Burpham Primary School

Burpham Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7LZ


01483 572510


Learning beyond the classroom

"I love reading it makes me happy and you learn llots of sounds and words and it is my best thing to do in the whole wide world" (Alex Y1) 

English at Burpham

At Burpham, we recognise that the ability to communicate is fundamental to learning. Our aim is to provide a high quality education in English, through a broad and rich curriculum, that will stimulate and support pupils to read, write and speak fluently. We provide an environment that is rich in language and develops a love of literature in order to ensure that the pupils develop the cultural capital needed to excel. 

Please find below further information about the breakdown of the English curriculum at Burpham Primary School. 

Intent, Implementation, Impact

Speaking and Listening




To develop our children’s ability to communicate effectively with confidence and enthusiasm

  • ·Pupils in KS1 work regularly with carpet buddies during whole class inputs-buddies change regularly



  • Opportunities are given for children to take part in performance throughout their journey through the school, including whole class assemblies


  • AfL techniques used across the school enable children to take safe risks when making contributions to whole class discussions
  •  Lesson observations reveal that children work enthusiastically with each other not limited by friendship or gender


  • Parent emails praise the confidence of children speaking at EYFS Christmas performance where every child, including those from COIN centre, have the opportunity to speak


  • Lesson observation (Spring 2022) revealed CT had involvement from over 60% of class over 25min period. CT managed range of questions according to ability in order to support, scaffold or extend children. Children were offered extra thinking time -or ‘phone a friend’ opportunities to take time to express their ideas

To listen meaningfully, to weigh ideas and form opinions, having considered a variety of situations from a wider perspective

  • English is taught through a Mastery Approach which allows for all to experience HQ reasoning. AfL techniques are used to enable all to express their ideas in a non-threatening environment


  • VIPERS approach to reading gives opportunities for children to share their thoughts and present their arguments using HQ texts
  • Children are confident to communicate their ideas with their peers in partner work and during whole class opportunities

To encourage an active and lively interest in vocabulary and to challenge children to be adventurous in their choice of words

  •  Vocabulary is displayed on working walls in each classroom, with subject specific vocab also displayed


  • Vocabulary mats are used to support and scaffold writing activities


  • Colourful Semantics word mats are used in our COIN centre and Y1 to support children’s selection of vocabulary for writing tasks


  • Thesauruses and Dictionaries are easily accessible for pupils


  • ‘V’ stands for ‘Vocabulary’ and is referred to and planned for in each ‘VIPERS’ reading session


  • INSET Jan 2020 on Performance Reading by Musical Theatre teacher to share ideas on how to develop reading with expression with our classes


  • Weekly Drama and Performance lessons in KS2


  • INSET Jan 2022 to discuss how to raise the profile of teaching new vocabulary


  • INSET Nov 2022 to support quality interactions between staff and children


  • Storyteller workshop for all staff gave opportunity for all to observe ‘storytelling’
  •  Lesson observations evidence that children refer to previous vocabulary using displays


  • Children use writing scaffolds to support them to write independently with confidence. They can edit their work independently


  • Children with dyslexia are producing more independent writing using these now


  • Observation reveals CTs modelling using a dictionary to explore meaning (Y2 Spring 2022)


  • Consistent strategy used to support teaching of new vocabulary


  • World Book Day 2022 gave an audience and purpose to reading poetry aloud- all classes planned, performed and recorded a poem






Reading and Phonics

To create a rich reading environment which encourages children to develop a love of literature from their heritage as well as other traditions and cultures

