Engaging, exciting and empowering lifelong learners through a creative, mastery-based curriculum 

 Our curriculum is centred around developing the whole child: from their head, to their heart, to their hand.  

The characteristics of a reader at East Farleigh Primary:

Curriculum Ambition: Reading

At East Farleigh Primary School, aim to develop passionate and capable, life-long learners through an engaging, exciting and carefully planned reading and writing curriculum. We understand the importance of literature in acquiring knowledge but also in developing socially and emotionally, and we place a high emphasis on reading for pleasure to foster a love of reading across the wider curriculum. To achieve this, we are guided by seven core principles of ‘Effective English’:

Curriculum Design: Reading

At East Farleigh, we believe that education provides a route to empowering children to have the resilience and moral character to overcome challenges and succeed. We aim to provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment that exposes children to the best that has been thought and said, instilling in them a love of knowledge and culture to become the next generation of informed citizens and positive contributors to the society in which they live. Our progression pathway shows how we structure and organise the different curriculum concepts and knowledge categories into meaningful units or ‘topics’ across the school. Through this approach, we aim to engage and excite children’s natural curiosity to make meaningful connections (over time), master concepts, deepen their knowledge and become the empowered, articulate, lifelong learners of tomorrow.

We use Literacy Counts, ‘Steps to Read’ to support a whole-class approach to the teaching of reading comprehension from EYFS through to Y6. Early reading fluency and phonics is taught using Letters and Sounds. Teachers adapt the schemes of learning to match the needs of individual classes. The units are written to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2 programmes of study . 

Whole-class and shared reading

East Farleigh uses the research-based, ‘Steps to Read’ programme to ensure a balanced and progressive approach to the teaching of reading from Y2 to Y6.  The scheme facilitates the systematic delivery of essential comprehension skills through high-quality texts that aim to broaden children’s reading repertoire. Each unit has a range of texts that have been chosen to expose children to rich and ambitious vocabulary that is clearly contextualised by building on the knowledge and skills they will be learning across several foundation subjects as part of our ‘connected curriculum’. 

A range of genres are covered through this whole-class approach - fiction, non-fiction and poetry – which introduces children to language, concepts and content that they might otherwise find too demanding to decode independently or fully comprehend without adult support.

Research tells us that ‘working vocabulary’ is developed through books that are read to and explored with children. New, irresistible vocabulary (non-decodable and decodable) is carefully introduced alongside the beautiful illustrations which illuminate meaning in order to promote and secure a deep level of comprehension. We have ensured that there is a clear structure adopted within each lesson (Read, Model, Practise and Apply) which supports the explicit and cumulative coverage of the fundamental skills and strategies of reading comprehension, this consistent approach aims to ease cognitive load and allow all leaners to share a deep sense of enjoyment on their individual journeys to mastery in reading.

Developing independence in reading

Accelerated Reader

As children progress beyond to become more fluent readers, they will be introduced to the Accelerated Reader (A.R.) program to support their independence in selecting books that are appropriately pitched to promote fluency and comprehension skills at exactly the right level. This helps to secure the very best progress from each and every child, whilst still allowing plenty of choice and autonomy is being able to select books that appeal to their individual interests.

It has proved to be a very effective system for motivating children and ensuring good progress in reading. Children have access to a range of beautiful books in their class libraries; these are regularly replenished from our school library by nominated reading ambassadors. 

It is vital that you and other family members continue to listen to your child read as they progress through the school. This not only helps support their fluency and comprehension, but it can also lead  them develop a true love and enjoyment of reading as they will see first hand the pleasure you take in listening to them share their stories with you. It is important that you capture these moment by writing in your child's reading record book; this also gives us a useful measure to see how regularly children are reading. 

Parents as Partners