The Beacon English curriculum is built around our Inspire Curriculum, enriched to reflect our children and our local community.The overarching aim for English is to promote the high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment, drawing upon the wider curriculum. This, in turn, helps build a rich curriculum where intent and implementation leads to the impact and improved outcomes for children.

As part of the English curriculum, children develop their skills in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, which also includes spelling and handwriting. English is taught explicitly through daily lessons and is built upon throughout the wider curriculum. In addition, we have 20-minute daily reading sessions which focus on teaching the key reading skills linked to the content domain areas.

At The Beacon, we work hard to make sure that children have a love of books and literature and we're very proud that so many of our children enjoy reading. Each class, from Reception to Year 6, will study a different class text each half-term and this is supported by the Read to Write English programme. They are used throughout our English lessons and, where possible, link to other curriculum areas.

Read to Write (Literacy Counts) provides high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature. From Reception to Year 6, these detailed units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum. They also provide clear, sequential episodes of learning; contextualised spelling, grammar and punctuation; wider reading for the wider curriculum; curriculum enrichments for all year groups; model texts linked to writing outcomes and a wealth of supporting resources. Our current class texts are:

Reception – The Something by Rebecca Cobb

Year 1 -  Rapunzel by Bethan Wollvin

Year 2 - Grandad's Island by Beji Davies

Year 3 - Into the forest by Anthony Browne

Year 4 – Manfish by Jacques Cousteau

Year 5 - The Errand by Leo Fleur

Year 6 - The Ways of The Wolf by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

The Beacon Reading Spine

The Beacon Reading Spine is a core of books that create a living library inside a child’s mind. It is a store of classics and essential reads that help children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story. Great strories build our language because around 75% of vocabulary comes from reading. Our common bank of stories aim to inspire and enthuse children to develop their imagination and equip them with language.

Click here to access the full range of Beacon Spine Reading Books.

Home Reading Books

Children from Year 2 to Year 6 read books linked to the Accelerated Reader programme as their home reader. Each book has been carefully selected for individual understanding of reading comprehension. This is based on an initial reading assessment children complete at the beginning of each term, via the Accelerated Reader website (Star Reading assessment). The children also complete quizzes after each book to check their understanding and fluency. Children who are still on the banded reading scheme, take home one banded reading book each week alongside their accelerated reading book and are encouraged to read the book a few times (depending on the length of the book).

Children in Reception and Year 1 take home as their home reading books, a phonics book linked to their reading level and sound knowledge. These books are changed weekly. Children are to bring these books in everyday so they can read their book to an adult if necessary or read if directed by a teacher.  

Children in Nursery take home a reading book from their class reading area to enjoy sharing with adults at home. 

Reading Reward Scheme

In order to motivate children to read at home, we have a reading reward scheme. If a child has read 5 times out of 7 in one week (to an adult at home) and has had their reading record signed, they receive a sticker. They collect stickers in order to achieve certain rewards:

10 stickers = Bronze certificate

20 stickers = Silver certificate

30 stickers = Gold certificate

Some children achieve above these rewards and receive Platinum and Diamond awards.  These certificates are presented to the children in praise worship. Children who receive Gold and above are also rewarded with a special trip during the summer term. 

Reading and Phonics

We believe that high quality teaching of phonics is the key to developing independent readers and this is given the highest priority. We want ‘every child to be a reader’ and we implement a rigorous and sequential approach to developing speaking and listening and teaching reading, writing and spelling through systematic phonics. 

Reading in EYFS and KS1 is taught initially using a systematic, synthetic phonic approach.  Phonics is taught daily as a discrete lesson and we use both the Letters and Sounds and the School Improvement Liverpool KS1 programme as well as Read Write Inc as our core schemes to teach synthetic phonics which is multi-sensory exciting and engaging.  This is supported by staff using elements of Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play and Phonics Bug to support the effective delivery of phonics sessions to cater for all our children’s needs.

During the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children develop their phonic knowledge and skills and apply these in both reading and spelling.  As developing readers, children are encouraged to use a wider range of strategies to aid decoding of text and to enhance their understanding of material across a range of genre. 

Click on the link below to see how you can support your child at home:



We follow the Babcock LPD Primary ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ spelling programme. In conjunction with this document, we use the Spelling BAM resources to support the relevant spelling rules for each year group.

Children take home spellings which apply to the spelling rule they have been learning in school. There are fortnightly tests to assess the progress that children are making towards these spellings. It is the teacher’s judgement on how long a class spends on a spelling rule and how many spellings they take home to learn.


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