English Curriculum

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At Eastcote we understand how important it is for our children to leave Primary school as effective writers. It is our intent that children are inspired by high-quality literature and a range of stimuli, which makes readers engage with and enjoy writing .Writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, the children apply progressively more complex skills to communicate ideas fluently and with interesting detail in a range of genres.

Our English curriculum follows the objectives of the National curriculum which is reflected in writing through the transdisciplinary themes of the PYP. Our PYP approach is underscored by the National Curriculum. The scheme allows for appropriate sequencing and aims to secure long-term memory as well as the enjoyment and necessary curiosity of learning skills related to English.. We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through reading for enjoyment.. Writing in our school is well-organised and structured, which includes a variety of sentence structures. The children’s transcription skills ensure that their writing is well-presented and punctuated and spelled correctly using their knowledge of spelling patterns and rules.  Through the ‘differentiated texts’ writing process, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.

During ‘English lessons’, the use of quality differentiated texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum through a combination of approaches/opportunities:

  • Whole class modelled writing
  • Independent writing
  • Writing different text types and narrative styles
  • Writing across a variety of curriculum areas
  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting
  • Unpicking WAGOLL (What a good one looks like)
  • Key Skills

Throughout the writing process, our children will edit and redraft their work, responding to feedback from teachers and peers.· All children will study English skills for a minimum of 5 hours per week in Key Stage One and  5 hours per week in Key Stage Two in addition to reading sessions. Additionally, Key Stage 1 will have  15 -20 minutes per day dedicated to the teaching of phonics.

Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge in English, for example, welcoming an author to work with the children, visiting a theatre to see a live production.

Children will understand how British Values relate to English.  In English, children will develop the skills to read, write, speak and listen.

  • Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said.

Children receive daily English lessons where they  are taught to write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Teachers deliver specific skills in daily English lessons and writing is both discrete and transdisciplinary.  Our children see writing as a journey where they learn to recognise the features of a particular genre. This stage is a time to inspire: through the use of a stimulus, pupils are immersed in a rich language discussion and activities to provide a wealth of vocabulary to aid their writing. The next stage is to identify the appropriate grammar which they can then incorporate in their own writing.  Next  the teacher models a piece of writing. The enable stage is the opportunity for pupils to showcase what they can do.

In addition children are taught a spelling lesson every week and are given  opportunities to consolidate the rules throughout the week. Children develop their understanding of a range of genres and styles including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Grammar, spelling, punctuation are taught rigorously across the school, beginning with teaching synthetic phonics and fine motor skills to develop mark making in the Foundation Stage, to enable children to have the skills and confidence to write effectively for a variety of purposes. In order to develop a strong knowledge of different genres, we have developed a progression of writing genres. The purpose of this is to ensure that children experience different types of writing in each year group but they do not need to experience every type of writing in every year group.  Each child has year  specific targets for writing. These are kept at the back of their English books.

Where necessary, staff (including support staff) will receive training in English.  English Skills are mapped out to ensure consistency and progress of all learners.

  • English skills may be taught individually but play a key role in the achievement of the learning. The application of said skills will be evident in extended pieces of writing.
  • High expectations of quality and quantity of work in every English lesson are set in order to guide children to achieve their potential. This ensures work is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum.
  • High quality teaching responds to the needs of children. Formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work.

The impact of our writing curriculum means that children can write structured pieces across a range of genres.  Teachers follow a clear marking policy and children are set targets to ensure they are making progress. Our marking policy allows children to independently edit and improve their writing.  Children’s writing achievements  are recognised  when they publish their work which is then  displayed in the corridor throughout the school; this also demonstrates clear progression. 

They enjoy writing and can plan well-structured pieces. They understand the features of different genres and develop specific and technical vocabulary for both fiction and non-fiction texts. Children will use their experience of reading and apply this knowledge in their own writing.

