Our English Curriculum
“The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.”
“Reading for pleasure is the single best indicator of a child’s academic success.”
At Lea Forest our English curriculum is designed to ensure that our pupils secure the necessary reading, writing and linguistic skills to become enthusiastic and independent writers, articulate communicators and widespread readers. We strive to provide an engaging and enriching sequential learning experience, which immerses the children in their learning and fosters a love for reading, a passion for discovery and confidence to explore the world around them.
English underpins the work undertaken in all other areas of the curriculum and is a prerequisite for educational and social progress. Through reading a wide range of quality texts and having meaningful discussions, we aim to create valuable, contributing members of society. The acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance and therefore the teaching of all aspects is given a high priority within school. Confidence in basic language skills enables children to communicate creatively and imaginatively through compositional outcomes.
Here at Lea Forest, we want every child to develop into lifelong readers, writers, and communicators. We have developed an ambitious, creative and innovative English Curriculum to support and inspire all of our learners.
We follow the National Curriculum and have tailored our school curriculum to meet the needs of all of our learners. A range of high-quality texts has been carefully chosen to enrich the teaching and learning in every year groups and provide memorable and enriching experiences for our pupils.
Reading At Lea Forest
Our reading scheme contains a wide variety of different books from different publishers.
The main scheme we use for early reading is the Oxford Reading tree. Children have access to online books match to their phonic phase through ‘BugClub’ that they can access in school and at home.
We use Accelerated Reader in Key Stage 2 classes. This programme assesses the children, and they have their own book levels and provides online quizzes for each book completed.
All children are expected to bring their reading diaries back daily. They will take a book home for pleasure that they child has individually selected either from the school library or the class room library. Children who are still early reading will also have a book to match their reading level and phonic phase.
Phonics and Early Reading at Lea Forest
Children starting at Lea Forest Primary Academy in Early Years will be introduced to the ‘Phonic Bug’ and ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.
In nursery this will begin as whole class teaching as children are taught to listen for sounds in words; this later builds to recognising written sounds for reading. Throughout the year, children will also be taught phonics in small groups, appropriate for their ability. To foster a love of reading, all Nursery children get to visit our library weekly with Mrs Clarke (our school librarian) where they can choose a library book to take home. In addition to this, Mrs Clarke visits nursery weekly with all her story props to support story retelling in their environment. All children in Nursery will have a library book which they can change weekly in addition to a ‘picture book’ that they take home daily to share with their parents.
The teaching of high quality systematics synthetic phonics continues into Reception and Years 1 and 2. All children will have a daily, dedicated phonics lesson, following the phonics programme. These lessons will be engaging, interactive and fully differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils, allowing them to make sustained and accelerated progress. Children will be taught to blend sounds to decode words, sentences and whole texts. Children are taught to use phonics knowledge and use visual cues to aid word recognition. As children become confident at decoding and word recognition, their fluency develops and allows them to develop their understanding of the texts they are reading (reading comprehension). Whilst both word recognition and comprehension are crucial skills to help children become confident readers who can critically engage with texts, the ultimate aim of the teaching of reading is to develop comprehension skills and therefore their ability to use literature to learn, appreciate and enjoy.
Children will have a book sent home daily from school that matches the child’s phonetic ability. For some children, this may be a picture book while they are still learning phonemes and listening for sounds in words. For other children, depending on where they are on their reading journey, these books may include more words that they are able to decode with increasing fluency.
Children in Year 1 will complete the Phonic Screening Check during the summer term. We strive for all of our children to pass the Phonic Screening Check and additional support will be put into place for those children who require it. The children who do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1 will take the test in the following academic year, when they are in Year 2. Additional support for these children is planned carefully to ensure they are confident in the resits.
We have the highest of expectations for all of our children and we expect them to progress at the rate outlined below:
Talk For Writing
At Lea Forest Primary Academy we follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ process in Early Years and Year 1. The aim is for the children to orally retell stories first - to help them develop their vocabulary base and understanding of story structures before they then apply this to their writing. Children in these year groups receive separate reading and writing lessons.
The Five Part Mastery Flow
Here at Lea Forest, children in Years 2 - 6 will follow the Mastery Flow structure, to make rich connections across the English curriculum. Reading and writing lessons are combined to enable the children to learn firsthand a broad range of authors. Teacher support this by providing the children with a variety of high-quality texts and engaging yet ambitious activities. These tasks then grow in the challenge from the initial teaching, to the independent application, through to the probing questions, further extension and problem-solving tasks.
At Lea Forest, we aim to develop our children into confident spellers so they have the freedom to express themselves through a wide range of vocabulary. We teach a different spelling rule a week – through the use of engaging lessons, dictation - for context and personalized accounts on ‘Spelling Frame’.
Please see our spelling overview below.
English Subject Leaders Video
Lea Forest - English Progression Map 2019 - 2020
Lea Forest - English Overview of Topics
Lea Forest - English Mastery Flow Model
Updated November 2019