Overview of Key Stage 1 English Curriculum

Year 1 English Objectives

Year 2 English Objectives


Supporting Reading and Writing at Home

These recent presentations offer suggestions and advice for supporting your child's learning at home.

Parent Workshop Helping at Home

Guide to Help Your Child Read at Home

English Workshop for Year 1 Parents



Learning to Read

At Burlington our children are introduced to early reading skills such as listening to sounds in Nursery.  Progressive teaching of phonic skills to help children decode into sounds and blend them to make words follows this.  Golden words (words that are commonly used but less easy to decode) are also taught.  From Reception onwards children are given reading books to read at home and a Reading Record that is shared between home and school. Children are also taught how to understand and appreciate books through the teaching of comprehension skills such as inference, retrieval, sequencing and prediction.

Children take home two reading books each week from when they are ready in Reception and throughout Year 1 and 2. Children are also encouraged to change their reading books more often if they need to. We have a range of reading books, organised by reading level into coloured bands, including fiction and nonfiction.

Each child has their own reading folder and Reading Record book. Parents are asked to fill in the reading record and sign it at least once a week. Your comments are invaluable to us so please let us know whether your child has read the books, how easy or difficult they found them and if they have enjoyed them.

There are several initiatives we are proud of at Burlington that help to foster a genuine love for reading:

Start Your Day with a Book

What better way to start the school day than with a book? Children at Burlington are welcome to come into the Small Hall Tuesday to Friday from 8.35am to 8.55am.  There are plenty of exciting books to borrow or to take the opportunity to read a school book or library book.  We just ask that this is kept as a special time for reading and so mobile phones need to be kept in pockets and chats kept outside!

Story Time and Mystery Readers

At the end of every school day the children settle down to listen to a story.  Normally this is read by a member of teaching staff but sometimes by a ‘Mystery Reader’; a parent or member of the school community who has volunteered to come and read to the children. It is always such a lovely surprise for the children!

The Little Free Library

Our Little Free Library opened in February! Our wonderful site manager Mr Williams built it with his assistant Mrs. Mann using funds from the school sponsored read.  Children, parents, family members, friends and teaching staff have all donated books.  There are children’s and adult books available to borrow.  If you would like to donate a book please bring it to the office or Sapphires class. We ask that you just borrow one book at a time and bring it back to swap when you have finished reading it.

The Reading Den

We are very lucky at Burlington to have an Outdoor Reading Den in the playground.  It is open throughout our playtimes for the children to read quietly with their friends.  It is full of wonderful books that were kindly donated by a relative of some children.  There are comfy bean bags and cushions to cosy up with a book on.

Book of the Month

Every month four new books are chosen to be our special books for each year group.  They are normally new books by celebrated authors, books recommended by staff or bookshops or award winning books.  Children can fill in a review about the books and leave them in the library.  

Book Fairs

At Burlington we hold regular book fairs where our families can buy great books at discounted prices.  The book fairs feature Usborne Books, The Book People and Scholastic Books and are held in the Halls or outside in the summer.  Commission from the book fairs enables us to get free books for the school.

Visiting Authors

In April 2019 children’s author Christian Darkin visited the school to talk to the children about writing books.  His work has a scientific theme and the children enjoyed looking at dinosaur teeth and hearing about the fun his characters have carrying out experiments.  In July 2019 Joseph Coelho, a famous children’s poet will be visiting the school and inspiring the children to enjoy poetry and maybe even be poets themselves!

Book Week

Every year we celebrate World Book Day with a book week of our own.  For the last three years we have held a joint book week with the Junior School so our families can share the excitement.  All classes from Nursery to year 6 use the same book as a stimulus for exciting learning opportunities.  Last year we chose 'In the Attic' by Satoshi Kitamura and this year we had a theme of ‘animals’ and studied the book 'A Mouse Called Julian' by Joe Todd-Stanton.  Children enjoyed discussing the characters and predicting what might happen next. We have had fun dressing up as animals and book characters as well as getting into our pyjamas for a bedtime story. We even had ‘buddy reading’ sessions with classes in the Junior school. 



It is important to spend as much time talking about the book as it is reading it. This helps with comprehension skills and checks your child understands and learns from the book. These questions might give you some ideas.










































We are a Beanstalk School!

