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Curriculum Rationale

Reading –

Reading is the heart of the curriculum. The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners. .In reception children begin with Phase One books (no words). Children in reception and Y1 are assessed at the end of each Little Wandle unit and their individual reading books match the phase they are on. When they pass Phase 5 they progress onto real books which are carefully banded to ensure progression. The books are a mixture of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. In Y2 children complete an Accelerated Reader test. When they gain a reading age of 8 or above they progress onto the Accelerated reader scheme. These are real books banded for progression. When they finish a book they complete a quiz which enables their understanding to be tested. These tests build up a diagnostic picture of each child’s strengths and how they can improve which is shared with children and parents.  

Children from reception – Year 2 who are building up their phonics knowledge have regular guided reading sessions using Little Wandle books. These link to their phonics teaching and enable the skills of decoding, prosody and comprehension to be practiced. Year 2 children who are confident at all these skills do guided reading using sets of real books which allow these skills to be deepened. In KS2 children use sets of books banded using the Accelerated Reader book scheme. These match to the books they take home and read individually.  

Phonics & Spelling –  

Phonics involves the relationship between sounds and their spellings. The goal of phonics teaching is that children learn the most common sound-spelling relationships so that they can decode, or sound out, words. This decoding ability is a crucial element in reading success. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 there is a greater emphasis on word reading to ensure all children can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately. Word reading is taught explicitly through daily phonics sessions, following the Little Wandle scheme as well as shared and guided reading. The teaching of word reading through Phonics continues into Key Stage 2. Y2-Y6 also have discrete daily spelling lessons using the Herts Essential Spellings scheme.

Writing –

At Benington we place a high priority on improving children’s standards of written communication. We believe speaking and listening with confidence are significant factors in developing effective writing.

Reading and writing are closely connected; we read as writers and write as readers. Writing is a special craft and most children learn best through their own writing, within a meaningful context designed to meet the needs of real or imagined audiences. We use the Herts for Learning English Resources alongside Hamilton Trust Resources. The teacher’s response to the child’s composition (e.g. praising aspects of the content) is crucial in developing confidence and motivation. Children are closely involved in assessing their own development as writers. Handwriting as well as grammatical and phonological awareness are thoroughly planned for and taught.

Intent, Implementation & Impact


“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.” – Unknown

Intent; To offer a curriculum which helps children to not only become functionally literate, but to develop a love of reading which will serve them through their years in school and into adult life. To inspire them to read a range of genres and to understand the effect that the written word has on the reader.

Implementation; Children will be engaged in reading every day at Benington. This might be through reading independently, reading to an adult, guided reading or reading for the wider curriculum. They will be helped to select books at an appropriate level of challenge.

Impact; Children will make good progress from their own personal starting points. They will leave Benington at year 6 as confident, independent readers who see the pleasure and value in reading and are able to share their preferences for authors and genres and are equipped for the reading demands of the secondary curriculum.


“If You can think it, you can say it, if you can say it, you can write it.”

Intent: Writing is a crucial part of the Benington curriculum. It is our intention that by year 6, children will leave us able to express their ideas both clearly and creatively. We also intend that they will be able to use the skills of grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting and that they will confidently edit and improve their writing.  At Benington, we aim to develop children who see both the power and the value of the written word.

Implementation: Children are given opportunities to write regularly for different purposes and audiences and in different contexts in English lessons and across the wider curriculum. They will be taught specific skills and vocabulary for the tasks they are set and given personalised feedback allowing them to evaluate their progress and to improve

Impact: Children will make good progress and by year 6, will be independent writers who can adapt their writing style for the task that they are set. They will be able to write clearly, accurately and at speed in order to meet the demands of their secondary education and beyond.

Full Department of Education English Curriculum