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At Tooting Primary School we believe that all children should grow into confident speakers, readers and writers and possess the skills and knowledge in English to be successful in life. We work hard to foster a love of learning and to expose children to experiences that engage them in this subject. We aim to ensure that pupils at Tooting Primary School speak, read and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions effectively.

English lessons:

At Tooting Primary School, we are passionate about engaging pupils in the richness and diversity of literature and strive to give pupils access to a wide range of learning opportunities in English lessons. We use a text base approach and ensure high-quality texts are used in lessons, stimulating pupils’ imaginations and exposing them to an extensive vocabulary. Lessons are well-planned to meet the needs of all of the children and focus on key objectives so pupils are clear on the learning that is taking place and can take responsibility for their own progression.

Spoken language:

At Tooting Primary School, we understand the importance of effective communication and work hard to ensure that our pupils develop their speaking and listening skills so they can articulate their ideas concisely, work collaboratively and use language in a precise way. Partner talk, whole class discussion and group work are an essential part of lessons and pupils are encouraged to use oral rehearsal before writing.


We use the Read Write Inc. phonics programme to ensure a consistent approach to teaching phonics across the school. Our teachers and teaching assistants are well-trained to deliver high-quality lessons and we work closely with parents, through workshops and homework tasks, to ensure they can support their children in this key area of learning. We use a range of resources to engage pupils and use timely assessments to tailor our teaching to individual pupils. Pupils in Year One are well-prepared for the phonics screener.

Phonics interventions continue in to KS2 through the Freshstart programme.


We use the Letterjoin programme to develop basic letter formation in Tooting Primary School and give pupils time to practise their handwriting regularly. We expect a high standard of presentation in Tooting Primary School and encourage all pupils to work neatly in their books, using incentives such as handwriting and presentation awards. All pupils are expected to use cursive script when writing.


Regular reading is an essential part of English at Tooting Primary School, with an emphasis placed on the enjoyment and purpose of reading.  

Children have a daily guided reading lesson where they read and discuss their class book for that term. This then becomes the stimulus for the writing lesson that follows. Our books are chosen by careful consideration of our community and the topic that the children are studying in their creative curriculum.


At Tooting Primary School, writing is often linked to texts, providing a rich stimulus to inspire pupils. Writing has a clear purpose and pupils understand and apply the the skills that they are taught in order to produce high-quality work. All children are given the opportunity to develop their basic skills in handwriting, spelling and grammar whilst also learning about the importance of composition and effect. The writing that pupils produce is valued and displayed and pupils are given the opportunity to share their work with an audience.

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Phillip Pullman