Pearson’s ‘Grammar Bug’ as a teaching and learning resource, which has formative and summative assessments inbuilt

  • We encourage and promote ‘talk for writing’

  • We provide writing frames to support mastery

  • We provide time for students to plan, edit and revise

  • We mark extended pieces of work in-depth and set targets which are in the English exercise books

  • We use success criteria checklists for pupils to self assess or peer assess, when appropriate so they can self-evaluate effectively

  • We encourage joined handwriting from KS1 to support spelling and speed; pen licenses are presented to any student who has mastered legible and accurate cursive (joined up) handwriting

Hever Primary School Reading Scheme: Bug Club


Hever Primary School Phonics Scheme: Bug Club with support from Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics.


To find out more about these schemes, please speak to your child's class teacher.