English at Holmbush

Literacy Leader: Mrs Amanda Hamlet

At Holmbush Primary Academy we believe that literacy is a fundamental skill, central to life-long learning.

Our goal is that every child by the age of 11 will be able to:

  • read independently, fluently and with good understanding at word, sentence and text level
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • appreciate the rich histories of literature
  • secure a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar
  • write and speak clearly and purposefully, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion and debate in order to extend their thinking and learning
  • use speaking and listening skills to explain clearly their understanding and ideas to others

The teaching of literacy at Holmbush Primary Academy is based on the Programmes of Study, as set out in the 2014 National Curriculum. We teach literacy daily, and opportunities to apply and develop these skills are interwoven throughout a creative, thematic curriculum.

Topics are linked with key texts, providing focus and inspiration for teaching and learning.

End of Year Expectations for each year group

How you can help at home

There are many simple ways that you will be helping your child with their literacy skills at home, without even realising it! Talking to your child will model the use of good grammar and introduce them to new vocabulary, helping them to develop their speaking and listening skills. Singing nursery rhymes with your child helps them to hear rhymes and rhythm in the spoken language – an important skill for spelling and phonics. Reading to your child will foster a love of books and talking about the story will help them develop good comprehension skills. It is important to continue to read to your child throughout their primary schooling, even when they have learnt to read themselves! Ensuring that your child sees you reading and writing for a variety of reasons will help make their learning have a purpose, and will be a good role model.

Tips for Parents by Jeremy Strong


We would like to encourage every child to read every day at home to help them develop their reading skills and their enjoyment of reading. This will encourage a good habit and offers a good break from ‘screen time’. Reading must be recorded in their reading card to ensure that children are rewarded for achieving at least 5 reads per week. In KS1 the focus is on ‘learning to read’ (e.g. decoding), the focus then shifts in KS2 towards ‘reading to learn’ (comprehension). The following leaflet explains how you can help your child:

How to help your child become a successful reader

Children can access ebooks through the following links:

Oxford Owl

Read for my School

Reading letter for parents


All pupils are a member of Holmbush Library and visit the library each week with their class.


Phonics is an important skill in learning to read. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme to learn phonics within the phonic phases and use actions and songs to support learning.

Jolly phonics YouTube

Phonic Parent Workshop

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Children will regularly bring spellings home to learn. Please support your child with this to ensure that they become confident spellers! The following spelling lists are taken from the National Curriculum:

Years 3-4 Spellings

Years 5-6 Spellings

Supporting your child with spelling

To help you understand the grammatical terminology children are expected to use, please click on the following link:

GPS Spelling


At Holmbush children learn to write by studying the writing of key authors and then using this to invent their own texts based on what they have learnt. There is a strong emphasis on orally rehearsing what they are going to write (Talk 4 Writing).

We teach a cursive script from EYFS and start to join up letters from Year 1.

Handwriting script