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At Shepherd Primary School we offer a quality English curriculum to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We aim to challenge and advance children’s reading, to enable them to acquire a progressive breadth of knowledge.


Children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident when speaking and listening and have the confidence and skills to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. The English curriculum follows a clear pathway of progression, which children are supported to follow as they advance through school. We believe that a secure basis in the English language  is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the skills to secure their futures as engaged citizens.


A well-structured curriculum is mapped out to ensure full coverage, but flexible enough to meet the needs of the class. Curriculum changes take place to match current thinking, and staff are well supported to embrace change.  Carefully analysed texts ensure pupils have access to well-pitched, high quality texts, to enthuse, inspire and engage. Discrete reading and grammar sessions are planned alongside cross curricular writing, and quality non-fiction texts are used to support learning in the foundation subjects.


Reading is promoted throughout the school through displays of high quality texts, shared reading with partner classes, and class story time. Planning, lessons, and books are monitored and staff are supported by high quality CPD and opportunities to observe practice. Progress of pupils is tracked and monitored, and pupils falling behind are quickly identified and provision put in place to further support. External monitoring and moderation take place to ensure the school is confident in its judgements.


Parents and carers are supported to understand their child’s learning through parent workshops, newsletters and through the school website.


We are responsive, and will adapt our teaching to the needs of all pupils. As such, for the past two years we have followed the Hertfordshire Back on Track programme to support out English lessons, where our predominant foci is on Key Writing Priorities.

Reading Schemes

We use the 'Jelly and Bean' and 'Collins Big Cat' reading schemes.

Jelly and Bean

Jelly and Bean's reading scheme begins with very simple picture books containing an illustration and a few words on each page.

Each illustration is closely related to the words on the page so that the meaning of each word is clear.

This ensures that children have something they can relate to before they go on to learn about the letters in written words and the sounds corresponding to them.

Collins Big Cat

Collins Big Cat ensures a secure start to every child's reading journey and help children progress from decoding words to reading fluently and for pleasure with fully decodable books expertly aligned to Letters and Sounds

Writing across the School