Curriculum – English

At Cassiobury Infant and Nursery School, we plan our English Curriculum based on the standards set out in the Statotory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery & Reception) and The National Curriculum English Programmes of Study: Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). Each year group uses a ‘take-one-book’ approach as a stimulus for their English lessons, which is used as a hook to engage and excite the children in their learning. 

Teaching English in the EYFS (Nursery & Reception)

The EYFS Framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings (3 Prime and 4 Specific areas). All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected; the areas that link to the acquisition of English skills are as follows:

  • Communication and Language (Listening, Attention and Understanding; Speaking)
  • Physical Development (Fine Motor Skills)
  • Literacy (Comprehension; Word Reading; Writing)

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021

Development Matters: Non-statutory Curriculum Guidance for the EYFS 2021

Teaching English in KS1 (Years 1 & 2)

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. 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

National Curriculum English Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2 

READING

At Cassiobury Infant and Nursery School we believe that reading holds the key to enabling all children to access the full curriculum on offer. It is so important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible as fluent readers will learn more, because they can read and gain knowledge for themselves. Staff are passionate about the teaching of phonics and reading and are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.

End of Year Expectations in: Reading

  • Nursery
  • Reception
  • Year 1
  • Year 2

To see some of the ways that we promote a love of reading at follow our Twitter hashtag #CassInfReading

END OF YEAR EXPECTATIONS

EYFS – Development Matters: Reading

Children develop at their own rates, and in their own ways. The development statements and their order should not be taken as necessary steps for individual children. The age/stage bands overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development.

In the EYFS, reading is covered in the ‘Specific Area’ of Literacy. By the end of their time in EYFS, Reception children who are working at age related expectations in Reading will achieve The Early Learning Goal (ELG).ELG

 Comprehension:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play

ELG Word Reading:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words

YEAR 1 – programme of study

The programme of study for reading at key Stage 1 consists of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

Reading – Word Reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

Reading – comprehension

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • being encouraged to link what they read or hear to their own experiences
    • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
    • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases
    • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart
    • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • discussing the significance of the title and events
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

YEAR 2 – programme of study

The programme of study for reading at key Stage 1 consists of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading)

Reading – word reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent
  • read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above
  • read words containing common suffixes
  • read further common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered
  • read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

Reading – Comprehension

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
    • discussing the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related
    • becoming increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales
    • being introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways
    • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry
    • discussing and clarifying the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary
    • discussing their favourite words and phrases
    • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
  • understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to by:
    • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
    • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading
    • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
    • answering and asking questions
    • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves

Teacher assessment frameworks at the end of key stage 1 (PDF)

WRITING

The Curriculum – writing in EYFS

In the EYFS, children are provided with opportunities to write throughout the different areas of the curriculum and in their Child Initiated Learning, which we call BLT (Busy Learning Time). 

By the end of Reception, children working at the expected level of development will:

Early Learning Goal (ELG) – Literacy: Writing

  • Write recogniseable letters, most of which are correctly formed
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others

Early Learning Goal (ELG) – Physical Development: Fine Motor Skills 

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing

The Curriculum – writing in KS1

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)

It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.

Handwriting Letter Formation (PDF)

Examples of our writing achievements coming soon!

PHONICS

At Cassiobury Infant School we follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics programme. RWI provides a daily structured and systematic approach to teaching phonics. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

The children are grouped homogenously according to their phonic ability thus allowing them to work at their own pace, developing their phonic skills and consolidate their knowledge and understanding.

Useful Links

Read Write Inc. (RWI) website

Phonics Screening Check: Sample materials and training video

Speed Sounds on the Oxford Owl website

Learn to Read with Phonics on the Oxford Owl website

 

Twitter

Our Twitter hashtags showcase English and Literacy learning that takes place across our school, as well as the many enrichment and promotional  activities that the children enjoy in this area of the curriculum. You can view our Twitter hashtags fully (including photos) by clicking on the blue links in the feeds below #CassInfReading #CassInfWriting #CassInfEnglish to:

 

  • find out what the children have been learning in their lessons
  • see examples of the children’s work
  • get news about e.g. parent workshops, resources and competitions

Thank you to our mystery reader who joined us to celebrate #NationalStorytellingWeek by reading a book with an important message! #CassInfReading 📚

Thank you to our mystery reader #CassInfReading who read us an ‘appealing’ story about a brave banana 🍌 who didn’t mind what he looked like!

Thank you to all the mystery readers we've had recently. We've heard lots of different stories including The Three Little Pigs, There's No such thing as Monsters and The Tiger who came to tea. #CassInfReading

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Congratulations to Anton for receiving the star of the week this week. Anton has been learning like tortoise and has been resilient when writing sentences. Well done Anton #CassInfWriting #CassInfSMSC ⭐️ 🦉 🎉

In #CassInfEnglish we have been writing our own story books retelling the story Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis. Some of us even thought of our own titles. #CassInfWriting

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Well done to Aydin who is our star of the week for confidently & independently completing an amazing report about Brunel #CassInfWriting #CassInfSMSC

Good job Aydin 🌈⭐️

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In #CassInfEnglish we have been writing our own story books retelling the story Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis. Some of us even thought of our own titles. #CassInfWriting

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Today in #CassInfEnglish we are making a simple picture storybook about Poles Apart. We looked at the cover page & prepared the blurb.

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In #CassInfEnglish we started to create non chronological reports about London landmarks. We are including headings, photos and facts.

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This week we are celebrating #NationalStorytellingWeek. Today we took part in a fun quiz about traditional tales. We also told our own stories using props and our imagination. Can you spot the explorer and the ballerina? #CassInfReading #CassInfEnglish

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