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Curriculum Purpose

Curriculum Overview

When pupils enter Foundation Stage they enjoy a language-rich environment with words conveying meaning on display and quality texts shared.  Formal phonics teaching following the Letters and Sounds programme commences every day once pupils are settled into school, and they are grouped according to ability within this setting.  Pupils engage in a guided reading session once a week led by a teacher or trained teaching assistant.  Teachers use quality texts to stimulate writing opportunities.

In Year 1 pupils continue to develop their phonic knowledge and skills using the Letters and Sounds programme on a daily basis, again grouped by ability.  A mock phonics screening check is carried out in March and phonemes the children have not yet mastered are revised.  

We use Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat books for our reading scheme. All of the books we use are phonetically decodable and are specifically chosen to match each child's phonics ability.

Pupils receive two guided reading sessions a week; one with a teacher and one with a teaching assistant. These focus on decoding, improving fluency and comprehension skills.  Once again quality texts are shared to enthuse and inspire pupils, some simply for pleasure and some to support writing and topic activities.  When used to stimulate writing these quality texts are interrogated to provide the highest quality learning outcomes with pupils coming to understand how text works.

The teaching of reading follows the pattern established in Year 1, with the addition of further comprehension opportunities and the comparison of similar books and authors.   By the end of Year 2 we aim to ensure the vast majority of pupils are ready to engage with reading across the curriculum in Key Stage 2.

Displays in both Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms support the teaching of phonics and reading.

All staff are sensitive to the need to ensure the vast majority of pupils make appropriate and where applicable, accelerated progress through the book band colours.  All pupils have access to home readers which are colour-coded to match the book bands and provide pupils with an opportunity to choose their texts.

Staff work hard to develop an enthusiasm and motivation for reading in pupils, so they come to read for pleasure and interest There is a stimulating book corner established in each classroom designed for such purposes.

All year groups have a special collection of books containing the school’s Literacy Spine of classic and favourite texts.

All classes across the school visit the library each week to allow pupils to follow their own interests in selecting books, both fiction and non-fiction.

A whole school themed Book Week takes place once a year where pupils engage in activities linked to the theme and texts.  Pupils have access to an excellent book shop during the week, which stocks high quality texts, allowing them to browse to find books of their choice.  When possible a visiting author also joins the school for a day. 


Curriculum Aims

We believe every pupil can learn to read given the appropriate teaching input and environment for learning.  It is clear not every pupil will have had the opportunity to develop an interest in reading at home, and we aim to compensate for this by providing all pupils with a rich and stimulating language environment with high quality texts and visual aids readily available.  Staff will be sufficiently trained and able to provide such opportunities.  We also recognise the use of good texts can enhance pupils’ writing abilities and the link between high-quality texts and writing outcomes is important.

By the end of Year 2 we aim to ensure pupils can:

  • Read most two or more syllable words accurately
  • Read most words containing common suffixes
  • Read most common exception words
  • In books appropriate to their age and stage read most words accurately without overt sounding and blending, and sufficiently fluently to allow a focus on comprehending rather than simple decoding
  • Use phonic knowledge to decode unknown words with additional strategies for words where phonic knowledge alone may not help
  • Understand texts and self-correct inaccuracies
  • Comprehend texts and answer questions about what is read
  • Reprise the text read
  • Make inferences from texts
  • Predict possible future scenarios based on text read
Make links between similar books and authors
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