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At Unsworth we believe that the study of English develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. Using language helps children to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Through our English curriculum children will gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins, whilst also using their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.

At our school the intent of our English Curriculum is:

  • To enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners.
  • To encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard.
  • To enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands.
  • To develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others contributions and the language used.
  • To enable children to evaluate their own and others contributions through a range of differentiated activities.
  • To develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word sentence and text level knowledge.
  • To encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and lengthy texts.
  • To help children enjoy writing and recognise its value.
  • To enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction.
  • To increase children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work.


Our school follows a department for education validated systematic and synthetic phonics teaching program called Super Sonic Phonic Friends.

Supersonic Phonic Friends Parent Workshop

Super Sonic Phonic Friends is a phonics scheme which aims to give a consistent and solid approach for all children as they progress through school. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme of planned phases for teaching phonic skills to children.

Below is a breakdown of each phase and when it is taught within our school. 

Basic 1 (Nursery/Reception) - Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

 Basic 2 (Reception) - Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read and write simple captions.

 Basic 3 (Reception) - The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

 Basic 4 (Reception/Year 1) - No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

 Basic 5 (Year 1) – Children learn the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

 Basic 6 (Year 2) - Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Here are some websites you can use to support phonics at home:

Phonics Play

BBC Phonics

Family Learning Phonics



Phonics Screening Check

The phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check in Year 2 so that we can track children until they are able to decode.

The screening check is for all Year 1 pupils and children in Year 2 who previously did not meet the standard of the check in Year 1. It is a statutory requirement to carry out the screening check. It will be a short, simple screening check to make sure that all children have grasped fundamental phonic skills. It comprises a list of 40 words and non-words, which a child will read one-to-one with a teacher. Parents will be informed of the outcome shortly after the screening takes place, and the next steps for their child as appropriate.

Spelling and Grammar

Teaching of spelling and grammar at Unsworth is in line with the National Curriculum expectations for each year group. 

Children in EYFS and Year 1 follow the Supersonic Phonic Friends progression, and through these lessons they are taught to spell using the sounds they are taught. 

Children from Year 2 upwards receive a weekly spelling list on a Friday, which is tested on the following Thursday. This follows our phonics progression for Year 2, and the spelling progression for Year 3 upwards. This ensures that children leave Unsworth confident with all of the spelling rules and high frequency rules listed in the National Curriculum. Spellings are taught in school, and we strongly encourage the use of Spelling Frame to develop confidence when practicing spellings at home. The children have their log in details for this stuck in both their spelling book and their reading record, but if you have any problems accessing the website please get in touch with your child's class teacher.

Spelling Frame


In our school we see reading as an essential tool in the process and progress of learning. Through our reading curriculum, we aim to provide rich reading experiences that develop children socially, emotionally and intellectually. Crucially, this is achieved through the development of a stimulating environment that immerses children in literature and the spoken word. It is through this environment that we hope to develop children’s love of literature and expose them to hearing written English. We feel that reading daily to children is very important to allow them to develop active listening skills and be introduced to an ever-widening range of books and authors.

At Unsworth, children will develop their reading skills in the following ways: 

  • Through phonics teaching in EYFS and KS1, and into KS2 if children require additional support. 
  • Children in EYFS and Year 1 have reading books to take home matched to their phonic ability.
  • As of January 2024, the majority of children rom Year 2 upwards choose their reading book from the school library, where books are organised in line with Accelerated Reader. Children are assessed half termly through Star Assessments, where a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is established. Children choose a book from within their range, and when they have read it they complete a short online quiz to check their understanding of the book they have read. Children read a minimum of 3 times per week at home, and reading records are checked weekly in school. This is inline with our SMART approach to homework at Unsworth.
  • In guided reading sessions. In KS1 these are primarily phonics based, and as children move into KS2 a whole class approach is taken so that all children are exposed to a wide range of text types and questioning. These sessions work on both word reading skills, as well as comprehension of what has been read.
  • Reading for pleasure. Children are read to daily by the class teacher, and these books  have been carefully chosen to offer children access to a diverse range of themes and characters to encourage further discussion at school and at home.





At Unsworth Primary we believe in providing children with a range of different opportunities to write across the curriculum. Within our English lessons our intent is to teach children the necessary skills to become confident and fluent writers. When children enter our Reception class they begin their writing journey, starting to learn how to write individual letters and words, which turn into captions and sentences as the year progresses.

By the end of KS1, children are writing their own full texts, developing a continuous cursive style of handwriting and starting to select precise vocabulary to interest the reader. Across Lower KS2 children consolidate their handwriting style, develop an understanding of controlling paragraphs and vary the types of sentences and language that they apply to different text types.

By the end of KS2, we aim for our children to be confident writers who can independently select different text types for different audiences and purposes.

To achieve this our teaching of writing focuses on 4 key elements as set out in the revised National Curriculum:

Composition - the development of writing stamina, composing sentences and editing work.

Transcription - the spelling of words and application of spelling rules.

Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation - the mechanics of writing.

Handwriting - the development of a fluent continuous cursive style of handwriting by the end of Year 3.

Within the classroom, children will experience 3 types of writing and below is a definition of each:

Shared Writing – Shared writing involves the class or small groups.  During shared writing, the teacher initiates and models writing, while children contribute their ideas.  Teacher and pupils work together to compose messages and stories.  The teacher models how writing works, the processes that are involved and draws attention to letters, words, and sounds during the writing.  The object of shared writing is to demonstrate and teach the necessary skills and conventions of fluent writing.

Guided Writing – Guided writing involves very specific and focused instruction.  It can be one-to-one or with small groups of children with similar needs.  Each child in a group composes an individual piece of writing with the intense support of the teacher.  They hold the pen and have ownership over their writing.  Mini-lessons are planned to reflect the specific needs of the children that are determined through ongoing assessment.  The aim is to support children in becoming independent writers through building on the writing behaviours focused on in modelled and shared writing sessions.  Children can usually produce more detailed and complex texts in these sessions than they can on their own.

Independent Writing – In independent writing children take responsibility for their own writing.  It provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate the processes and strategies that have been demonstrated through the other elements of the writing block.  It is crucial that sufficient scaffolding of the processes and strategies required to successfully complete the task have occurred prior to children working independently.  Some children will require more support than others and may need to be part of a small group constructing a joint text using interactive or an independent piece using guided writing.

Across the week children will experience the different types of writing and at the end of every 2 weeks, they will write a full independent piece to ensure that they are able to develop their writing stamina and have an opportunity to use the skills that they have been learning. Within our enquiry curriculum children are also given opportunities to write, using a range of different text types that they have learnt.

The aim of this is to give children a real sense of audience and purpose for their writing, as well as giving them content that they can use. In every class from Year 1 to Year 6, the children follow our school writing route map, which is displayed on our writing working walls. The idea of the route map is to provide children with a clear  idea of the steps they need to take to develop an understanding of a particular text type.