Didsbury Road Primary School

A Happy, Creative Learning Community showing kindness and respect to all.

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Subject Leaders: Jo Gibson, Yvonne Littlewood, Jennie Norbury ( DEAL) and Ruth Smith (Phonics and Early Reading)


"I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage." (Roald Dahl)

"Once you learn to read, you will be free forever." (Frederick Douglass)

"A book is a dream you hold in your hands." (Neil Gaiman)




At Didsbury Road Primary School we endeavour to provide a high-quality English curriculum in order for the children to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge that prepare them for their future through education and beyond. We strive to ensure that our children develop their love of reading, writing, speaking and listening to become happy and confident learners.



Teaching and learning in the subject 

Orientation - each classroom has an English working wall that displays key vocabulary and learning concepts from their current book stimulus or genre for writing. It is also a reference point for children to use. Classroom reading areas provide a diverse range of books for children to use and share and encourage children to read for pleasure.

Prior Knowledge - this is accomplished through our curriculum which builds and extends the children’s knowledge about different genres of writing and exposes them to a diverse range of literature. Genres are revisited and extended and vocabulary is linked to this. 

Presentation We link our English work with other subjects as much as possible and all writing is linked to a starter test. We give children a big picture about what their work is building up to and the journey to the finished piece of work. We break down work such as writing into smaller manageable chunks of learning and use DEAL (Drama, engagemetnt, active learning) strategies to give purpose to writing activities and engage the children’s interest.

Challenge - Lessons and tasks are designed to challenge pupils’ thinking and require research, reasoning and critical thinking. Pupils are encouraged to make connections with prior learning and other subjects and are given opportunities to apply knowledge that has been acquired in sorter tasks that build up to creating a finished piece of work. They will often work in pairs or small groups and learning partners will change frequently. Questioning is used by teachers to encourage the pupils to think more deeply and move their learning on.

Feedback - This is precise, timely and often ‘in the moment’. Teachers use direct verbal feedback to address misconceptions and move learning forward. Through group work, children develop their own ‘talk and feedback’ strategies as part of cooperative learning.

Repeat – This is done regularly to recall previous learning and build on it. Children need repetition in order for new learning such as phonic patterns or spellings to stay in their long term memory. They need opportunities to practise and reefing what they have learned.


English in EYFS

English is taught within the Communication and Language prime area of learning and also within the Literacy specific area of learning. Communication and language underpins all 7 areas of learning within the EYFS. Hiqh quality interactions with experienced practitioners form the foundations for language and cognitive development. We provide a language rich environment which supports high quality conversations while also broadening vocabulary. Through story-telling, conversations, DEAL and role-play children will have the opportunity to embed new vocabulary. Practitioners model language structure and children are encouraged to share ideas and engage in back and forth interactions. 

Within the Literacy specific area of learning we aim to engender a love of reading and provide reading and writing opportunties daily, both inside and out.  

Inclusion in the subject

See the attached document for adaptive teaching strategies in the areas of:

  • communication and interaction
  • cognition and learning
  • sensory and/or physical
  • social and emotional

What our pupils say about the subject 

DEAL is so much fun and while you’re having fun you’re learning ( Hannah year 5)

When you pretend to be a character you really understand how they would act and what they would say and you can use it in your writing ( Zoya Year 4)


Phonics at Didsbury Road