We have built a partnership with the charity Beanstalk over the last 2 years. Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. They are currently looking for lots of new volunteers to join them in our attempt to ensure that every child leaves primary school being able to read well.

Their reading helpers work with children on a one-to-one basis, giving them consistent support to improve reading levels, increase overall confidence and help them gain the vital literacy skills they need to succeed in education, training and employment.

Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during the school day, for a whole year. The sessions tend to include lots of talking, reading, games and fun and with Beanstalk's support the child's approach to learning and enjoying reading is often greatly improved.

Volunteering as a Beanstalk reading helper is incredibly rewarding and can make a lasting difference to a child’s life. They give all their volunteers two days training before they start in school and offer further ongoing training together with social events for people to get together and share experiences.

If this sounds like something you are interested in then please get in touch with the London West branch of Beanstalk on 020 7730 8259 or email innerlondon@beanstalkcharity.org.uk

Please also take a look at their website for more information:

Beanstalk Charity



We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme to help children to learn to read and write. From Nursery to Year 2, children will be taught phonics on a daily basis. Phonics is based on learning the smallest sounds which make up words. For example:

sh – o - p

Children learn the sounds then blend them together to read a word. To spell, children are taught to say the word, segment it into the smallest sounds then write it.

Children are also taught to read (by sight) and spell high frequency words. These are words that they commonly find in the books they read.

Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases which children continue to learn throughout the school.

Nursery - Phase One

Supports the importance of speaking and listening and develops children’s discrimination of sounds, including letter sounds.

Nursery and Reception - Phase Two

Children learn to pronounce the sounds themselves in response to letters, before blending them. This leads to them being able to read simple words and captions. For example: s – o - ck

Letters: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Reception - Phase Three

Completes the teaching of the alphabet and moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter (digraph and trigraph). For example: r – ai – n. The children will learn letter names and how to read and spell some high frequency words.

Letters: j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Reception and Year 1 - Phase Four

The children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. For example: s – t – a – m - p

Year 1 - Phase Five

The children broaden their knowledge of sounds for use in reading and spelling. They will begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words. For example: d – o – n – k - ey

Sounds: ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, ey, a_e, i_e, u_e, o_e

Year 2 - Phase Six

This focuses more sharply on word-specific spellings. It encourages children to become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. This includes spelling rules such as adding suffixes ( - est, - ly, - ful, - ness, - ment, - ing) and prefixes (un…., …..im, ….dis…….re……). Children are also taught how to make plurals and spell homophones such as blue / blew.

High Frequency Words

Children are taught to read and spell the following High Frequency Words. Please see the list below.


Power of Reading

Burlington is a Power of Reading school, which means we use high quality books recommended by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) to base our learning on.  The CLPE also provide ideas to support the teaching of writing through the use of art, drama, dance, poetry and other activities.  These enable the children to become fully immersed in the book, inspiring them to write!  Writing activities include letters, postcards, stories, speech bubbles, story maps, poetry etc. 



Learning to Write

Learning to write begins in Nursery by developing fine motor skills to strengthen little hands and pencil grip.  Children start to write in the environment in Nursery and Reception through play i.e. writing a shopping list!  This develops into more set writing activities throughout Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.  Teaching of phonics, grammar and composition is taught in engaging and purposeful ways.

Example of writing in Reception:

Example of writing in Year 1:

Example of writing in Year 2: 

Handwriting Badges

Many children have been working very hard to improve their handwriting. We are now encouraging all children in Key Stafge 1 (Years 1 and 2) to join their letters to write in a cursive style. It has been great to see so many children rise to the challenge and feel extremely proud of their new handwriting style.

As a result we are now awarding 'Handwriting Badges' for children who are confidently and consistently joining letters correctly.

Please encourage your child to practise at home as often as possible.

Inspiration Station

In our entrance hall there is a very special post box which always has an exciting display on top.  The display is changed weekly and is based on a suggestion from one of our children for an inspirational story.  Children are encouraged to write a story based on this idea.  Ideas have ranged from magical stars, mysterious monuments and runaway roller-skates to enchanted forests.  When children enter they get a sticker or even a lego card as a reward!


Links to useful websites

 Phonics Play

Family Learning


Oxford Owl 

Teach your monster to read 

Letters and Sounds