At Robert Blair School, we recognise that English underpins every aspect of everyday life and want to ensure that all children develop a passion for reading, writing, discussion and performance.

To ignite the interest and enthusiasm of our young readers and writers, we draw on a range of rich and inspirational literary sources such as high quality texts, video clips and illustrations.  We embed the complex grammatical and compositional aspects of writing into our English units of work.

When our children leave us, they will: 

  • Know that reading and writing can be used to widen their experiences of the world
  • Read fluently and confidently, with a genuine love of reading
  • Be articulate and confident communicators with a wide vocabulary
  • Adapt how they communicate according to their audience and purpose
  • From the literature they have been exposed to, develop culturally, intellectually, emotionally and socially
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Understand the process involved in writing effectively: plan, draft and edit their work
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Speak with clarity and explain their ideas and understanding in discussions
  • Listen actively with interest with respect in discussions

We provide children with inspiring learning opportunities, including author visits, World Book Day celebrations, poetry competitions, visits to the theatre, drama workshops, library session, buddy reading, cross curricular writing and much more.


Reading is at the heart of everything we do at Robert Blair School: we want all our children to become skilled and confident readers.  From the time a child joins us in the Early Years, they develop curiosity about books and stories which are brought to life through role play, story props, real life experiences and songs.  By the time they reach upper Key Stage 2,  our pupils are fluent readers who find pleasure in reading regularly and demonstrate excellent comprehension skills.

Phonics skills are essential for the decoding and spelling of words.  We follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme to teach early reading.  Children are taught in daily sessions and assessed regularly to track progression and ensure they are taught the correct skills for their reading level.  By the end of KS1, we aim for all children to have developed word reading skills, with good foundations for spelling.

In KS2, reading is taught through a whole class reading approach. Lessons focus on developing the reading skills to ensure pupils understand new vocabulary, retrieve information from the text, make inferences by reading between the lines , summarise what they have read, make meaningful connections and make predictions.  High quality texts link to our exciting curriculum and ensure progression.

Comprehension skills are vital and are developed through Read Write Inc, whole class reading, library visits, 1:1 reading with an adult and our home-school reading programme. Reading at home is strongly encouraged and all children take home reading books which we monitor through a reading record.  Our library is filled with a wide range of stimulating books which reflect our rich heritage and diverse community.  We motivate and encourage our children to read high-quality texts through the Islington Reading Road Map, awarding certificates in assembly.  Our librarian visits fortnightly from Islington libraries and younger children regularly visit the local library.


At Robert Blair School, our aim is for the children to develop the necessary skills to communicate effectively in both spoken and written language. Our English curriculum is linked to our wider curriculum so that our pupils have a context and motivation for their writing.   We aim to ignite pupils’ curiosity in the world around them and open them up to experience and value different cultures and periods in history.  Pupils are given purposeful opportunities to write in a range of genres, for different audiences, using high quality and engaging texts and experiences to stimulate ideas and inspire creative writing.  They learn to plan, draft, revise and edit their writing.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar are integrated into English lessons and strengthened across all areas of the curriculum.


Our children are encouraged to write neatly and present their work to a high standard in all curriculum areas.  We follow the Nelson Handwriting programme which offers clear progression through five developmental stages.  Children learn a fast and fluent handwriting style.  When they have developed a consistently neat style of handwriting, children are awarded a pen license.

Speaking and listening

We recognise that good communication and presentation skills are an essential life skill.  Speaking and listening skills are explicitly taught, integrated into English lessons and throughout the whole curriculum.  Our pupils learn to formulate and rehearse well-structured verbal responses and develop effective listening skills.  Our creative Arts curriculum is designed so that many of our writing outcomes are for the spoken word, including drama performances and media presentations to audiences.

For further information and an overview across all year groups, please click on the links below:

English Subject Whole School Overview 2023 -2024

Year 1 English Overview 2023-2024

Year 2 English Overview 2023-2024

Year 3 English overview and progression

Year 4 English overview and progression 2023

English Year 5 and Year 6 Overview and progression

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