The role of English is both integral and fundamental to the curriculum. It equips children with the essential skills for independent learning though reading, writing and the ability to effectively communicate with others. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.
Fiction: Unit 1 – Traditional and Fairy Tales
This unit on traditional stories and fairy tales builds on pupils’ experiences in the Foundation Stage and continues to develop the art of storytelling. Good quality picture books are used throughout this unit to enrich pupils’ imaginations and vocabulary. The stories also provide excellent text models for developing pupils’ own story writing.
Non Fiction: Unit 2 – Reading and Writing for Information
This unit teaches pupils some of the features and conventions associated with reading and writing for information. Pupils’ experiences and interests are used to inform the selection of texts for exploration so that they appeal to and engage pupils right from the start!
Fiction: Unit 3 – Cumulative Stories
Cumulative stories are ideal stories to teach younger pupils to build stamina and engagement at an early stage in reading and writing. They follow easily recognisable patterns and refrains that are fun and enjoyable for pupils to join in with.
Non Fiction: Unit 4 – Recounts and Instructions
This unit on recounts explores two elements of the genre: chronological recount and instructions. Where possible teachers should link this unit to work in other curriculum areas so that pupils have the opportunity to speak, read and write within relevant and meaningful contexts
Fiction: Unit 5 – Author Study
The author study provides opportunities for pupils to explore in more depth the work of a particular author. Pupils find out about the work and life of the author. They read a selection of books with opportunities to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills.
Poetry: Unit 6 – Word Play On 3 Themes
This unit encourages pupils to listen to, read and appreciate rhythm, rhyme and pattern. The poems engage pupils in poetry ‘performance’ on their own and collaboratively, including singing, adding music, rhythms or sounds, doing actions and acting out. These simple rhyme and pattern structures and frames are used to support their own poetry writing.
Fiction: Unit 1 – Traditional Stories
This unit introduces pupils to more complex narrative structures in traditional tales. They experience how authors write the same story but from different viewpoints and how the same story can be represented differently in other parts of the world. They use their knowledge to write some entertaining stories for themselves.
Mixed Genre: Unit 2 – Helping Bob!
Teaching particular text types is more engaging for pupils when set in meaningful and purposeful contexts. For this unit, pupils are involved in reading and writing for ‘real’ purposes to help astronaut Bob with various tasks that demand using and applying knowledge of familiar text types, as well as being introduced to new forms of reading and writing.
Poetry: Unit 3 – Patterns and Themes
This unit encourages pupils to listen to, read and respond to rhymes and language patterns, and to explore different forms of poetry. Pupils are encouraged to join in and enjoy playing with words, rhythm and rhyme, and to recite some by heart.
Fiction: Unit 4 – Play Script and Performance: An Introduction to Shakespeare
The unit introduces pupils to the nature of performance and play script. Shakespeare’s work is rooted in our rich cultural heritage and his work can be interpreted at many different levels, A variety of suitable texts and approaches means that pupils at a younger age can be introduced to the work of one of the world’s greatest writers. The unit links with the study of a famous person in the History curriculum.
Fiction: Unit 5 – Author Study
This unit explores in more depth the work of a chosen author. Pupils are involved in selecting the author by recalling books read in Year 1, books read at home and independently, and by the teacher sharing some appetising books with pupils. Pupils compare and contrast the stories identifying and recognising the style of the author.
Mixed Genre: Unit 6 – Journey Stories
This unit explores the theme of journeys, whether real or imagined. In journey stories it is usual for the main character to meet people, animals, physical landmarks or obstacles along the way. These meetings signal a moment when something happens, often a problem and resolution. Journey stories have particular structures that, when once known, pupils can relate this understanding to make connections in and between texts, and as a support for their own story writing.
A fractured story is a story that uses traditional stories and fairy tales as a basis for retelling and changes something such as character, setting, plot or viewpoint. Fractured stories are a favourite genre with pupils, as many are amusing and allow pupils to bend the rules of storytelling. As well as helping pupils to deepen their understanding of different story elements, fractured stories provide motivating reasons to write. Pupils can let their imaginations run wild.
This unit is constructed around a central theme of ‘Bears’, real and fictional. Pupils are invited to produce a new magazine for a toy shop. This involves them in reading and writing for ‘real’ purposes and enables them to further develop their knowledge and understanding of different text types within an engaging and interesting context.
