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South East Essex Academy Trust (SEEAT)

The Westborough School


long term curriculum english dec23.pdf



Intent - Every child a life-long reader

At Westborough, we believe that reading is an integral part of a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them. Children should become life-long readers and be given the opportunity to read a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts, accessing a wide selection of genres and texts from a diverse range of authors developing their knowledge from decoding to comprehension, leading to pleasure.

Our reading curriculum strives to develop word-reading, language comprehension behaviours that children need to be discerning readers, as they read frequently and widely for pleasure and for learning.


Decode – Comprehension – Pleasure

The early reading curriculum is delivered through systematic synthetic phonics teaching and a linked approached to shared reading through whole class reading, home reading, guided reading and reading widely across the curriculum. There are also regular opportunities for independent reading and children hear quality texts read aloud every day. This range of strategies allows all children to develop as fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers. 

Read Write Inc is the synthetic systematic programme in place for teaching phonics throughout the school.  All children in Nursery, Reception, Years 1 and 2 are taught phonics through Read Write Inc. Children are regularly assessed to ensure that they move rapidly through the programme. In each session there is a new sound taught and a review of sounds/words taught and the process of modelling, blending and segmenting are recapped collaboratively. All practitioners are continually trained in the rigorous approach to ensure consistency using the latest support from the RWI consultants and the RWI portal to ensure the children receive the best phonics instruction. Progress is monitored against the age related expectations and Fast Track Tutoring is given to children to ensure they keep up. This ensures children make accelerated progress.

The programme is continued as appropriate for children in Key Stage 2 and progress is monitored throughout their time at Westborough by the Reading lead.

Freshstart is a synthetic phonics intervention programme for pupils in years 5 and 6 who have been identified as needing further support or are new to learning English. Children are taught the 44 sounds systematically in phonics lessons and quickly start to sound blend them to read words. They follow a programme of modules and are regularly assessed after each block of modules.





4 sessions per week


Additional speed Sound session

15 minutes daily

20mins progress to 45



5-10 minutes

Year 1

4 sessions per week

5 Additional speed sound session

50 minutes

10 minutes

Year 2

4 sessions per week

4 Additional speed sound session

50 minutes

10 minutes

Year 3 (Intervention)

3 sessions per week

30 minutes

Year 4 (Intervention)

3 sessions per week

30 minutes

Year 5


3 sessions per week

30 minutes

Year 6


3 sessions per week

30 minutes


1-1 Tutoring, children not on track

5-10 minutes daily


Reading at Home

EYFS – Year 2 Children take home a RWI Book Bag book, which is a fully decodable reading book to consolidate their Read Write Inc. learning in the classroom. The children start with the Sound Blending books for extra practice of blending the Set 1 Speed Sounds and then progress from Red Ditty through to Grey. Children also take home a previously read book to support fluency. All Book Bag Books include notes for parents and carers on how to help their child at home with phonics. EYFS teachers share their teaching on Tapestry so parents/carers can reinforce the learning at home. Whilst children are on the RWI programme, they also take an interest/picture book home to share with an adult. We encourage parents to read aloud to children and to provide children with time to read at home. When children have completed RWI they are assessed using Accelerated Reader.

Accelerated reader is a computer programme that helps teachers monitor children’s independent reading practice. Children take a STAR test to determine their reading level. The STAR test is adaptive and adjusts to the child’s responses. Children are then given a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), which can help guide but should not limit their choice. Children are encouraged to choose their own books and can choose from the wide range at school or books from home. After reading the book, children take a short quiz (at home or at school) as an indication that the child has understood what they have read.

A programme of workshops is provided to parents to ensure that they feel supported to contribute to their child’s development of reading.

Year 3 – 6

Children that have continued with the RWI intervention take home a Book Bag book. It is important that children continue to be motivated to read at home regularly; AR allows us to monitor and reward this. Each class has their own system of rewarding reading at home. We can measure the level of challenge; the number of words read; comprehension and how frequently a child has read using the system. This allows us to monitor quiz results and provide encouragement and guidance as appropriate.

We understand that the quality of books is what is important and we have a well-stocked library and regularly purchase books to ensure the titles are up to date and new authors are introduced to the children. We are linked with an independent bookshop who support us with ensuring the children have access to the best books. There is an author of the month to highlight different authors as well as author visits. Teachers are encouraged to develop their own knowledge of children’s literature and contribute to the ordering of books appropriate for their year band to ensure a diverse range of authors and genres are selected. This supports them with directing children to books that they will enjoy and making book talk and conferencing an integral part of reading at Westborough.  As well as the main school library, teachers have an area in their room for children to browse the best books from a wide range of genres. The Reading Lead is working with the English Hub to transfer the school reading culture using the research led by Teresa Cremin and the Open University Reading for Pleasure resources.