  •  Staff promote a love of reading through timetabled storytelling opportunities, where they share high quality texts
  • ‘Reading for Pleasure’ action plan created Autumn 2021. Reading for pleasure survey carried out in March across whole school
  • TSRC Programme (Transforming your School’s Reading Culture) Subject Leader and Headteacher participating via White Knights English Hub. Autumn 2022
  • Strategic Plan for Reading for Pleasure in place 2022-4
  • Revamp of infant Library with support of PSA
  • Books in infant library re-organised by children and maintained with the support of a parent
  • New ‘Library and Information Skills’ programme introduced in Autumn 2020 teaches children how to find books they need but also develops to enable them to make informed choices about the quality and value of the information that they gain from text. This is supported by a parent in Y1,2 &3
  • Interactive displays enable children to share books that they have enjoyed
  • Subject leads monitor the availability of books representing their subject in the library and budget accordingly
  • Reading prefects support in ensuring the library is maintained respectfully. Children have created posters to support in this
  • All infant children visit the library 1x week to choose a book to take home
  • Revamp of Junior library Spring 2022
  • Competition (March 2022) to design a 3D book character to enhance the appearance of the library space
  • Monitoring the purchase of new class and school library books ensures that books can be bought that reflect the heritage and lives of the children in our community and those in the wider community
  • Staff use specific texts from Andrew Moffatt’s No Outsiders programme each half term to address diversity and also for assemblies
  • Texts purchased to support current RIghts Respecting Schools focus. These books will be shared with children to stimulate home school discussion
  • Specific reading books are used by HSLW and ELSA to support children and families in their care
  • Books are thoughtfully purchased for class story times using a list of suggested quality texts provided by English subject leads. Books are also selected for purchase by the children themselves following our book fair and their own annual class audits
  • English subject leaders audit the books chosen by staff to ensure that children are exposed to a variety of genres and also that a diversity of subject and authors is represented texts to give them the tools to access as wide a variety of texts as possible
  • Class teachers use storybooks to excite and build anticipation by wrapping and then revealing them, or asking children to choose during each day from a selection for their end of day story
  • Class book corners are carefully thought out and are regularly reviewed by class teachers to make them inviting and inspiring places to read. Children were recently involved in choosing the books for their own book corners
  • Class teachers model reading by bringing their own reading to silent reading sessions
  • World Book Day is celebrated each year –always with whole school activities and home/school resources. A Book Fair is also available during this week. Children then choose any books that are bought from the profits to ensure all interests are represented in the class book corner
  • Pupil survey revealed that children place a high value on read-aloud books across all year groups


  • Successful Book Swaps held in Summer 2023 across the school enabled much book banter within classrooms! These will now feature regularly in our school timetable


  • Staff report that children are drawn to and comment on the changing interactive displays and are encouraged to explore new authors/themes/genres


  • Subject leaders have extended the range of books available in libraries following monitoring to ensure that there are sufficient to cover new areas of learning


  • Class assembly rotas reflect the books covered


  • These texts have supported a number of our families in dealing with loss, family breakdown and illness


  • Subject leader monitoring Oct 2022 evidences a wide range of genre explored in both whole class readers and in comprehension lessons.  A previous weight towards fiction had been addressed. Steps have also been made to address gaps in poetry also.


  • Teachers choice of books are on a waiting list in some KS2 classrooms
  • INSET April 2023 at Waterstones to explore new fiction and choose a new class book based on individual class interests. Class teachers reported the day contributed not only to their knowledge of current and traditional texts but was also an event that contributed to well-being





To be discerning in their choice of reading matter and to develop their ability to be critical of texts in a positive way and to encourage familiarity with a range of significant authors and illustrators

  • Whole class reading sessions take place across the school following a VIPERS structure
  • Guided Reading is a priority in our ELS phonics scheme for our Infants
  • Storytime is timetabled in every class and reflects a range of genre. INSET training was provided to ensure that high quality reading aloud is consistent
  • Pupils in KS2 have personal Reading Diaries
  • Children in KS1 have personal Reading Journals to record their reading to an adult at home
  • We encourage the use of quality texts as a basis for teaching writing across different genres- following staff training on Visual Literacy (Autumn 2020)
  • There is consistency across the school with the use of terms of reference for reading- Vocab, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieval and Sequence/Summarise skills.
  • Monitoring reveals that children can now spot questions that require an answer using one of these terms



To be able to apply the phonic code when reading in addition to recognising when it is easier to use whole work approach (for HRS Words)

