Denby C.E. (V.A) First School



Across the Greenhills First Federation we intend to deliver a high quality English Curriculum which encourages the development of children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We have a rigorous and well-organised English Curriculum which provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English to enable all children 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, and understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic tools for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to explain and expand upon their understanding and ideas
  • Become competent in the arts of speaking and listening when demonstrating to others and participating in debate or presentations

These aims are embedded across our Literacy lessons and also the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through their Primary years. Thorough assessment ensures that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in Literacy; we believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as adult members of society.


Early reading is supported through the Monster Phonics scheme. Regular training and moderation within our Federation and beyond ensure that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. Each class’ timetable is organised to enable regular access to the school library, which is equipped with an up to date selection of books to provide quality reading materials for all children to promote reading for enjoyment. The children also take part in organising and developing their classroom reading areas.

When planning literacy lessons, teachers make links to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lesson sequences themselves build progressively towards extended pieces of writing. Handwriting is taught discreetly and children practise daily.

To enrich the literacy curriculum, the school joins with ‘Read’, a bookshop situated in the nearby town of Holmfirth. This ensures that children have access to writers and illustrators from the local community and beyond as positive role models. As part of the preparation for this, children can order books written by the authors they have links with and spend time in their classes discussing and familiarising themselves with the author, illustrator and content of the books.

Assessment for Learning is embedded in literacy lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work.


The organisation of the English curriculum results in a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to read and write and love to discuss and share their ideas. Outcomes in literacy books and books for subjects of the wider curriculum evidence the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities and the high quality of work produced by our pupils. These cross curricular writing opportunities enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose.

Attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is generally above that of the Kirklees and National Average. Children also achieve highly in the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1.

The Rainforest - English Work

During the week of the January 24th, class 3 wrote an amazing setting description of the Amazon rainforest.

We have been reading ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell in class and have really been enjoying learning more about the rainforest. This week, we used our five senses to imagine what the rainforest is like and help us to write a detailed description. We worked on using different strategies to make our sentences stand out, such as using similes, fronted adverbials and onomatopoeia.

Here are a few examples of the work the children have completed.

We are all very proud of the wonderful piece of writing we achieved!

Be aware, reading these setting descriptions will automatically transport you to the deepest, most secluded part of the rainforest!