In line with the DFE’s Reading Framework we have ensured that good language comprehension is at the forefront of our Reading Curriculum.

Whole Class Reading

The best way to make sure children succeed is to become life-long engaged readers. Children and staff at Westborough love to read and we endeavour to promote that love and passion for reading with children from the start of their time at Westborough.

When children can read accurately and fluently they can begin to really interpret meaning from the text. Our approach to whole class reading includes promoting excitement about the book, ensuring understanding of the context and background knowledge and key vocabulary is developed through the reading journey.

Children get the opportunity to read the text, explain ideas and themes as well as check understanding. We ensure they get the opportunity to think deeply and infer about the text they are reading as well as review and reflect through paired thinking, discussions and independent work.

We understand the importance of high quality talk and we are working in partnership with Voice 21 using their Oracy Framework,

To understand the physical, linguistic, cognitive and emotional skills that enable successful discussion, inspiring speech and effective communication.

We are working to ensure that there is deliberate, explicit and systematic teaching of oracy throughout the school allowing the children to progress through the strands to improve confidence, academic outcomes, wellbeing and life-long transferable oracy for success in all areas of the curriculum as well as developing the vocabulary and language understanding for Reading.

Opportunities to read independently

Children have a timetabled slot each day to enjoy their books independently and for book talk. This time is important for developing reading stamina and gives the teachers the opportunity to read with children and have the book talk discussions. Each classroom has a small mini library; teachers ensure that a range of texts is available so they can direct children to specific texts. Books in KS2 are labelled with the Accelerated Reader Zone of Proximal Development, which gives children a range in which they can choose appropriate books that they want to read. Children can choose books outside of their range if appropriate, the focus should be on pleasure and children wanting to read but ensuring there is a balance that children do not struggle and become put off reading or become unsure of what to read. We have continued to add to this system to ensure we have a range of fiction and non-fiction books.

Teachers read to children on a daily basis

Reading for Pleasure is a whole school priority and everyone is involved in promoting the structures and routines; it is everyone’s responsibility. There is a whole school story time at 2.55 – 3.05 every day. This is when adults read to children. There may be occasional pausing to explain a point or a word but on the whole this is time for children to sit back, relax and enjoy.  

Teachers research books to ensure that they provide a range of authors and the texts progress throughout the school. These books may sometimes be linked to WCR or writing or completely independent/chosen by the class. Books are chosen carefully to ensure that they elicit a strong response, extend vocabulary and support children with understanding of their own lives and lives/perspectives that may differ from themselves. This is acknowledgement of the fact that children who are regularly read to do better both socially and academically as well as allowing children to experience a range of authors and breadth of reading. Reading to children allows them to encounter vocabulary they may not come across and the teacher is able to explain meaning. Listening to stories appropriate for age allows children to hear a range of sentence structures supporting them with both speaking and writing.


Through the teaching of Systematic Phonics and Reading comprehension, our aim is for children to become confident and fluent readers who can apply their knowledge to a range of texts throughout the curriculum. By the time children leave Westborough we aspire to have children who want to read and can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment as well as all children meeting or exceed statutory expectations for their age with no significant gaps in pupil groups.

We want to ensure that parents/carers understand how to support children throughout their reading journey and contribute regularly to this.

In RWI, children are regularly assessed using the RWI programme of assessments and progress is monitored by the Reading Lead to ensure rapid progress through the system and Fast Track Tutoring as appropriate to ensure that children meet the expected milestones. Once progressing to Accelerated Reader, teachers access quiz reports so that they can monitor and target children as appropriate. STAR reading tests are completed 4 times a year; a baseline in September and then at the end of each term. Teachers can monitor growth/progress and identify areas to develop.

The NTS tests are used as a summative assessment at the end of each term. This allows teachers to identify gaps within their class as well as an individual basis, using the Mark Gap analysis system. In year 6, past papers are used to highlight children to support.

Teachers use the information above as well as pupil discussions and conferencing to inform their teacher judgements using the national curriculum expectations for each year band.



At Westborough, we aim to provide children with transferrable disciplinary knowledge for writing that they can build on throughout their time here and use for life. We want to ensure that they write with purpose and develop their own style so that writing is not just a means to record work across the curriculum but a pleasure and an opportunity to publish and celebrate carefully crafted pieces.

 We teach children to write for a range of purposes and audiences and have recently transformed our curriculum to ensure that it is engaging and children’s imaginations are inspired with the books and learning contexts, we have chosen. As appropriate, the books chosen may have supplementary texts, poems or films to support the enrichment literary opportunities. We will endeavour to ensure that we constantly reflect on our chosen stimuli researching and adapting to ensure that the children of Westborough have wide ranging and diverse experiences of literature.