  •  All Infant children have daily phonics sessions following the ELS programme.  Regular half termly assessments ensure that interventions can be planned and managed to help all keep up.
  • All staff including SLT and governors have attended training to ensure that the delivery of phonics is rigorous and shows fidelity to the scheme
  • LSAs attended training to ensure consistency in supporting children reading 1:1
  • Sounds are sent home to parents in EYFS and Y1 weekly together with sets of Tricky Words and HFWs. Daily interventions support those with gaps
  • Focussed Readers (lowest 20%) tracked across the school and discussed in progress meetings. Context for each is discussed recorded and any actions noted by SENCo and English Lead
  • Children are taught with Mastery in mind, in whole class lessons supported by all available adults
  • Parent meetings in KS1 and EYFS ensure that parents are supported in consistency of approach and terminology
  • In-school training ensures that all adults working with all children use consistent terminology and approach
  • IEPS refer to support given for reading for those with SEND
  • Early Readers have success in reading independently through phonics-led books
  • Books that children take home to read independently reflect the phonics level that they have worked towards
  • Volunteer Readers all received training to ensure consistency in phonological support
  • Pupil progress meetings provide opportunities to explore options to support those with gaps. Phonological Awareness intervention was recently suggested in response to a meeting discussion


  • Lesson observations of phonics sessions reveals that teaching is consistent in phonics across the infant phase (Oct, '22, Feb 23).


  • In Y1, all focus readers increased the numbers of sounds recognised by 6 during a 6 week period using daily flash cards (Spring 1, 2022)


  •  Focussed Reader Entitlement document ensure that there is consistency in offer to support focussed readers across the school
  • A number of our LSAs reported appreciation of a consistent approach to this following training Nov 2022
  • Evidence from Parent Reader and LSA notes shows consistent terms when recording interactions with focussed readers



To adapt their speech and writing to a widening range of purposes and audiences

  •  Teachers plan writing opportunities with each cohort in mind, to meet their specific interests and engagement


  • Independent writing sessions provide opportunities for extended periods of writing, giving children the opportunities to show their best work that should reflect all of the skills that they have learnt over the course of the week/unit


  • Teachers plan writing activities into a range of other curriculum areas
  • Pupils can write confidently in a range of different styles, for different purposes and for different audiences – all staff have been trained in the use of PALL and have classroom displays highlighting the text type currently under study
  • Writing in other curriculum areas shows the same standard as in English books
  • Children have greater engagement in writing activities where they have greater interest
  • Teachers have opportunities to assess children’s learning that is un-scaffolded in regular cross year group and cross school moderation

To present writing of a high standard which demonstrates an understanding of grammar, correct spelling, legible handwriting and where appropriate, the use of technology

  • Each class has a set of dictionaries and thesauruses easily accessible for pupils to use


  • Print is taught from EYFS. Regular handwriting sessions are included in daily phonics sessions, but handwriting is also taught explicitly in Y1 and Y2


  • Handwriting is taught explicitly from Reception to Year 3, first using a print style before moving to pre-cursive and then cursive style. Parents are supported in helping this at home
  • Y5 children worked to support EYFS children on a weekly basis in their handwriting as ‘handwriting buddies’ after initial training

To provide more opportunities for independent writing tasks

  • Teachers scaffold writing at the ‘teaching stage’ through modelled and shared writing, followed by opportunities for independent writing
  • WAGOLLS are carefully planned to ensure that these are ambitious
  • ·Staff training (October 2021) in how to scaffold the writing process
  • Sample year groups trialling ‘writing for pleasure’

To foster a desire in children to evaluate, edit and improve their work and to develop independent strategies to allow them to do this but also to recognise when, where and how to seek advice from others

  •  Purple polishing pens are used by children to explore ways to enhance and develop their work from Y1 to Y6
  • Editing and proofreading skills are modelled by adults and used by the children
  • INSET April 2023 supported LSAs in how to scaffold English activities
  • Working walls aid the pupils to refer to previous learning, grammar focuses and spelling patterns
  • A Mastery Approach is used in English lessons, with support and challenge for all pupils
  • Teachers, SENCo and LSAs support all children on a regular basis in their learning. Where interventions take place, these are regularly reviewed and progress monitored to ensure their SMART targets are appropriate
  • Wow Walls in classrooms celebrate children’s achievement in their writing and show that work is valued
  • From Summer, EYFS children have personal and child-centred English targets that they self-assess against once a week.
  • KS1 children have personal English targets that they self-assess against
  • KS2 children assess their work against checklists relating to EoY Expectations – focus for Summer term 2022
  • Teachers moderate work at least termly. Feedback from assessment is shared at assessment meetings


