Lanchester Community Free School

...for a better future


English Curriculum


Our English lessons are comprised of cross-curricular text based units. We aim for our English lessons to feed into other areas of learning as we believe children learn best through applying their knowledge across different learning areas.

Our text based units allow us to explore both fiction and non-fiction and we cover different components and genres from the one text. We also integrate Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) into English lessons so the children are taught the appropriate skills through meaningful contexts.

Children know specifically where and how they can improve their writing through our marking criteria and one to one verbal feedback with a teacher or LSP. 


Big Write

Big Write occurs weekly at the end of a weekly sequence of lessons. This alternates between  weekly Big Writes in English books and Topic books which are based on topics in the foundation subjects. It is a chance for children to showcase their knowledge and writing skills. It is completed independently and the children apply the skills they have learnt during lessons.


Writing Portfolios

Once every half term, children write in a writing portfolio. These books start in Reception (where child-initiated writing is also included to showcase independent writing and progress) and continue with the children up through to Year 1. Each year, children take their Big Write books with them to the following year so they can see the progression of their learning.



Spelling overviews are sent home at the start of each half term. These overviews include key digraphs, trigraphs and common exception words that the children need to know and be familiar with.


Guided Reading

Children are grouped according to their reading needs and working as a small group they complete one guided reading task each day. The guided read is led by the teacher and gives each child the chance to read aloud. After reading with the teacher, children complete a post-reading task which is related to the text. Examples of post-reading tasks are describing the main character, creating a different ending for your story, writing a list and finding an interesting fact. During the week, the children also complete a handwriting activity based on the week's spellings. In addition to this, the children complete a grammar and punctuation task linked to the National Curriculum statements for that year group. The children are also given the opportunity for a free read which is designed to encourage them to read for pleasure.

Recommended Reading Lists - These reading lists are suggested books which are age related recommendations for every year group. Teachers base some lessons around these books but use a wide variety of other texts. If you would like to know more information about these lists or other ways you can support your child with reading then please speak to your child's class teacher.