At Dukesgate Academy we endeavour to create a love for literacy. We want all children to leave our school with a knowledge of classic and modern fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. They will develop a love of reading and books. Our children will leave us as clear communicators, both in written and spoken English. They will understand that writing has a purpose, and will have a range of writing experiences during their school career.

We want every child to leave us with the skills of an excellent writer who:

  • has the ability to write with fluency and has an author’s voice
  • can think about the impact they want their writing to have on the reader and knows how they will achieve this
  • has a sophisticated bank of vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description
  • can structure and organise their writing to suit the genre and include a variety of sentence structures
  • displays excellent transcription skills which ensure their writing is well presented, neat, punctuated and spelled correctly
  • re-reads, edits and improves their writing so every piece they produce the best they can do and better than the last.

Throughout their time at Dukesgate Academy, children develop their skills by exploring a range of different genres, with a focus on exploring various models of excellence and using these to guide the drafting and editing process. It is important to note that we develop a real enjoyment of writing not only in English lessons but in all subjects across the curriculum. We expect the highest standards of writing every time a child writes in any subject. We expect our children to become confident and articulate speakers so our curriculum is full of opportunities for speaking and listening. Our children debate and discuss, use drama, contribute to presentations and work collaboratively to develop their mastery of the spoken word. They listen to stories and learn to listen to the teacher and one another carefully.


English is comprised of speaking and listening, reading and writing. It is taught daily. Our teaching of reading revolves around high quality, wider-curriculum-linked texts and it promotes the importance and a love of reading to all. Our pupils have a whole class reading lesson every day which is skill focused, inclusive and immersive. Reading is a prominent part of each day: daily reading lessons, independent reading and reading in the wider curriculum and story time. In Early Years and Key Stage One, children learn to decode through the Read, Write Inc phonics programme. Pupils are immersed in texts with the focus on rich vocabulary development, enhancing background knowledge and developing key reading strategies.

Our writing lessons are linked closely to reading, where pupils develop their writing using high quality texts. A well-chosen text provides rich language models and structures from which children can learn how writing works and the effect it can have on a reader. With a rich diet of quality texts and enriching experiences, children will be able to find their own reasons to write, and develop a style that fits the purpose, audience and form intended. We expect that:

  • children can understand and apply the fundamental principles of spelling grammar and punctuation in their writing.
  • children can evaluate, improve and redraft their writing.
  • children are responsible, competent, confident and creative writers.
  • children develop an author’s voice.
  • children communicate clearly using accurate grammar, punctuation, handwriting and spelling.
  • children will develop competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) at national expectation and at greater depth.

Teachers are provided with three additional planning days per year, in addition to their PPA, to plan their curriculum. Teachers need to plan the following:

  • A medium-term literacy overview
  • A short-term weekly plan that includes the vocabulary to be taught, along with the spelling focus. We follow the spelling programme from Purple Mash.
  • Trips and visiting experts who will stimulate and focus creative writing experiences

All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of Pupil Premium funding may have additional or different work to their peers, depending on their needs, in order to access the curriculum. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum which provides children with a range of opportunities to enable them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.


Our Writing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum using the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
  • Pupil voice interviews
  • Termly Progress in Reading Assessment (PIRA) - this is a suite of termly standardised reading tests which enable school to track progress, predict future performance and benchmark against national averages
  • Termly assessment of Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GAPS)
  • Termly teacher assessment of writing
  • Pupil Moderation staff meetings where pupils books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their classes' work
  • Moderation of children’s work at the end of each Key Stage
  • Formal reporting of standards at the end of each Key Stage
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents

English Curriculum KS1 and KS2

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