We aim to provide the children with varied reasons for writing and believe that this not only produces higher quality writing, but also allows our learners to apply their knowledge to a range of different contexts. We have reduced the number of final pieces so that greater time and effort is focused on the editing, reviewing, improving and then publishing. Practising and progressing this process from the start of their learning journey so that it is an embedded before children start secondary school. Ensuring that children have the opportunity to write across all subject areas will further prepare our children for secondary and the more in-depth approach to analysing, planning and innovating their writing.

Oracy is prioritised in our whole school curriculum and as a partner school with Voice21 we have been working to build vocabulary for all learners and increase understanding of more complex texts used across our curriculum through discussion, questioning, exploring themes and learning texts. This increased understanding and preparation should supply our children with the tools they need in order to be successful in their writing. Our aim is for all learners to achieve their full potential in writing and we are committed to providing the support/scaffolds and challenge needed in order for our children to achieve this.


We have developed a book-based approach to teaching writing and the integration of the reading and writing allows for approximately two hours of English teaching a day with an hour focused on writing. Writing and reading are closely linked and we ensure that children are reading daily in order to build on their knowledge of different genres of writing and develop their vocabulary. All children are read to daily.  We are using Teaching for Mastery in Writing as a structure to plan writing units, which allows us to develop our own units in a consistent and progressive approach.

Engagement – hooking children in to learning contexts so that they can write

Talk and thought – Exploring literature and big questions and thinking together to inspire quality writing

Disciplinary Knowledge- routinely consolidating previous learning and teaching new direct writing instructions and conventions in a logical progression

Practice – using the principles of deliberate practice to develop writing for different contexts across the curriculum

Feedback – using feedback to empower children to become active partners in their own development

Publish – Edit, review, improve and publish

Sequence – putting these strands together to design effective units of work from learning from great authors to quality writing outcomes 

Teachers demonstrate high quality modelling within each Literacy lesson and encourage children to include key vocabulary, structure their work appropriately into coherent paragraphs and use the grammatical knowledge and punctuation taught at their year group level. The deliberate practice should be purposeful, thoughtful and focused.

Children are encouraged to deconstruct texts and identify key features for specific genres of writing. Teachers model the practising of these conventions and children then apply them to their own writing. The use of WAGOLL is also beneficial. This ability to identify specific features is a key to developing writing across both reading and writing and will improve comprehension in children. As a school, if appropriate, the genres of writing studied may complement and be supported by the learning in other areas but we the progression of writing is prioritised.

 Regular conferencing and whole class feedback ensures that children are aware of their strengths and areas for development in writing so that learners can take ownership of their progress. We ensure that learners are given next steps/targets at the front of their writing books and that scaffolds and challenges are put in place for those children working below or above age-related outcomes. Feedback should be task specific and targets/goals should have appropriate challenge.  The end of year expectations are in the back of books so that children and all adults know overall expectations.

The opportunity for children to publish work is prioritised and children encourage to regularly read out their work to spot errors and self-reflect. Teachers use a process of wave-editing to ensure final pieces can be celebrated.

We use Letterjoin to develop a high standard of joined, cursive handwriting; this is modelled across school and children are encouraged to imitate this. Handwriting is taught daily in EYFS and then progresses from five short to two longer lessons per week. By the end of Year 1 children should be confident in writing all the printed and capital letters. In Year 2 children should be developing the speed and fluency of their writing working towards improvement in the legibility, consistency and quality by the end of Year 4. Then practising applying size appropriate handwriting to all areas of the curriculum whilst maintaining legibility and fluency by the end of year 6. It is practised regularly in separate books but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced.

In addition to spelling taught in context, children follow the Spelling Shed programme which is closely linked to the national curriculum expectations for each year band.  This programme encourages children to regularly practise spellings in school and at home both written and on computer.


Assessment in writing is ongoing as teachers are expected to regularly feedback and plan for the editing process. In addition, teachers carry out in-depth assessment of children’s writing at the end of each published piece and are able to review targets and update the end of year expectations at the back of the book.

Year bands moderate work together and the Teachers Moderation Tool kit is used as a benchmark. Across school moderations are held throughout the year and statutory year bands attend local authority moderations as well as with other local schools. Regular whole school trust moderations are held across year bands to ensure consistency. The moderation framework has been developed across the trust.

Progress across classes is closely monitored by the English Leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring will include: regular book looks, pupil conferencing, teacher discussion, gathering evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, reviewing data on Insight and regular learning walks as well as the usual pupil progress meetings.

The findings of this monitoring are used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.






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