Subject leaders: Miss Hodges (English) and Miss Grainger (Early Reading)

Our English curriculum is driven by the aims of the National 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 word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.  

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:  

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding 
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information 
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language 
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage 
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas 
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

 

Speaking and Listening 

At Trinity Academy Richmond, many of our pupils enter school with communication and language needs. For this reason, our Early Years curriculum focuses primarily on language development and this is built upon as children go through key stages one and two. Key vocabulary is identified across the curriculum and children are supported to use this in their speaking and writing.

We use the Communication Trust Spoken Language progression from Year 1 to Year 6. This is based on the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Children speak and develop their language skills across the whole curriculum. Subject specific vocabulary is carefully planned and teachers regularly revisit vocabulary that children have been taught to help them to remember.

Within our writing sequence, there are many opportunities for spoken language development, debate and drama. We know that in order for children to write well, they first need to be able to speak well. Our poetry progression ensures that pupils learn and perform high quality poems regularly throughout their school journey.

Spoken Language Overview 

Reading 

At Trinity Academy Richmond, reading is prioritised. We know that reading is the most important skill we teach our children in primary school and are committed to ensuring every child can read fluently, develop strong comprehension skills and leave us at the end of Year 6 with a genuine love of reading. 

Our reading curriculum is based on three pillars:  

  1. Phonics and decoding so that pupils can read easily and fluently 
  2. Comprehension including inference and deduction so that pupils can understand what they read and access the wider curriculum 
  3. Reading for Pleasure so that our pupils enter Key Stage 3 with a love of reading. 

 

Pillar 1. Phonics and Decoding 

We start teaching phonics in Nursery and follow the  Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. 

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Trinity Academy Richmond, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. 

Foundations for phonics in Nursery 

We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy.’ These include: 

  1. Sharing high-quality stories and poems
  2. Learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes 
  3. Activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  4. Attention to high-quality language. 

We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception. 

 

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1 

  • We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. 
  • Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. 
  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy. 
  • Children in Year 1 review Phases 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. 

 

Support for pupils who fall behind 

  • Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. 
  • We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Rapid Catch-up resources – at pace. 
  • These short, sharp lessons last 15-20 minutes daily and have been designed to ensure children quickly catch up to age-related expectations in reading. 

 

Ways to help at home 

Your child will bring home books carefully matched to their phonics knowledge. They will be changed weekly in order to encourage accelerated progression whilst giving pupils the opportunity to read, and reread, for fluency and comprehension. Our aim is for children to read the same book 3 times at home following the same procedures as in school. 

Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children. We share the research behind the importance and impact of sharing quality children’s books with parents through workshops, leaflets and the Everybody read! 

If you have any questions at all about your child’s reading, do not hesitate to ask your class teacher. 

 

Pillar 2. Reading Comprehension 

From Reception, our children read books matched to their phonic knowledge three times a week in school. The third read always focuses on comprehension to ensure pupils understand what they read from the very start. 

From Year 2 upwards, the use of whole class reading support children’s development and use of language and vocabulary as well as their comprehension skills. Our approach ensures that children are able to explore a range of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. 

When the pupils enter year 2, group-reading sessions are reduced and whole-class reading lessons are introduced. Alongside this, all pupils have their own individual reading book. This is matched closely with the pupil’s phonic knowledge and is taken home every evening. 

In KS2, whole-class reading lessons are daily. Twice a week, sessions are centred around a high-quality text chosen by the class teacher, often linking closely with the overarching topic within their class. Three times a week, sessions use linked texts which expose children to extracts from a range of literature to give them a rich reading diet. Specific reading skills are then explicitly taught and practised. While reading skills are being taught explicitly, the reading content is always relevant, inspiring and purposeful and becomes the driver for developing wider subject knowledge. 

 

Pillar 3. Reading for Pleasure 

 Our aim is that every child leaves us with a genuine love of reading. This is developed in a number of ways.  

In EYFS and KS1, we have developed a reading spine of high-quality texts that are rich in vocabulary and progressive in their content. This core reading spine is read and reread to children so that they have repeated exposure to the language and know stories well.  

In Key Stage 2, our reading spine is structured so that each year group has six texts that they will read as a class. These texts are discussed in Whole Class Reading sessions and are read aloud for children to enjoy. We have thought carefully about the range of texts and authors that pupils will encounter, to ensure their reading diet is varied and diverse.  

Across the whole school, teachers read to children daily. This time is protected and valued by the whole school community.  

Our poetry progression includes poems to read in class, ensuring the children are exposed to a wide range of poetry to enjoy. Click to view our Poetry Progression document. 

Author visits further inspire our pupils to read and write as well as regular reading events, such as World Book Day. Each classroom has a well-stocked book corner from which teachers can recommend high quality texts for pupils to read at home and school.  

 

 

Writing 

Our writing curriculum is based on the writing purposes outlined in the National Curriculum. Through a consistent writing sequence, pupils learn to write in a range of forms for different purposes. Our long-term plan outlines the various forms and purposes that pupils learn and revisit to ensure writing skills are developed throughout their time from Early Years to Year 6. 

Writing in EYFS 

Our children are taught to write during phonics sessions in EYFS. These sessions are followed up with a range of directed and non-directed writing opportunities. Children are encouraged to use their phonics learning to write words and sentences and to use key vocabulary in their speaking and writing. 

CCCs Writing Sequence 

From Year 1 to Year 6, we follow a consistent writing sequence. The sequence consists of three stages: collect, connect and create.  

The ‘Collect’ phase begins each sequence with a detailed review of a writing model. Children are taught to identify the features and then begin to ‘Collect’ vocabulary and ideas that they can use in their writing.  

The ‘Connect’ phase includes direct teaching of grammar and punctuation skills that pupils can apply to their writing. Our grammar and punctuation progression document ensures that learning is progressive over time and pupils have opportunities to revisit and practise previously learned skills. 

The ‘Create’ phase teaches pupils to plan, draft, edit and publish their writing. There is a heavy focus on teachers modelling each part of the writing process. Published pieces of writing at the end of the writing sequence are a celebration of what pupils have learned and the progress they make from unit to unit. 

Spelling is taught through Little Wandle Phonics and Spelling sessions in Early Years and Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 2, the Little Wandle spelling sequence for Year 2 is adapted to include Key Stage 2 spelling rules and common exception words.  

Writing Knowledge Progression_EY-Y6

Writing Long Term Overview

Poetry Progression 

Teaching and Learning Policy