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Primary National Curriculum: English programme of study

All maintained schools in England must follow the national curriculum. 
From September 2014 a new English programme of study was introduced for key stages 1 and 2. 

English at Garsington CE Primary

Purpose of Study 
English underpins all areas of the curriculum and a capacity to acquire and build on knowledge through reading, together with the ability to speak and write fluently, are essential skills required by pupils for secondary school and beyond. 

Pupils will be taught to:
  • 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 literacy 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
  • be competent in the arts of speaking of listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Spoken Language

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and is crucial to the development of children’s vocabulary and grammar. Pupils will be taught the following content at an age-appropriate level to: 
  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • to select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.


Foundation Stage
Children will move from mark making to forming letters correctly, using an appropriate pencil grip. They will be taught to use their developing phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They will learn to write common irregular words. They will begin to write simple sentences which can be understood by themselves and others. Following the Read Write Inc scheme, they will learn to write enough of the spoken speech sounds (there are over 150 in English!) that if a word is not spelled correctly, it is phonetically plausible. 

Year 1 and above
Read Write Inc. Phonics is a complete literacy programme, for 3 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write and for 7 and 8 year-olds needing to catch up quickly. Although reading is taught using synethic phonics, the programme is so much more than that. It covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy.

Writing – spelling

See English Appendix 1 from the 2014 Primary Curriculum for example words and the statutory word list for Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6. 

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
The teaching of phonics follows the teaching sequence set out in Read, Write Inc, supported primarily by resources from Letters and Sounds (the Primary National Strategy 2007 programme) and Jolly Phonics, with additional resources including LCP and Education City. High quality phonics sessions will be taught daily by teachers and trained TAs in Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, with pupils in Key Stage 1 being streamed into small groups according to the stage they are working at. Teaching strategies will involve using a multi-sensory teaching approach which demonstrates an awareness of different learning styles including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. The recommended programme in Read Write Inc includes teaching tricky high frequency irregular words. Pupils are informally assessed on a daily basis (using a traffic light system) and formally assessed six times per year. Progress is recorded using the Read Write Inc progress tracking sheet and is reviewed in pupil progress meetings. 

Reading is taught alongside spelling so that pupils understand that they can read back words they have spelt. From Year 1, children will be given the opportunity to apply and practise their spelling by writing simple dictated sentences that include words taught so far. These will include regular words and exception words, including an increasing range of homophones as pupils move up through the school. Children will be taught to segment words into phonemes and to build up polysyllabic words from the root meaning, adding prefixes and suffixes.

Key Stage 2

·         Spelling lessons will take place 5 times per fortnight. However, this may increase to 6 times per fortnight according to the needs of individual cohorts.

·         The content of spelling lessons will be taken from Appendix 1 of the 2014 Primary Curriculum.  Letters and Sounds work will continue in Years 3 and 4 for those children who still need it.

·         If there are a small number of children in Year 3 still at an early stage of phonics, they will follow the lesson plan of the relevant phase from Key Stage 1 for their daily session.

·         Additional materials to back up spelling lessons may be cross-referenced from one of the following sources: Support for Spelling, Spelling Bank, Babcock Spelling, OUP Spelling Workbooks and Andrew Brodie Spelling books.  Any activities taken from these will be used to support a specific lesson objective and not as a stand-alone activity.



·         Children will have a maximum of 10 spellings to take home and learn each week.  These will be taken from the high and medium frequency word lists or reflect the word work currently being taught.

·         Spelling work will be recorded in the children’s Spelling and Grammar books. This will include individual word lists generated from mistakes in pupils’ own writing.

·         Children are encouraged to check their own work for spelling errors and to edit work where indicated by teacher marking. (See Marking Key sheet.)




Pupils will be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop a love of reading, an understanding of the world in which they live and to enable them to gain knowledge across the curriculum. At all ages, they will have stories read to them above the level at which they can access independently to give them access to a range of texts with rich vocabulary.

Foundation Stage
Children will be introduced to phonics through the Read Write Inc. programme, a comprehensive scheme which builds up pupils’ knowledge of sounds in a systematic way. They will learn to segment and blend words, and read common ‘tricky’ words (such as ‘the’ and ‘said’), enabling them to move on to reading sentences and simple books which they are able to decode independently. Through ‘book talk’ they will learn to share their understanding of what they have read. They will learn to recognise and predict rhyme.

Year 1
Pupils entering Year 1 who have not yet met the early learning goals for literacy will continue to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Children will continue to develop their word reading skills, applying and building upon their phonic knowledge from FS, following the Read Write Inc. programme. They will read books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words. To develop their comprehension, pupils will have the opportunity to listen to and discuss a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently. They will learn to recognise and predict rhyme, learning to recite some poems by heart. They will become very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics. They will discuss their reading, checking the text makes sense to them and starting to make predictions and inferences.

Year 2
Pupils will continue to build on their word reading skills according to their stage in Read Write Inc. To develop their comprehension, children will have the opportunity to listen to, discuss and express views about a wide range of contemporary and classical poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently. They will continue to check their understanding and will be taught to develop their skills further in making predictions and inferences. They will be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways. Pupils will also continue to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart.

Years 3 and 4
Children who have not yet completed Read Write Inc will continue at their level. There may also be individual strategies for such pupils set out under the school’s special needs provision. See also English Appendix 1 of the 2014 Primary Curriculum for details of prefixes and suffixes to be studied. Pupils will continue to develop their reading comprehension, increasing the range of texts studied and identifying common themes and conventions within them. They will begin to use dictionaries to check the meaning of words they have read and will be able to identify words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination. They will build on their stock of poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action. 

Years 5 and 6
Pupils will be taught to develop their ability to use inference, deduction and summaries and their understanding of fact and opinion and use of language to deepen their understanding of reading across a wide range of genres. These will include the genres covered in writing (see below) as well as individual reading, guided reading and class readers. Although children will by now be able to read independently, they will still have the opportunity to have whole books read to them.

Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, children will use Reading Journals to record their developing ideas, opinions and understanding of texts. These will not only be used for recording work as a result of guided reading, as appropriate, but also for independent work, allowing them to respond to a range of texts, both set by the teacher and chosen by the individual child.


Our handwriting is based on the Nelson scheme, which is in line with the guidance of the 2014 Primary Curriculum. 

From Foundation Stage, children will be taught to sit correctly at a table when writing, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly. They will learn to form letters in the correct direction, starting in the right place and finishing with a hook, ready to lead into the next letter when they begin to join. 

Joining will begin as children learn digraphs, which the children will learn to write in cursive style. This means that most children will be joining their writing by the end of Year 2. However, handwriting will continue to be taught in Years 3 and 4 in order to increase the fluency with which pupils are able to write down what they want to say.