Downe Manor Primary School

Downe Manor, where everybody has the opportunity to be inspired to reach their full potential through memorable learning experiences


Our English vision is to foster a love of language and literature through the use of quality texts and books; this inspires, excites and engages our children.

At Downe Manor Primary School, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers. We aim to develop independence and fluency in all readers to ensure a life-long love of reading and ensuring that they can all achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum.

Reading is one of the most important skills a child will learn at school, there has been a wide range of research into the teaching of reading over the years and at Downe Manor Primary School we support and believe in the teaching of Early Reading through the use of Systematic Synthetic Phonics.

In Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Two we follow the 'Pearsons Bug Club' phonics programme (DfE approved). Systematic phonics teaching continues in Key Stage 2 if the children need continued support with reading. Through this programme children will learn 44 different sounds in the English language and 175+ different ways of writing those sounds (graphemes). Each stage builds on the previous skills. By following this programme stringently, we are ensuring that children have the best understanding of reading and how words are formed.

Characteristics of excellent communicators

  • An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said.
  • A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
  • Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
  • An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.
  • A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
  • A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
  • Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.

Characteristics of readers

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • An excellent comprehension of texts.
  • The motivation to read for both and for pleasure.
  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

Characteristics of writers

  • The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
  • A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
  • A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
  • Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
  • Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat. 
  • A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.