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Trotts Hill Primary School and Nursery


Reading Champions, 2022-2023: 'Our greatest achievement this year has been encouraging people to read more, for example by launching the 'Pick a poem' competition.'

Intent of our English curriculum 


We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We use the materials provided by Herts for Learning to support us with our planning which ensures our English curriculum provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our curriculum, supported by the materials from Herts for Learning, align with the National Curriculum for English 2014.


We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities such as WOW days, which will help them to:


● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
● write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Implementation of our English curriculum


Each class from Year 1 upwards visit our main school library each week where they are able to choose a non fiction book. These books have recently been updated to ensure that they reflect the world we live in. Children are supported to choose books linked to all areas of the curriculum through the organisation of the books into genres. Each classroom has its own reading area and children in all classes are able to choose reading books from within their classroom. 


Children read books from our book banded reading scheme until they become a free reader. When they become a free reader, they are able to choose freely from the fiction library. Further information about how reading is taught is detailed below. 


We use the Herts for Learning units which are sequenced so that children are taught the reading and writing skills linked to fiction, non-fiction and poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum. We teach handwriting using Letterjoin materials which we have whole school access to. In addition parents and carers have access to Letterjoin to support further learning at home. We teach Spellings using Twinkl spelling materials, with interventions for children who are not able to access the age related spellings. These are tested on a regular basis but we maintain a focus on application in written work as well as performance in spelling tests. 


Teachers use real life experiences or rich texts to inspire pupils. We promote reading widely and often as we know that those children who read a wide variety of high quality texts are much better placed to write in an engaging and exciting way.  As with other areas of the curriculum, we have regular WOW days linked to our English teaching. These have included days linked to Traction Man and Fairy Tales. 


Children are given lots of opportunities to talk, ask and answer questions and present to an audience. This includes presentations as part of project work and also productions where children are able to perform to a live audience. The school follow Hertfordshire guidelines for the teaching of speaking and listening. We use the WellComm speech and language toolkit for both screening and intervention in speech and language skills as we know that an unaddressed delay in language skills can lead to underperformance throughout primary school and beyond. 


We use tight Learning Intentions and Success Criteria to support children when we are writing so that they are able to self access against the learning objectives and ensure that they develop a sound command of the components of each genre of writing. 


Through the use of the materials from Herts for Learning, there is a clear pathway of progression. We use phonic, reading and spelling trackers to monitor progress. We also moderate writing using age related expectations each term both within our school and through local authority and teaching school moderation events.

Impact of our English curriculum


Our well planned and sequenced English curriculum has resulted in a school community who value and promote reading and writing. Our pupil group of Reading Champions, promote reading across the school which is enhanced by a range of WOW days and immersive experiences. Children are given a wealth of opportunities to write for a purpose in all aspects of the curriculum as well as in their English lessons. 


Children in our school achieve highly in the Phonics Screening check and in the KS1 and KS2 assessments. 


73% of pupils achieved the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check in Summer Term 2023. 


At Key Stage One, 67% of pupils met the expected standard or above in Reading, with 27% working at greater depth. In Writing, 63% met the expected standard or above, with 13% working at greater depth. 


At Key Stage Two, progress in Reading (3.4) was significantly above the national average. 

Attainment at the expected standard in Reading (96%) was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools. Attainment at the high standard in Reading (52%) was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools.


Progress in Writing (2.9) was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools. 

Attainment at the expected standard in writing (96%) was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools.  Attainment at greater depth in writing (30%) was significantly above the national average and in the highest 20% of all schools. 

English Curriculum Maps 

Documents sent home regarding reading in our school

How we teach children to read (including phonics)


When children start in Nursery, we begin our phonics teaching using Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds. This is the building blocks of learning to read where children learn to hear and identify sounds around them, before moving on to hearing sounds within words. Our EYFS team support families to develop early reading skills.


As children move into Reception, we move into Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds. We teach phonics using Monster Phonics, which was new to our school in September 2021. We continue to move through the phases using Monster Phonics until the end of Year 2. For children who require further phonic support in Key Stage 2 and beyond we run phonic interventions.  We track progress in phonics using a phonics tracker which enables us to ensure that children are acquiring the skills and ability to use phonics to read. 


