Knutsford School
February 2 2015



The literacy curriculum helps children to develop key skills that they will need to help them throughout their lives. It includes speaking, listening, reading and writing.

In KS1 and KS2 the children have a daily literacy lesson lasting about an hour and then a separate reading and/or word level lesson. The word level lesson includes teaching phonics with the younger children and looking at word structure with the older. We also ensure that we read stories to the children so that they are exposed to a wealth of good quality literature.

Literacy is taught in a creative way to help fire the children’s imagination and enthusiasm to want to be a reader and writer. We include plenty of opportunities for the children to role play stories, act out alternative endings, question characters from the texts in role, work as a group to solve problems raised and plenty of other exciting speaking and listening opportunities.

Click on the links below for information about the English curriculum in Years 1 – 6


Reading and Phonics

Each year we organise a phonics awareness session aimed primarily at parents and carers of nursery and reception children. The presentation from that session can be viewed below:
Phonics session for parents

At Knutsford School we see reading as an integral part of the school curriculum that impacts on all learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children’s reading skills. We try to encourage a love for reading by integrating reading into cross-curricular topics, holding an annual book week and bedtime stories event, hosting visiting book fairs and developing close links with North Watford Library. Reading is taught in a variety of ways: one-to-one reading with an adult, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. The children are encouraged to decode words and read fluently and with expression.

During Guided Reading the children are encouraged to discuss, pose questions, analyse texts, give reasons and develop their vocabulary. The children are encouraged to use phonics for blending as the main strategy for decoding unknown words. Each Guided Reading group reads with their teacher or teaching assistant at least once a week. On the days a group is not reading with an adult they complete independent tasks, such as:

  • reading for pleasure
  • phonics / spelling activities
  • reading comprehension
  • exploration of the text they are reading in guided reading sessions (ie. a character description)
  • listening to and following a story on a CD
  • retelling stories using puppets

In each classroom there is a library which contains books of interest to the children and the topics they are studying. There is a very well-resourced school library which contains a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books.

All children take books home to read with an adult; this shared reading experience helps children to practice their reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading. Our aim is that the children should be able to read these books with at least 95% accuracy. Our main reading resource is Oxford Reading Tree and this is supplemented with books from other schemes including: Songbirds Phonics, Fireflies, Ginn All Aboard, Sunshine Spirals and Discovery World. All of these books are banded in ability levels. Once a child is fluent at Lime band they will move on to free readers where they can make their own choices, with support from staff if necessary, about their reading.

Letters and Sounds, a DfE publication, is our main resource for teaching phonics. Phonics is taught in a daily discrete lesson of 20 – 25 minutes with each lesson split into 4 parts:

  1. revisit / revise (previous learning)
  2. teach (new GPC or tricky word)
  3. practise (differentiated activity)
  4. apply (read or write sentences or text)

Children are taught in groups according to the phase they are working on. Children also have the opportunity to work as part of their class, where they all focus on one aspect of spelling. In Year 1, children needing additional support in reading take part in the ELS (Early Literacy Support) programme. In Year 2, children who did not meet the standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check have extra phonics lessons. Children who met the phonics standard in Year 1 have a daily spelling/grammar lesson based on the expectations in the 2014 National Curriculum.

Recommended Book Lists
The following book lists are provided to parents as a guide to the range of books we recommend children should read in each year group.
Foundation Stage
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6