  • Children are confident to use English skills within their work across the curriculum.
  • Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in English, reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning.· 
  • Clear outcomes focus and guide all English development plans and drive improvement
  • Fundamental British Values are evident in English and children understand how English can celebrate differences.
  • Through wider reading in English, children will develop a love for reading, expanding their minds and curiosity of the world in which we live. Through this exposure, children will produce work that is influenced by the best.
  • Children will develop excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Children will develop fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Children will develop an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • Children will learn the skills to gain an excellent comprehension of texts.
  • Children will develop a love of reading and the motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
  • Children will develop an extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.
  • Children will gain the ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
  • Children will develop a vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
  • Children will grow a highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
  • Children will present well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
  • Children will engage excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is presented neatly,  that it  is well punctuated with accurate spelling.
  • A love of writing will grow within our children and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
  • Children will speak clearly so that they can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
  • Children will develop an excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.

Spelling lessons are taught weekly and practised in each year group. All pupils at KS1 have daily phonics lessons.

As a natural progression from phonics, The ‘No Nonsense Spelling Programme’ is followed in Years Two to Six and is a comprehensive yet accessible progression in the teaching of spelling. Guidance, rather than prescription, is provided on how to teach the strategies, knowledge and skills pupils need to learn. The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but, integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions, and personal spellings. Exploration of spellings and word play are recorded in English books. To support each child further with their spelling, half-termly spelling parent guides are available to help parents to support their child’s use of the strategies, knowledge and skills pupils need to learn new spellings. Each guide will contain the spelling rules being taught each half-term by each child’s class teacher, as well as previous rules to recap with children. To support the learning of the spellings, a range of learning strategies are also provided.

Teachers follow the National Curriculum for the teaching of punctuation and grammar.

This provides a clear progression through the year groups. All of these areas are incorporated into the teaching sequence.

Progress in English  is tracked using a range of evidence, including:

  • Teacher observations
  • Evidence in writing books
  • Reading records
  • Statutory tests (SATS) in Year 2 and Year 6
  • English lead moderation
  • External moderation led by Leigh Academies Trust

Children receive support and challenges  through intervention groups during basic skills time at the start of each day.

Children receive feedback on their work and are set targets to scaffold learning further or further deepen their understanding.


It is our intent that children will read widely and often at home and school for pleasure, for information and to expand and enhance their knowledge and understanding across all subjects. They are immersed in a reading curriculum that is rich and varied. Teachers model expert reading and use quality texts for children to interrogate. Through captivating imaginations, it is our aim that our children are motivated to apply skills that are transferable. Our children not only learn to read, they  learn: reading is at the heart of our curriculum. In addition to fostering a love of books,we understand how important it is for our children to leave Eastcote as fluent readers who can not only read what is in front of them, but also understand the texts they are reading.

We encourage children to choose their own books which are not only suitable for their reading level,but also address their reading interests. We believe that reading is an integral part of a child’s learning and development and that it underpins all other learning.

The English National Curriculum underpins the planning of reading and this ensures a broad and balanced curriculum that is progressive throughout the key stages. 

Across the school children have access to a wide range of high quality texts to develop learning in all curriculum areas. In line with our PYP curriculum, where possible reading materials are linked to current lines of inquiry themes. Reading good quality fiction to the children is a priority in all year groups. 

Early Reading

In Eastcote  the development of early reading by putting reading at the heart of our curriculum. Using robust and systematic teaching of phonics, we provide an effective transition into independent reading, which subsequently encourages our older pupils to read widely and often. Phonics is an essential tool, but we are aware that, whilst phonic knowledge enables pupils to decode words, it does not teach them to understand meaning. We achieve this by providing opportunities for our pupils to sing, hear and engage with stories and rhymes, to gain an understanding of what words mean through early, verbal comprehension. These solid and secure foundations are then built upon to enable the children of Eastcote to be fluent, confident readers, fostering a love for reading.


Phonics is an essential ingredient in learning to read. Children begin phonics lessons on entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage..

We use the DFE recommended ‘Jolly Phonics’  teaching programme to support the teaching of synthetic phonics.

Guided reading – EYFS to Year Two

Reading  encompasses both the teaching of guided group reading in which the responses are verbal, in addition to the whole class teaching of reading.