Every child from Reception to Year 2, and those children in Key Stage Two who require them, are given a phonetically decodable reading book alongside their book banded reading book. These reading books are aligned to the phonics that children know and can read using their phonics.  Children are heard to read regularly in school and books are changed when they have been read and practised at home. 


We involve parents and carers in the process of supporting children to learn to read. We ask parents to read with their child at least 5 times each week and we contact parents where home reading is an issue to provide support.  


How we encourage a love of reading


We place a high priority on reading and enjoyment of reading, this has been one of our whole school focuses. Over the last few years we have taken part in several whole school projects linked to a love of reading. 


From the start of their time at Trotts Hill, children are exposed to high quality texts read to them by teachers and teaching assistants. We have recently invested in new books to enhance library areas.  We have a main fiction and a non fiction library and our non fiction books are aligned to all areas of the curriculum. 


We believe it is vital that texts are relevant to children and their lives. We launched a library wishlist to our school community where we invited people to buy a new book for our school library. These books were selected using the Book Trust website and feature themes relevant to our school community and the world that our children are living in. We know it is important that children are provided with engaging, inspiring texts to foster a love of reading. 


As a school we always celebrate World Book Day and as part of our celebrations, we invite parents and carers into school to read with their children or with small groups of children. We also encourage the whole school community to dress as a book character, and we are always amazed by the range of characters we see. This is a highlight of our school calendar and not just for the children!


Reading Champions 2023-2024

Reading Champions Summer Challenge 2024

Please open the document below to look at videos and words to each year group's poem.

World Book Day March 2024

Parents visited us in the morning and afternoon to read alongside their children and their classmates.At lunchtime, there was a book-nic in the sunshine where children were encouraged to come and try out some of the free books available with their book tokens. 

Each year group chose a key text to base their learning for the day around and decorated their classroom door with the learning related to their text. 


Nursery- Classic Nursery Rhymes

Reception- You Choose Fairy Tales by Pippa Goodheart and Nick Sharratt

Year One- Class Two at the Zoo by Julia Jarman

Year Two- Traction Man by Mini Grey and Super Joe Does Not Do Cuddles

Year Three- Please Miss Butler by Allan Ahlberg

Year Four- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Year Five - Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans

Year Six- You are a Champion by Marcus Rashford

Reading Champions Autumn Challenge 2023

Ready, Set, Read

Congratulations to all children who took part in the Ready, Set, Read library challenge. We were so pleased to see so many children continuing to grow their love of reading over the summer. 

Reading Champions Action Plan

Reading Champions Summer Challenging

Pick a Poem - Daniel Murillo (1).mp4

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Jesna Jestin.mp4

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World Book Day Friday 3rd March 2023 

This year, we celebrated World Book Day on Friday 3rd March. Each class was given a gift of diverse books to share throughout the day and use in their reading corners. 


This year our Reading Champions have decided that each class will have a book focus. Every child was asked to dress up as a character, object or place from their chosen the book. Throughout the day, each class added to their classroom door display which was based on their key text. 


Our chosen themes were as follows: 

Nursery- Classics nursery rhymes 

Reception - You Choose Fairy Tales by Pippa Goodheart and Nick Sharrat 

Year One - Aliens Love Underpants series by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort 

Year Two  - Monsters in the Dark by Zanna Davidson and Melanie Williamson 

Year Three - The Adventures of Dish and Spoon by Mini Grey 

Year Four  - Hansel and Gretel by Michael Morpurgo 

Years Five- The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber and Nicola Bayley 

Year Six - The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling 

Reading Champions Challenge 

Spring 2023

Amazon Wishlist 2022

Thank you to the families who have so generously donated these beautiful books to school. The Reading Champions will be busy over the week making thank you cards to our donors. We hold an Amazon wish list at Trotts Hill and are most grateful for all donations to continue to expand our library.

If you would like to donate a book please visit the link here:

Curriculum guidance and Long Term Planning

Recommended books for children in each year group - many of these books are in our school libraries

End of Year expectations