Return to Curriculum


The school follows the National Curriculum for English which aims to raise standards of reading, writing and the spoken language for all children. We also follow a structured programme of phonics called ‘Letters and Sounds’ and include Guided reading to teach reading techniques. A typical English lesson involves, discussion, reading and writing for the whole class and small groups. Where applicable we also teach English across our creative curriculum.


Children participate as speakers and listeners during Literacy sessions. Language is developed and improved by talking, discussion, exchanging ideas and experiences.

Children engage in a variety of activities to promote the learning of phonics and we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme starting at phase 2. Children also experience a range of different genres in the form of Big Books and electronic books e.g. fairy stories, non-fiction text, rhyme and recounts.

Children are encouraged to read to their parents for at least ten minutes every night. They also use the words and the phonic sounds in their word bags to practise sounds and sentence building.

General literacy activities take place inside and outside and can include: games, writing for different purposes, role play, chalking, puppets, jigsaws, computer programs, sand and water play.

Years 1 & 2

In the Key Stage 1 classes, the children engage in a variety of whole class and small group activities including guided reading or writing, phonic work, spellings, vocabulary and grammar.

Children learn to recognise pronounceable sequences of letters within words and to acquire a range of strategies in order to decode unfamiliar words. They progress through a range of reading books within our reading schemes.

Within Literacy, children are encouraged to tell their own stories, to predict what might happen next, to describe experiences and be able to put their stories in sequential order.

Handwriting skills are continuing to be developed. Children will be given spellings to be learnt at home. These words are then used in school in the form of weekly spelling checks.

Children are taught to use a computer with confidence and may be asked to write their own story or poem using the appropriate software.

Years 3 & 4

The English lessons build upon the basic skills learnt in Key Stage 1 and extends the range of fiction and non-fiction texts which the children study. There is also a drive to improve vocabulary and new grammar.
Other aspects of English are regularly reinforced outside the daily lesson and these include guided reading, spelling tests and handwriting sessions. Junior children are expected to use a handwriting pen and most will start in Year 3. Regular time is also given to individual reading. Drama, speaking and listening activities also take place, as well as a chance to share work with the whole school each term in a class assembly.

Years 5 & 6

The focus of the whole class part of the English Lesson at the upper junior age is to look at the style and organisation of a text, as well as how the author uses language to create feelings and moods. There is a range of grammar work to be revised and some new grammar to learn. Spelling patterns, rules and exceptions are taught and there are spelling tests every week along with guided reading sessions. Drama and performing skills are practised, and time is given for handwriting and individual reading. The range of texts continues to widen and the children look at classic fiction from Charles Dickens to Roald Dahl, plays by William Shakespeare and poetry in many forms. Non-fiction texts continue to be used and the children look at the purpose and uses of all types of writing. This leads up to the National Curriculum Tests, more commonly known as SATs, at the end of Key Stage 2.

By the end of their time at Fairfields it is expected that pupils should:

  • read and write with confidence;
  • be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes;
  • understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately;
  • have fluent and legible handwriting;
  • have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary;
  • know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot;
  • understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts;
  • plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing;
  • have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing;
  • be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences;
  • through reading and writing, develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.