  • Pupils’ presentation is of a high standard
  • Pupils use classroom resources to support their learning
  • LSAs support and scaffold those at risk of not meeting expectations
  • Whole class teaching enables all students to share the same learning experience and all feel that they can achieve
  • Interventions enable those that are working below expectations to make better than expected progress
  • Children across the school can talk about their personal writing targets and those that they have already achieved
  • Teachers formally track pupils’ progress twice yearly in Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This informs planning and any intervention needed.
  • Pupil Progress meetings with SENCo every 6 weeks ensure all children’s progress and specifically those working below expectations to be monitored and appropriate action to be put in place
  • External Moderation sessions (July 2022 KS1) validated assessment. Outcomes from moderation sessions are shared with team to share good practice

To ensure that children are exposed to a rich and diverse vocabulary

  • ·Children are encouraged to be curious about vocabulary and to be ambitious in their use of it
  • Vocabulary mats are available to children at the start of writing activities and genres
  • Weekly vocabulary sessions in KS2 using Vocabulary Ninjas (word of the week)
  • Discreet teaching of vocabulary in other subject areas
  • Children are applying learned vocabulary into their independent writing and becoming more ambitious with vocabulary choices
  • Book look and learning walk (November ‘21 & March ‘22) shows evidence of vocabulary displays in classrooms and wordbanks in books from across a range of subject areas
  • Monitoring of planning reveals that teachers carefully plan to teach ambitious and subject specific vocabulary


 Intent Implementation and Impact.docxDownload
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Our school teaches children to read through the ELS programme (Essential Letters and Sounds). The approach enables our children to learn to read using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. It is designed to be part of a learning environment that is rich in talk and story, where children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills to become fluent independent readers.

 Phonics at Burpham.pdfDownload
 Phonics for parents.pptxDownload
 ELS sounds mat.pdfDownload
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Y3 Book Swap March 2023

This week the Y3 team held Burpham Primary School's first Book Swap. Following the success of it, we are planning book swaps for each class over the Summer term! 

The children were invited to donate up to 3 books to the Swap. In return, they received a Book Swap Token that entitled them to 'purchase' 1 book from the Swap. They had the chance to explore the books in the days before the Swap and to narrow their favorites list down to 3.  On Friday, the children met in the hall for a last view before being invited up to make their selection. There was much excitement and 'Book Blather' in the hall both before and after! 

In addition, the team got another opportunity to discuss with the children about the types of books that they enjoyed. They can use this information to guide them when choosing class reads, but also when selecting books for their class library. 

Lunchtime book club

Our KS1 book club started this week! 

We began with the book 'Flat Stanley' by Jeff Brown.  It made us think of all the good things we could do if we were very flat- like play the best Hide and Seek games! 

After our read, the children enjoyed making pictures of their own 'flat' selves. They took them home to explore what they could do 'flat!'.

Year 3 Book Swap


New Infant Community Read in Year 1

In the Spring term, the Y1 children have enjoyed taking part in our first 'Community Read'.

The children spend 20 mins a week in a small group sharing one of 10 amazing picture books. To help share the texts we invited members of our wider school community to read with us.  Each session starts with a quick look at any interesting words and sessions then end with an opportunity to compare the new book with others that the children have enjoyed during previous reads. Huge thanks to all the friends who have helped with the project! 

Reading for Pleasure

'Reading for pleasure is the single, most important indicator of a child's future success'

(OECD, 2022)

'Becoming a lifetime reader is predicated on developing a love of reading'

(Sanacore, 2002)

Recent studies showed that England had the lowest ranking for enjoyment and (except Australia) the lowest for pupil engagement in reading (PIRLS 2017). 

At Burpham we are passionate about putting the pleasure back into reading. Our current Reading for Pleasure action plan sets out how we are working with the school community to ensure that we promote the benefit of reading for well-being:

  • helps relaxation
  • aids happiness 
  • provides entertainment
  • provides comfort and reassurance

...but that we also value reading in a learning environment because it:

  • increases vocabulary
  • increases general knowledge
  • enriches imagination 
  • improves creativity
  • supports narrative writing

Current projects in planning are 'Community Story Sharing'' and developing a 'Book Swap' programme across our school.

Our English subject lead is currently part of the English Hubs TSRC project (Transforming School's Reading Culture). This is an evidence-based leadership programme for primary English Leads.

Spoken Language

 Spoken language at Burpham.pdfDownload
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 Reading at Burpham.pdfDownload
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Writing - including handwriting and spelling

 Writing at Burpham.pdfDownload
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