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Nightingale Academy

Woodlands Infant School

The best me that I can be!

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Curriculum Intent

At Woodlands Infant School, through the teaching of a high quality education in  English, children will write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Reading also enables children to acquire knowledge and to consolidate and build on what they already know; pupils are able to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually, enabling them to participate fully as a member of society. 


We aim to equip all children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, developing their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure.


We aim to ensure all pupils:

  • Read fluently and with good comprehension.
  • 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 literary heritage.
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Be able to discuss, elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the skills of speaking and listening, being able to  present information to an audience with confidence, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



During the early years of compulsory schooling, much of the focus is to develop confident readers, mainly using the phonics approach. At Woodlands, we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, which was developed by the Department for Education.  Phonics is the relationship between printed letters and the sounds they make. Children will first learn the most common letter sounds, and then look at more difficult patterns such as recognising that ‘ow’ sounds different in ‘cow’ than in ‘low’, or that both ‘ai’ and ‘ay’ make the same sound in different words.




The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England, and is usually taken in June. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill. There are two sections in this 40-word check and it assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1. Your child will read up to four words per page for their teacher and they will probably do the check in one sitting of about 5–10 minutes. The check is not about passing or failing but checking appropriate progress is being made. If children do not reach the required standard, then the teacher will be in touch to discuss plans and offer additional, tailored support to ensure that your child can catch up. Children progress at different speeds so not reaching the threshold score does not necessarily mean there is a serious problem. Your child will re-sit the check the following summer term.




The Spoken Language objectives are set out for the whole of primary school, and teachers will cover many of them every year as children’s spoken language skills develop. In Year 1, some focuses may include:

• Listen and respond to adults and other children

• Ask questions to extend their understanding

• Learn new vocabulary related to topics or daily life Reading Skills

• Learn the 40+ main speech sounds in English and the letters that represent them

• Blend sounds together to form words

• Read aloud when reading books that contain familiar letter sound patterns

• Listen to, and talk about a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts

• Learn about popular fairy tales and folk stories, and retell the stories

• Join in with repeated phrases in familiar books

• Make predictions about what might happen next in a book

• Explain clearly what has happened in a book they’ve read or listened to




• Hold a pen or pencil in the correct and comfortable way

• Name the letters of the alphabet in order

• Write lower-case letters starting and ending in the right place

• Write capital letters, and the digits 0 to 9

• Spell simple words containing the main sounds they’ve learned in reading

• Spell the days of the week

• Learn to write words with common endings, such as –ed, –ing, –er and –est

• Plan out sentences aloud before writing them

• Write simple sentences, and those using joining words such as ‘and’

• Begin to use full stops and capital letters for sentences

• Combine some sentences to make short descriptions or stories




As children move through Key Stage 1, the new curriculum intends that almost all children will secure the basic skills of decoding so that they can become fluent readers. As their reading confidence grows they can begin to write their own ideas down. Decoding is the ability to read words aloud by identifying the letter patterns and matching them to sounds. Once children are able to ‘decode’ the writing, they can then start to make sense of the words and sentences in context. Watch out for hard-to-decode words such as ‘one’ and ‘the’. These just have to be learned by heart. At the end of Year 2, all children will sit the National Curriculum Tests for Key Stage 1. These will include two short reading tests, a grammar and punctuation test, and a spelling test of ten words.




The Spoken Language objectives are set out for the whole of primary school, and teachers will cover many of them every year as children’s spoken language skills develop. In Year 2 some focuses may include:

• Articulate and justify answers and opinions

• Give well-structured explanations and narratives, for example in show-and-tell activities Reading Skills

• Read words aloud confidently, without obvious blending or rehearsal

• Learn letter patterns so that decoding becomes fluent and secure by the end of Year 2

• Blend letter sounds, including alternative patterns, e.g. recognising ‘ue’ as the ‘oo’ sound

• Read aloud words which contain more than one syllable

• Recognise common suffixes, such as –ing and –less

• Read words which don’t follow phonetic patterns, such as ‘one’ and ‘who’

• Become familiar with a wide range of fairy stories and traditional tales

• Discuss favourite words and the meaning of new words

• Check that what has been read makes sense, and self-correct reading where necessary

• Make predictions about what might happen next in a story

Children will be expected to read aloud books which are appropriate for their reading ability. During Year 2 their increasing knowledge of decoding should allow them to read a wide range of children’s books.




• Form letters of the appropriate size, using capital letters where appropriate

• Use appropriate spaces between words when writing

• Begin to use joins between letters where needed 

• Spell longer words by breaking them into their sound parts (segmenting)

• Learn to spell some common homophones*, recognising the difference between them

• Use the possessive apostrophe in simple phrases, such as ‘the boy’s football’.

• Write about real events and personal experiences

• Plan out writing in advance, including by writing down key words

• Re-read writing to check that it makes sense and to make corrections, including punctuation

• Use question marks, exclamation marks, apostrophes and commas in lists

• Use the present and past tenses correctly in writing

• Begin to write longer sentences by using conjunctions, such as ‘and’,’ but’, ‘if’ or ‘because’ 


 *Homophones are words which sound the same, such as ‘blue’ and ‘blew’, or ‘one’ and ‘won’



Below, you will find some documents that you may find useful to help you to understand your child's learning journey in KS1. Please do not hesitate to contact your child's class teacher, should you require any further information.

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Nightingale Academy

Woodlands Infant School

The best me that I can be!

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