Literacy Overview

English is integrated across the curriculum, with books and stories sitting at the heart of it. We aim to inspire enthusiasm for reading and writing and maximise opportunities to develop children’s literacy skills. We endeavour for our children to leave our school fully equipped with the speaking, listening, reading and writing tools they will need for the wider world. During Literacy lessons, children are taught important and valuable skills in real-life contexts that will help them communicate effectively with others and unlock different subjects within the curriculum.

Reading and Phonics
At Fair Furlong Primary School, we are proud of our rigorous and successful approach to the teaching of Reading. Our aim is for all children to leave school with a love of reading and the willingness to continue their reading journey into their adolescent years. In addition to encouraging a love of reading, we have high standards of the children at Fair Furlong. We expect that every child, where possible, will pass the phonics check in Year 1 and reach ‘expected standard’ at the end of Year 6.

As well as the daily teaching of phonics and reading, an adult in school will hear your child read 1:1 at least once a fortnight. They will record this session in their reading records, giving details on their success and any areas to practise at home.

Please see our ‘Reading and Phonics’ page for a more detailed look at our reading curriculum.   

Our writing curriculum is linked to the children’s overall topic for the term and is centred on a high quality text. Each term, the children will become immersed in the text and produce both fiction and non-fiction writing that has stemmed from the themes or events from the book. A nursery rhyme (EYFS) or poem (KS1 and KS2) per term will also be learnt. These are to be taught either in reading or writing lessons, with a focus on oral retelling and the poet’s intent.

Each year group will cover a fiction and non-fiction unit per term, based on their overall curriculum topic and text. They will explore how the writing genre has been formed and constructed, the impact this has on the reader and the grammar skills needed to recreate the piece of writing independently. The children are taught to plan, draft, write and edit their work, giving them the ability to independently improve each piece of writing to effectively suit the audience and purpose.

Poetry is taught throughout each unit and explicitly every other term. Teachers use the nursery rhyme or poem as a stimulus for the teaching, as this is linked to the over-arching topic for the term and offers cross-curricular links to learning. As well as writing their own poetry, they are also taught how to successfully perform their poetry to an audience. 

Spelling and grammar 
Reception and Year 1 children will be continuing to learn phonics sounds, as well as learn high frequency words. Please see the ‘Reading and Phonics’ curriculum page for more information.

Year groups 2-6 have a dedicated spelling or grammar lesson each day. The children are taught and then learn key rules for spelling, grammar and punctuation, helping them to communicate their ideas in a coherent manner. Your child will be given an overview of the spelling rules being taught for the term. These are to be practised at home, in readiness for a weekly test to track their progress.

Communication and Language
At Fair Furlong School, we aim to support children in becoming confident and effective communicators by providing them with rich opportunities to talk, alongside the explicit teaching of the speaking and listening skills they need to communicate well. Communication is fundamental for children's development, and is essential for children's learning, play and social interaction.

Our EYFS provides a language-rich environment where children's ideas and thoughts are listened to, commented on and extended through quality interactions and conversations. Through careful observation, children's needs in communication and language are promptly recognised and supported appropriately through one-to-one or small group intervention. Talk Boost, ECAT and our Speech and Language Therapist form part of our support programme. Phase One Letters and Sounds activities are also delivered across our EYFS, ensuring key skills are developed in children's speaking and listening and wider awareness of sounds and words. In addition to this, our school ensures children experience regular opportunities to engage in stimulating, exciting learning moments, daily rhymes and stories and an environment which nurtures talk, communication and exploration of language.

Children in KS1 and KS2 experience regular opportunities to talk through drama, paired talk, class discussions, debates and presentations in order to deepen their thinking and understanding across the curriculum. We understand that to communicate well, children need to develop a broad and rich vocabulary. In KS1, children are explicitly taught selected words each term that relate to their learning and they are taught using a consistent approach which explores the word in an interactive and meaningful way. In KS2, children are encouraged to select interesting words that they notice in the high quality texts shared during whole class writing and reading sessions. They will then be given different activities aimed at expanding their knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and how it can be manipulated to enhance their own written and spoken language. Children’s use and application of the vocabulary is encouraged and celebrated in school in both Key Stages. Exploring and using new vocabulary is embedded throughout the curriculum and every opportunity is taken to create a culture of curiosity and love around words and language.