This poetry unit introduces pupils to a range of different poetry forms, both modern and traditional. The particular forms have been selected to provide pupils with opportunities to explore the focus grammar elements for this year group in meaningful and enjoyable contexts. Pupils are introduced to the benefit of using a thesaurus to broaden and enrich their vocabulary. Following reading, teacher modeling and demonstrating, pupils have opportunities to write their own compositions for reading, recital and performance. By the end of the unit pupils will be able to easily recognise and name different poetry forms.
The unit introduces pupils to some ‘mantle of the expert’ ways of working where they are set a challenge that requires a collaborative problem solving approach. Every few days a new challenge is set that allows pupils to respond in different ways, to exercise choice and to read, write and communicate in purposeful ways. The pupils work towards a solution for the ‘client’ who sets the challenge. Throughout the unit, pupils work as researchers, presenters and publishers.
This author focus unit provides opportunities for pupils to explore in more depth the work of a chosen author. Involve pupils in selecting the author by recalling the author studied in Year 2, books read at home and at school, and by teacher sharing some appetising books with pupils. Another way into the study is to invite an author (if living) to work with the pupils and then invite pupils to select particular books to explore in depth. The author could visit at the end of pupils’ immersion in the texts as a celebration event.
This unit has a strong focus on developing pupils’ spoken language skills through using a wider range of drama conventions that take pupils to imaginary lands and situations where there are dilemmas to explore and problems to be solved. The classic story poem, ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ by Robert Browning, presents pupils with a wide range of opportunities to speak, read and write for ‘real’ purposes providing a wide evidence base of where pupils are in their learning at the end of the year and what they are capable of as they start Year 4.
Fiction: Unit 1 – Narrative – Fables
This unit on fables develops pupils’ understanding of stories that contain a moral or a lesson on human behaviour. The approach moves systematically from pupils’ exposure to hearing and reading fables, through a variety of responding opportunities, to the production of original stories. Fables illustrate for pupils the strengths and weaknesses inherent in human nature by contrasting behaviours such as wise and foolish, greed and generosity.
Poetry: Unit 2 – Creatures Great and Small
This unit introduces pupils to classic and modern poetry based on the theme of creatures great and small. Poetry has the power to bring children up close to the beauty of nature and enable them to travel the world in their mind’s eye to see the variety of wildlife in their various habitats. Pupils will be expected to engage with a wider range of literary language and poetic devices. They will learn how poetry can be used to present different perspectives and to position the reader
Non Fiction: Unit 3 – Advertising (The Fun Fit Factory)
This ‘Writing for Real’ unit helps pupils to recognise the persuasive devices used in advertising and to evaluate these critically and objectively. Pupils are then asked to use the knowledge and understanding gained about advertising to create a fictional campaign to promote a new fitness facility for young people. This involves pupils in developing their collaborative working skills and writing for a range of audiences.
Mixed Genre: Unit 4 – Modern Fiction (Eye Of The Wolf)
This unit introduces pupils to a modern novel translation, Eye Of The Wolf . It has a more complex narrative structure to stretch pupils’ comprehension skills. It also has two narrators and uses the technique of flashback to tell the story of a boy who lives on one continent and a wolf that lives on another. The novel raises issues for pupils to explore such as survival, friendship, disappearing landscapes and human impact on the natural world. The novel is used as the stimulus for imaginative and creative writing for a range of purposes.
Fiction: Unit 5 – Myths
In this unit about myths, pupils explore how stories were once used as a narrative to explain natural or supernatural life such as how the world came to be, occurrences in nature and gods and heroes in Greek mythology. Pupils have the opportunity to explore stories from different parts of the world and to write their own myths. The unit can be used to support a History curriculum focus on Ancient Greeks.
Multi Genre: Unit 6 – Historical Fiction
This unit takes pupils into the past to explore the lives of two children who lived in the same place in different periods of history. (Charles II and Queen Victoria) The two novels selected explore what life was like at these times, the events taking place and the challenges faced by the main characters. Themes of family loss, friendship, survival and resilience are explored through book talk, drama and writing. The unit can be used to support a History curriculum focus on Victorians.
Fiction: Unit 1 – Traditional Stories From Other Cultures
In this unit pupils explore several traditional stories from different cultures, written in a contemporary style. They become more familiar with the different structures of stories and the range of literary devices authors use to involve and engage the reader. Pupils will apply what they learn to further develop their language and writing skills.
Non Fiction: Unit 2 – Finding The Boy King
This multi genre unit is linked to the study of Ancient Egypt and engages pupils in reading and writing a wide range of on-line and book based texts exploring the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. Pupils create an exhibition to inform the school community of this aspect of their work in English which could be displayed as part of a wider exhibition of pupils’ work on Ancient Egypt.