All children in EYFS and KS1 participate in a guided reading session at least once a week. According to their reading age, the pupils are set into groups of up to six children within their class. The guided reading sessions can be led as part of the build-up in their weekly English sessions or in addition to these sessions as the teachers see appropriate. High-quality texts used from our reading book scheme are taken from the reading age of the child to ensure that the pitch is appropriate.

Guided reading – Years Three to Six

When they are ready, the children move on to reading using a wide range of reading schemes.

Children are taught higher order reading comprehension skills  explicitly within lessons.  In ks2 teachers use VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising) to ensure the National Curriculum skills are taught.

Additionally, we have kept cultural diversity at the forefront of our decision making when selecting books.  Our children read regularly to an adult and are read to be an adult on a regular basis.  We encourage our children to take part in the local library  summer reading challenge.  Parents support their children’s reading daily at home. Once our children have grasped the mechanics of reading our priority shifts towards reading comprehension and children take part in regular  reading sessions. Reading for pleasure is a high priority – our library has recently been refurbished and every classroom has its own reading area from which children are encouraged to borrow books to take home.  We celebrate ‘World Book Day’ annually where children celebrate books through a variety of different activities.

What do we do if our pupils aren’t on track?

Children’s reading is tracked and monitored through reading records kept by teachers.  Children who are not on track receive additional support and opportunities to develop their reading skills. They receive daily 1:1 support by reading with an adult. Children who require extra phonics support work in a small group to pick up any sounds they don’t know  or to develop blending skills. Where necessary children will take part in personalised comprehension interventions.

Home reading 

From Nursery to Y4 , every child takes a reading book home daily and we expect parents and carers to complete a home reading diary to record when they have read at home, ideally daily. For those developing their phonic skills, they will take a book matched to their current phonic ability. integral skill to learn.

In Y4,5,and 6 children are set three reading activities  on google classroom, which are linked to the National Curriculum objectives and also reflect the PYP learner attributes.

The impact of the reading in Eastcote is informed through both formative and summative assessment to track children’ progress. We aim to ensure we are enabling our children to become confident and successful readers.

By fostering reading for pleasure this means our children can fluently read a range of texts and build stamina to be able to read for sustained periods. They develop curiosity through questioning and predicting what will come next. They will infer what an author is suggesting through texts, pictures and songs. They will learn how to summarise and paraphrase texts they have read. Children will develop good comprehension skills and have a wide understanding of a topic due to a good grasp of vocabulary. They will be able to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers and adults.

Our reading curriculum  expects all children to reach age related expectations at the end of the year and provides the necessary support and intervention  for those children who don’t.

Our children are ready for the next stage in their reading journey.

Speaking and Listening

At Eastcote primary Academy our intention is for all children to be able to express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen and respond appropriately in a range of situations. We provide different opportunities for children to participate with different groups of children to present and share ideas with confidence, value and justify their own opinions and that of others.

Children are encouraged to sustain a logical argument and to be open-minded to respect the contributions of others and take into account their views.  We encourage and work towards every child being able to communicate audibly and confidently before an audience through assemblies, school productions, poetry and debates.

Speaking and listening is embedded through all aspects of the curriculum.  Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to voice their opinions and ideas both in small groups and whole class discussions, since we recognise that sharing and explaining concepts with peers enhances learning.

Staff  model the use of higher level vocabulary to expand children’s vocabulary. Subject specific vocabulary is also embedded across the curriculum through teacher modelling. Contextual learning helps children understand new words and supports them to include them in their work.

Reading sessions encourage pupils to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. Reading aloud enhances opportunities to develop fluency and expression.as well as developing listening skills and providing opportunities for discussion and debate.

Children are given the opportunity in writing to orally rehearse ideas.

Drama is used  to explore and engage children in their learning .

In maths children are encouraged to discuss and explore mathematical concepts and reasoning.

PYP Inquiry learning prompts discussion and allows pupils to generate inquiry questions important to them regarding the units of inquiry.

Science Investigations allow children opportunities to make predictions, ask questions, draw conclusions and learn scientific concepts.

In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into confident communicators who see the goodness in each other by listening, speaking with kindness and empathy and explaining with clarity and confidence. Children recognise that speaking and listening can lie at the heart of conveying character , and that through speaking and listening effectively, misunderstandings can be addressed and relationships.