Curriculum – English

“Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything – And I mean everything.” Jeanette Winterson


At Horndale County Infant and Nursery School, we believe that English is at the heart of all our curriculum areas. We want children to read confidently and believe that by developing a love of reading we will enrich their lives. Children’s writing is developed through school, with staff deploying a range of writing techniques across various genres. Synthetic phonics is used throughout school and is then built upon with reading for pleasure and the Accelerated Reading programme which ensures that children are challenged and resilient in reading increasingly complex texts.


At Horndale our English long and medium term plans ensure that there is progression throughout the school and that children are building upon knowledge learnt in previous years. Half termly assessments of phonics, reading and writing are used to identify children who are making slower rates of progress and interventions are focussed around the skills needed to accelerate progress. At Horndale children in Key Stage One receive a 60minute phonics session and a 45minute English lesson within the morning session and an additional 10 minute afternoon phonics session after lunch. They cover a broad and balanced English curriculum and end the day with a ‘Favourite Five’ story to develop their love of reading.

English in the Early Years

In the Early Years at Horndale we focus on the Communication, Language  and Literacy development of the children. This spoken language underpins all other areas of learning. The quality of the conversations the children have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added enables practitioners to build children’s language effectively.

Reading to the children each day and engaging them in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems gives the children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas and with modelling from staff and questioning which invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable in using a range of vocabulary.

We believe it is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading, understanding language comprehension which develops when adults in the setting talk with the children about the world around them and the books they read with them as well as the rhymes and songs they share together. Skilled word reading comes later in the Foundation Stage involving both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing then involves transcription and composition of articulating ideas and structuring them in speech before writing.

Within English lessons KS1 children will:

Within Key Stage One the English curriculum is taught through Read Write Inc and based around high quality texts. It ensures continuity and progression and aims to ensure that all children:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • 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
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas


As a result of this, we hope that at Horndale you will see:

  • Engaged children who are all challenged appropriately.
  • Children who are confident in talking about their English curriculum.
  • Lessons that use a variety of resources to support learning.
  • Learning that is tracked and monitored to ensure all children make good progress.

Whole School English Curriculum (last updated July 2022)

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