Poetry: Unit 3 – Poetry With Attitude
This poetry unit helps pupils to appreciate the power of language to communicate feelings, emotions and viewpoints through the written word. Pupils experience how poetry can be a source of inspiration, imagination and consternation. The poems selected cover a range of poetry forms and topical themes, providing pupils with ‘food’ for thinking and discussion.
Classic Literature: Unit 4 – The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
This unit focuses on the study of a classic novel, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S Lewis. The book features in many lists of classic literature every primary pupil should read. The novel reflects the categories of the fantasy and adventure genres but there are aspects of fables and myths too. The story of four children, who discovered a new land at the back of a wardrobe, weaves drama, action and imagination for a satisfying read. The novel is multi-layered with many themes for pupils to explore such as friendship, betrayal, sacrifice, forgiveness, justice and loyalty.
Legend: Unit 5 – Beowulf
This unit on legend focuses on an adaptation of the Norse legend Beowulf. As well as offering an insight into Anglo-Saxon times, the legend explores typical themes of the text type such as quests, courage and revenge. There have been many adaptations of the story poem over the centuries and the legend has no doubt been embellished with each telling. The pupils are asked to work towards an exhibition about Beowulf to provide an audience for showcasing the Art and writing they produce. The unit links very well with the study of the Anglo-Saxon period in the Key Stage 2 History curriculum.
Modern Fiction: Unit 6 – White Dolphin
This modern fiction unit introduces pupils to a range of issues faced by individuals and communities. The focus novel White Dolphin is an action packed adventure story set around the coast of Cornwall. It supports mature readers to engage with multiple themes to stretch and challenge them, and develops their skills of reasoning and summarising as well as empathy. The book also raises pupils’ awareness of eco-issues of wildlife conservation.
Poetry: Unit 1 – Stories For The Telling
This unit focuses on narrative poetry created by significant poets from our literary heritage. The selected poems are rich in composition, language and vocabulary for pupils to enjoy and explore. They cover a range of themes that challenge pupils to interpret character, motive and consequences at a more sophisticated level. Drama is used to support pupils to engage more deeply and thoughtfully with the content of the poems. The wonderful rhythmical qualities make the poems ideal for choral reading and performance.
Mixed Genre: Unit 2 – Children Of Conflict
This unit explores ways in which authors portray and communicate the effects of war and conflict on the lives of children and others in the past. A range of literature in varied styles and presentation brings together words and images of key events from the first and second world wars and supports pupils to understand these from a range of perspectives. The texts are multi-layered, covering a wide range of issues and themes that will make higher order demands on pupils’ comprehension and writing skills.
Mixed Genre: Unit 3 – Captain Scott
This unit explores reading and writing for different purposes from the perspective of a cross-curricular project on explorers. The national curriculum states that pupils should have opportunities to learn about significant people, past and present. In this unit, pupils study the life and work of Captain Robert Scott and his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Pupils will put themselves in the shoes of those on the expedition to gain an insight into exploration at this time and the hopes and dreams of Captain Scott and his team.
Mixed Genre: Unit 4 – Journey To The River Sea
This unit explores the modern classic “Journey To The River Sea”. The novel addresses many issues: growing up; respect for traditions; people and cultures; racism; approaching new experiences. It is rich in colour, language and imagery, inspiring pupils to respond creatively to its many themes. The book links to the region study of South America, and the world’s most significant physical features in the Geography Curriculum. This is an ideal unit for study prior to pupils taking the SATs, as it covers all the main text types and engages pupils in higher levels of reading comprehension.
Fiction: Unit 5 – An Encounter With Shakespeare
This unit on Shakespeare gives pupils an opportunity to explore the work of a significant writer using a range of approaches. Pupils explore enduring themes such as ambition, power, love and friendship. Familiar scenarios from popular culture are used for comparison, adapted into text and recreated as a performance. This conscious comparison of contemporary culture to Shakespeare’s plays contributes to pupils’ understanding of complex characters and themes. Additionally, pupils will become familiar with Shakespeare’s mastery of language, in both prose and poetry, and perform a very abridged version of one of his plays.
Modern Fiction: Unit 6 – Millions
This unit focuses pupils’ attention on the popular modern fiction novel, Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It is an uplifting, humorous and poignant book about two brothers who learn the true value of what’s important. The central concept of finding a lot of money moves from excitement to opportunity to burden and eventually danger. Pupils will engage with a range of themes including morality, faith, greed, poverty, charity and responsibility. There is a good balance of excitement, suspense and contrasting characters to appeal to upper Key Stage 2 readers.