Curriculum Information for Parents
Please click on the links for the Curriculum Information:
English is at the heart of the curriculum. We are ambitious for all learners and strive for them all to achieve excellence. We provide a learning environment where children are nurtured to articulate their thoughts, opinions, feelings and wishes through spoken language. They will view spoken language as a powerful tool to enable their voice to be heard whilst having the empathy to listen to other’s views respectfully. Reading is the skill which will unlock a lifetime of opportunities for our pupils. We aim to foster a life-long love of reading by building rich reading communities where reading is at the heart of children’s lives. Pupils are taught to read for pleasure, meaning, understanding, purpose and learning. Through the provision of quality, language-rich texts, we will inspire our pupils to be curious and playful with language so that they are willing to take risks and develop unique, personal writing styles. Pupils will understand the different purpose and forms of writing and become excellent at written communication, understanding the impact and influence that this can have on the reader. Pupils will see their own lives and the lives of others through the range of literature that they are exposed to and this will enable them to gain the knowledge, imagination, empathy and, ultimately, have ambitious goals for themselves to become global citizens of the future.
At Seven Kings Primary, phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Reception and Key Stage 1. Children are placed in groups, differentiated according to their phonic awareness and development. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme which provides a synthetic, multi-sensory approach to the teaching of phonics. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit and review their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘igh’; and
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics groups when it is felt necessary to meet their needs.
The national Phonics Screening Check is performed in one week of June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learnt phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. At the end of Year 1, any children who may still require some support with their phonics will be given additional support until they are ready to move on.
Look out for our online Phonics Workshop which will be available soon to help you support your child with phonics at home.
Punctuation, Grammar & Spelling
Daily reading together at home is an important way in which you can help your child. As you share books, you are helping improve your child’s reading skills and also showing them how important and enjoyable reading is. Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands using Bug Club Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become a ‘Free-Reader’, where they are able to choose their own book to read from our school or class libraries. In addition to a personalised reading book, children are able to take a book home from the school library or access e-books through our online library platform.
Reception and Key Stage 1 Reading
Every child in Reception and Year 1 is heard read by a teacher at least once a week to support their fluent decoding, comprehension and extend them individually. In the Summer Term of Year 1, children also begin to take part in guided reading sessions with their teacher. In these sessions, children will read and discuss a text in a group. Supported by their teacher, they will focus on decoding, reading fluency and comprehension skills.
Key Stage 2 Reading
In Key Stage 2, children progress from guided reading in small groups to whole class guided reading. They will continue to read a variety of age-appropriate texts and with the support of their teacher, take part in discussions and activities which will increasingly develop their vocabulary and understanding of what they have read.
Reading for Pleasure
At Seven Kings School, we feel passionately about the importance of reading for pleasure for both children and adults. Reading independently, as well as hearing texts read aloud, is a magical experience and opens up a whole new world to your child . Not only does reading for pleasure have a positive impact on parts of our lives such as wellbeing, aspirations and empathy towards others, there is also strong evidence that children who read for pleasure are more likely to achieve high academic success across all subjects when they leave school.
During the school day, each class will take time to sit down together and listen to a text read by their teacher. This might be a picture book, novel, poem or information text. This is an important part of the day, where the children can relax, enjoy a text together as a class and engage in conversations about what they have listened to. These sessions help to nurture our pupils as readers, allowing them to explore their likes and dislikes, make connections, broaden their vocabulary and excite them about author and genre choices for future reads.
What Seven Kings School children say about being read to in class:
I love my teacher reading aloud to us because I can imagine it better without worrying about reading the words and their expressions help me to understand the character’s feelings and reactions.
I like it when the whole class gets together and listens to Miss read.
I think it's a great way to read a book. I am able to become the character in the book.
Well, she lets us into another world and reads gracefully and lets everyone get involved.
He uses lots of different voices for the characters. It’s so funny!
50 Recommended Reads:
As well as classroom libraries, all children have the opportunity to regularly visit our school library where they can take time to read quietly, learn how to browse the books and select a text which interests them. They are able to take these books home, where we encourage parents to take the opportunity to share and discuss the book with their child. As well as our school library, we also provide an online library with a substantial selection of e-books that the children can select and read.
Big Reading Push
In the summer of 2020, we launched our Big Reading Push by hand-delivering a book to each of our students from Reception to Year 11. In the Primary School, weekly reading challenges were set for Home Learning.
Inspired by some of our favourite authors and the British Library’s Miniature Book Project, we created our own wonderful range of mini books. From recipe books to stories and information books the children’s creativity was endless. Take a look at some of our aspiring authors and illustrators miniature books here: