Goat Lees English Curriculum


We have 6 terms in the academic year.

Each half term is split into 2 halves. (2-3 weeks in each depending on the length of the term).

Breakdown for each of the six terms:

Part 1 (2-3weeks): Reading for Writing: writing from a text. During this time, we use a high quality text appropriate to the individual year groups. We focus on modelling and use of author's language and ways in which we can use this in our own writing. This might be in the shape of a short story in the same style or perhaps letter writing, diary entries of descriptive writing. There is a heavy emphasis on drama, spoken language and oracy.

Part 2 (2-3 weeks): Topic writing:narrative and non-narrative writing based around our topic work.
This does not have to be based on a specific text. There will be a variety of genres covered in this part of the term.

Our curriculum map for English, shows which books the children will be using, their writing links across the curriculum as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar. Please click here to have a look.

Please click on the links below to have a look at our progression in writing and punctuation.

Year R           Year 1           Year 2           Year 3          Year 4          Year 5         Year 6


We hold the highest standards for presentation from the children. This is the individual child’s best presentation – this will vary from child to child. Every child (where possible) is to use either pre-cursive or cursive letter formation. Children may join up their writing when their letters are all orientated correctly, are of a uniform size and when the ascenders and descenders go above and below the line respectively. When they are confidently joining and their writing is neat, legible and tidy (where appropriate for the child) they may begin using a black handwriting pen. 


At Goat Lees Primary School we encourage a love of books and reading. We provide the children with many daily opportunities to enjoy and share books with others. Our whole school provides the pupils with a language rich environment, enabling pupils to access reading of different types on a daily basis. Each classroom has an inviting reading area with a wide range of reading materials to support all reading abilities.

Within our CARE group, the English leads met to create a progression in skills document (for reading) to be used across our schools. This supports the class teacher in planning for groups as well as identifying gaps in learning for some children. If you would like to see this, please click here.

Other reading opportunities throughout the day occur through a wide range of activities such as whole class 'shared reading sessions' focusing on a text (fiction or non-fiction), story time when books are shared and enjoyed, opportunity to listen to books in class listening areas, text linked to cross-curricular work and IT. Children in year 6  have the opportunity to support  children in year 3 and 4 with their reading as well as sharing a book with their buddies in Year R.


At the heart of our curriculum lie our school values (respect, responsibility, honesty and pride) and these are reflected in the daily life of school. At Goat Lees Primary School, reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. We have a team who work closely together with a member of staff from EY, KS1 and KS2 to ensure coverage and progression. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.

We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to:

  • Develop fluency in order to establish an appreciation and love of reading
  • Develop their comprehension skills
  • Gain knowledge across the curriculum
  • Develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live
  • Be capable readers in preparation for the demands of secondary school

Implementation – Early Reading and Phonics

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Goat Lees Primary School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ programme which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. Alongside this, our children are taught the ‘tricky words’ which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern. Discreet phonics sessions take place daily for 20-30 minutes. Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, writing lessons as well as spelling and grammar activities throughout the week. Teachers regularly read to the children so the children get to know, and love, all sorts of stories, poems and information books. This is in addition to the books they take home. All classrooms have attractive book corners where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction to help embed their love of books and reading.

Implementation (Guided Reading in EYFS and KS1)

In EYFS, Year 1 and the children still following the Little Wandle programme, every guided reading group has an adult daily. Each session is ½ hour. 3 Guided Reading sessions will take place each week. Teachers plan and resource every group and the sessions that will be delivered. Each session is structured in a consistent way – every session starts off using the flash cards appropriate for that group, the children will read the same text all week and then take it home to read with their parents.

Session 1. Focus – Book introduction and first exposure. Identify front/back cover/blurb/ vocabulary children will encounter. First read of the book (decoding) where the adult will listen to individual children whilst reading at their own speed.

Tuesday – Session 2. Focus – prosody and second exposure to text. Key teaching points – fluency, expression, intonation, taking account of punctuation. Children re-read the text using expression and intonation.

Wednesday – Session 3. Focus – comprehension. This is a mixture of verbal (adult led) or written (more independent). Focus on the skill we need to be able to answer these questions. The types of questions the children will have exposure to are:

Tick a box

Fill in the table

Draw lines to match the correct answers

Justification – give one/two reasons why / how do you know?

True/False statements

Use numbers to order

Explain a word or meaning

Find and copy

Match the meaning questions

Implementation – Key Stage 2

In KS2, we use the Reciprocal Reading approach. Each child reads in a group 1 X weekly with their class teacher. Reciprocal reading is a structured method of guided reading where children are gradually taught to take on group roles to explore and find meaning in texts. Reciprocal reading emphasises teamwork and supports independent comprehension skills including:

  • prediction - predictions based on information they already know. What do you think will happen? What will happen next? What will this character do now?
  • clarifying - identify confusing words, sentences and ideas
  • summarising - identify the most important ideas in the text and what the text is mainly about
  • questioning - asking different types of questions about the text to encourage higher order thinking

 Once the group has practised these skills with the teacher, they will then work independently in their group: focusing on the same skills. For the rest of the week, the children will complete a reading comprehension which is led and guided by a teaching assistant, use online reading tools such as Epic read to further develop their reading skills and for some classes read with older/younger children.

Implementation – Wider Reading and Reading for Pleasure

Each topic is supported by a range of quality fiction/non-fiction texts. These are used for fact finding, group projects and reading for meaning/pleasure. We have a group of reading ambassadors in UKS2 who support reading for pleasure by:

  • Running a book doctor clinic in the school library
  • Leading reading assemblies
  • Organising reading competitions
  • Promoting the use of the reading shed at break/lunchtimes
  • Organising and running our whole school book swap


Our aim is that children can read fluently by the end of Key Stage 1, enabling them to fully access learning at Key Stage 2 and beyond.

Reading is assessed in the following ways:

Statutory Assessment Year 1: Children take part in the Phonics Screening check, any child not passing the check resits in Year 2.

Statutory Assessment Year 2: Children are assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 1 SATs.

Statutory Assessment Year 6: Children are formally assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 2 SATs. 

In School Assessments:

Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through daily informal and half termly formal phonic assessment as well as evidence from their reading and writing. Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any children needing additional support as soon as they need it.

Children undertake termly assessments using the NfER reading tests (Year 1 from Spring term). Progress is measured using standardised scores.

Informal assessments - Teachers continuously assess children’s attainment and progress during individual and whole class reading sessions.

Home Reading Books

In EYFS and KS1, each week your child will bring home two books. A reading practice book – Collins Big Cat.  This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together. A sharing book - In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The goal is enjoyment!

In year 2 and into KS2, your child will take home a range of fiction and non-fiction books from different reading schemes and these are levelled to match ability. This allows the children to independently access the books which have been  selected to match their current reading ability. Parents are requested to fill in an individual reading record daily in order to give the school feedback on their child's reading progress. The scheme that we use is from Oxford Reading Tree which includes Tree Tops and Project X.

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