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Our Curriculum

At Emley First School we follow the National Curriculum for each year group from year 1 to year 5. Foundation stage children follow the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum and statutory framework

If you have any questions regarding our curriculum and what your children are learning then please speak to their class teacher or the headteacher.

Relationships and Health Education (RHE) curriculum

Below is a link to a leaflet written by the DFE for Parents regarding Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school: a guide for parents

RHE link


  • Reading

    At Emley First School we believe that learning to read is one of the most important things that your child will learn to do and is a skill that underpins our entire curriculum.  We endeavour to develop a culture for reading throughout school and strive to develop a love for reading a range of books, including fiction and non-fiction with all of our children. We also want all of our children to acquire the knowledge of a range of amazing authors and their writing style.  Our books, and reading resources, are continuously updated to ensure children are reading books by up and coming authors, as well as traditional books that still entice children.

    Our Aim

    At Emley First School we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts.  We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts.  By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject.  Parents and carers play an important role in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills. At Emley First School we encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.

    Our Reading Journey

    As a school we have created a reading pathway of texts to be read and shared in each year group, these are rotated on a two year cycle.  We have selected these texts to enrich the curriculum and reading experiences, ensuring a range of genres and authors, themes and structures are met throughout the child's reading journey with us at Emley First School. The choice of books are reviewed every year and updated as and when necessary. Each class has a dedicated ‘storytime’ everyday. This is an important time to share a love of books and for all children to listen to a range of stories, building a repertoire of language and imaginative stories.


    At Emley First School, we teach reading in both direct and indirect ways, developing a positive reading culture throughout school.  We follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study across all classes.  Children are expected to read on various occasions, in a range of lessons to ensure that they are consistently applying the skills of fluency, inference and comprehension. Reading Records are used to record frequency of reading in each class.

    As reading progresses, teachers help children and guide them through the colour banded series of books according to their specific needs (Our core scheme is Oxford Reading Tree).  Children also take part in guided reading sessions.  Within these sessions, children read in groups/classes with adults, concentrating on phonetic ability, comprehension and vocabulary.  When children are not reading, they are completing tasks which relate again to their phonics or comprehension based on the text they are reading.   Children regularly read one-to-one with an adult in their class and this, regular practice, ensures that children make good and rapid progress.  Reading books are sent home to be practised and the regular use of these ensures children achieve their age appropriate expectation.


    At Emley we want our children to become fluent readers who can read with clear understanding, intonation and expression.  We want them to clearly understand the vocabulary, the context it is used within and the author's intention of impact on the reader.  However, we also want them to develop a love for reading; one that excites them into reading a range of fiction and non-fiction books by authors that will become known to them throughout their primary experience.  Children will enter Key Stage 2 from Key Stage 1 being able to use a range of strategies for decoding, relying on phonetic knowledge and other strategies.  They will also be able to read for knowledge to extend their understanding of all subjects within the curriculum and communicate their research on a wider scale.  We assess phonics and reading skills regularly, both with formative and summative approaches.  Where needed, intervention will occur to keep children on track.

  • Phonics

    Within Early Years and Key Stage One, reading is promoted through the daily teaching of phonics.  At Emley First School we use the DfE approved Phonic Scheme: ReadWriteInc.  Developed by Ruth Miskin.

    Read Write Inc. provides a whole-school approach to teaching literacy that ensures consistency across a child’s primary years. Used in over 5,000 UK Primary schools, Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme with a whole school approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child, in every primary school.

    As children travel through their phonic journey they will be provided with phonetic decodable books which suit their phonetic ability. 

    To supplement our phonic approach each child will also receive a ‘deepening read’ text.  This text will be from a different range of schemes, some of which are phonically matched and others of which have been picked to extend vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

  • Our Reading Scheme

    At Emley First School we continue to invest in our reading provision and resources that match our phonic scheme.  As a school we also use a colour banding system for the children to progress through from Reception to Year 5, this includes a variety of texts both fiction, non-fiction, poetry and playscripts.  This is regularly updated to ensure children's interest is maintained through the series of colour bands.  At our school children are moved between bands when they are ready to be moved.  Here at Emley, reading is progressive.  This is so that our children develop their reading skills to become fluent readers with a good understanding of the text and are able to infer and take into account a range of punctuation.

  • Guided Reading

    As children move further through school, guided reading sessions begin to take part using whole class texts. This provides an excellent opportunity for children to work together, read together and deepen their understanding of more complex texts. It is also an excellent opportunity to explore rich and varied vocabulary.

  • A love of reading

    At Emley we celebrate reading in its’ entirety. Children have reading buddies across school and share books with them weekly. We have annual reading events and encourage the participation of parents at these. Local residents come in to hear the children read and we welcome the involvement of all parents and carers. We work closely within our pyramid of schools to share good practice and ensure that reading is a priority for us all.

  • How can parents help at home?

    At Emley Fist School, when your child starts school you will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading and show you the resources and books that we use.  During the meeting, there will be lots of suggestions on how you can help your child to read.  Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress! You can help your child sound out the letters in words and then to 'blend' the sounds together to make a whole word.  Try not to refer to the letters by their names.  Help your child to focus on the sounds.

    Make reading fun! - Remember to keep reading with your child.  It's great to share a book!  They will have access to a much richer vocabulary than they will in their early reading books and you will be helping them grow and develop a deeper understanding of different stories.  It will also encourage them to develop a love of reading and want to read more; if a child sees or hears an adult reading they are inspired by them.  Reading alongside children of any reading ability can be a great way to show importance of reading and promote discussion.

    TOP TIP: to help children practise reading skills, put subtitles on when watching television or films.  This is a proven technique for increasing reading fluency and expertise, whilst enjoying another medium.

    Here are some useful links to websites and documents to support phonics and reading at home:

    Phonics games and activities: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/

    Top tips to support reading at home: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zbxby9q

    Phonics support: https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents-copy-2/

    Supporting your child: https://literacytrust.org.uk/parents-and-families/

    Reading resources (Scholastic): https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/reading-resources.html

    Online stories (Free): https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/storybooks-and-games/

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