English at Gurney Pease Academy

The English Curriculum at Gurney Pease Academy


At Gurney Pease Academy we truly believe that language and communication are life skills which need to be nurtured and developed from the moment children walk through our doors. We believe a high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.

We know how important reading is and our aim is to get children loving reading. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.  In early reading, we carefully match our reading books to phonics phases to ensure that there is reliability between the two.

At Gurney Pease Academy we have worked hard to ensure the children receive a broad and balanced curriculum where English is entwined into every subject to guarantee the children are able to practise many different aspects of the English curriculum. From the Early years, children develop a love of English through systematic and fun phonics lessons enabling them to have the best possible start to their learning of reading and writing.

Staff at Gurney Pease Academy deliver well-planned and engaging English lessons and strive to instil a love of language whether that be in their writing, their reading or in the way they use language in their day to day interactions.

Through participation with the English curriculum, we endeavour all pupils will:

·         Develop communication and spoken language skills through collaboration and encouragement.

·         Read with enjoyment; fluently, confidently and with a sense of success.

·         Develop a love of reading and reading habits, understanding the main purposes of reading for finding information and for pleasure.

·         Develop a repertoire of vocabulary which is rich, thoughtful and challenging.

·         Write creatively and coherently with confidence and a sense of pride and achievement.

·         Write for a purpose and to engage an audience, whilst showcasing their individual flair and style.


Through the delivery of an effective, engaging, varied and challenging English curriculum, we hope to empower all children to achieve language and literacy levels which provide them with the best of opportunities as they journey through education and beyond. We believe that it is essential that the curriculum in place provides opportunities to develop understanding of written and spoken language through a rich diet of vocabulary and reading experiences. we want children to leave us having a love and enjoyment of language and literature.


It is vital that effective curriculum delivery of Communication, Language and Literacy begins in Early Years. In our EYFS, children have the opportunity to:

Throughout the Autumn term, children in EYFS have a daily Read Write Inc phonics lesson in which they build their understanding of blending and segmenting in preparation for early reading and writing. In the spring term, children in EYFS join with children in KS1 accessing Read Write Inc phonics lessons which are matched to their ability. In this way, children are stretched, challenged and supported in their continued learning of phonics.

In addition to a real focus on phonics, there are a wide variety of activities on offer each day to engage children with learning which focus upon communication, language and literacy. These activities reflect the children's interests, with many of them child initiated. Adult -led activities are also available which ensure that children are appropriately stretched and challenged. 


The focus upon phonics continues into KS1 where all children are taught Read Write Inc in differentiated groups. Phonics is taught daily and also plays an integral part in all lessons, particularly in Year 1. Some children continue to be taught phonics as they move into Year 2 continuing to access Read Write Inc phonics lessons. During the course of Year 2, the majority of children will complete the Read Write Inc Phonics Programme and and will access guided reading sessions with the focus upon developing fluency and comprehension.

Throughout KS1 children are exposed to a rich diet of texts in order to develop their vocabulary and continue to encourage a love of books and reading. In addition to class texts and those that are read in Guided Reading, children in KS1 have their own individual reading book. While they are accessing the Read Write Inc programme, children have Book Bag books that they take home each week. As the children's' phonics understanding and fluency improves, they are put onto the Accelerated Reader programme where they read books at a level suitable for them before taking a quiz to check their understanding. 

Children have the opportunity to read in all curriculum areas over the course of the academic year, enabling them to increase their vocabulary and understanding in a variety of subject areas in addition to their language and comprehension skills.


Reading continues to play a vital role in the curriculum at Gurney Pease during KS2, as does vocabulary development. 

Children throughout KS2 continue to access phonics teaching and support as necessary, either through Read Write Inc or ICT programmes such as LEXIA and Teach Your Monster to Read. 

Children are exposed to a wide range of literature both through extracts from novels using resources such as Cracking Comprehension and VIPERS, and through whole texts with their class novel. Where there are clear links, class novels can be linked to what children are learning other curriculum subjects. 

Through reading, an emphasis is placed on vocabulary with children regularly exposed to new vocabulary and its meaning in context, across the curriculum. 

Through reading stimulus or resources such as Literacy Shed and Pobble 365, children are given a variety of opportunities to write which both engage and stimulate them. Staff spend time building ideas, researching writing styles and modelling different genre so that when children come to write they are armed with the resources necessary to produce quality text.


Assessment, planning, monitoring

Children complete 2-3 pieces of assessed writing each half term using progression and assessment grids in line with the National Curriculum and Age Related Expectations.

From the Line is used from Year 1 in order to allow learners to have a consistent approach to handwriting and presentation. 

Children are assessed termly by their class teachers in Reading and Writing. Formative and summative assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that the teaching of Reading, Writing and GPS is focused on children’s needs. 

In Y1, children take a statutory Phonics Test to test their decoding skills. In Years 2 and 6, children will take statutory assessments in Reading and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. In all other years, children take annual formal assessments in the summer term in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. 

We feel strongly that it is vital to consider the needs of all of our pupils at Gurney Pease when planning and delivering English lessons, in order to support all of our learners to reach their full potential. Where necessary, teachers identify which children are not making progress and take steps to improve their progress and attainment in English; these steps might include additional classroom support and intervention, alongside liaison with the SENDCO.

Our English scheme of work is based on the National Curriculum and can be found below:

Scheme of work English