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Spa Academy Askern

Spa Academy Askern




Curriculum Intent

Spa's reading curriculum aims to equip pupils so that they will:







Spa's reading curriculum, as part of our overarching curriculum model, is designed with our curriculum drivers in mind:


Curriculum Implementation

Early Reading

Spa Academy Askern is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. We aim to ensure all pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations.

We work collaboratively with our infant feeders to support the ambition that all pupils have mastered phonics in Year 2 (or before). Where pupils join Spa Academy Askern in Year 3, still requiring phonics teaching, it is vital that we quickly ensure these pupils catch-up through rigorous and timely intervention.

Early Reading

 Our approach to phonics ensures:

  • the sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme. Staff give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home. 

  • we continue with a teaching programme of systematic, synthetic phonics that is taught from the beginning of reception in our infant feeders, where pupils still require this.

  • the ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately. 

  • the school is developing sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading.


Decodable books

We aim to ensure that all children learning to read are given decodable reading books ‑ that is, books that are ‘closely matched to pupils’ developing phonic knowledge and knowledge of common exception words’ ‑ to read in school and practise at home. Pupils access RWI Phonics read and take home a copy of their latest read, with sounds and words they are familiar with. Similarly, pupils accessing RWI Fresh Start read and take home the anthology that is aligned with their current module.

 See the source image  See the source image

See the source imageAll pupils accessing these interventions have a personalised flashcard set, for both school and home, containing the sounds they have been taught. This allows for confident practise at home as well as regular practise throughout the day in school.

Where appropriate, pupils also use sound blending books, to support practise at home and school. 

See the source image






Communication with Parents/Carers

Making sure that parents/carers are informed of their child's progress in reading is vital. Pupils identified as requiring Read Write Inc Phonics or Fresh Start are:

  • At the beginning of the programme to outline the programme and how progress can be supported at home through the use of storybooks (Phonics), anthologies (Fresh Start) and flashcards (both).
  • At regular intervals, celebrating success and strategies that could further support at home. 
  • Every time a pupil moves into a new story set (phonics) or module group (Fresh Start).


Age-appropriate literature

Providing catch-up teaching is vital. To continue to develop these pupils’ language and vocabulary, whilst taking part in the RWI programme, and encourage a love of reading, our curriculum ensures that they listen to and discuss the same texts that their peers read in their English lessons. For example, the high-quality, age-appropriate, vocabulary and knowledge-rich texts in our Literature-Led Curriculum are delivered through writing sessions and also daily storytime. However - as the DfE's 'Reading Framework' outlines 'asking them [struggling readers] to read the texts by themselves and complete written comprehension activities wastes their time and further demoralises them, because their decoding skills do not yet allow them to read well enough. Written composition might also be too challenging for most of them.' Once secure in their decoding knowledge, through the above SSP programmes, pupils move in to whole-class reading sessions. 


Our carefully-crafted, challenging and ambitious literature spine underpins our curriculum design. Why? Our pupils' future success is dependent on their ability to read with confidence and fluency.

Autumn 1 - Physical Geography

Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest (Rise and Shine): Cherry, Lynne: 9780152026141: Books   The Boy Who Biked the World: On the Road to Africa: Part One: On the Road  to Africa: 1.00: Alastair Humphreys, Tom Morgan-Jones: Books   The Explorer: Rundell, Katherine, Horn, Hannah: Books   Survivors: Extraordinary Tales from the Wild and Beyond:  Long, David, Hyndman, Kerry: Books

Reading Skills

In Autumn term, a focus is placed on retrieval and vocabulary strategies. Pupils study a wide-range of non-fiction link texts, based around key substantive geographical knowledge. Fiction extracts and link texts are used to support disciplinary knowledge. 

Why does this theme feature?

Physical geography is studied through the lens of our literature-led spine. It was identified that an understanding of physical geography was a key barrier for our pupils; for many, limited experiences beyond Askern made connections to the wider world a barrier. By delivering this key strand through the lens of literature, it is our aim to contextualise the physical geography being studied.

Autumn 2 - Classic British Authors

The Iron Man: A Children's Story in Five Nights: 1: Ted  Hughes, Tom Gauld: Books      The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis | Waterstones   Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Scholastic Shop 

Reading Skills

Moving in to Autumn 2, pupils will use the literature of classic British authors to infer. Progressing on Autumn 1's focus on strategies to support the understanding of vocabulary in context and to be able to retrieve and record information, pupils will use these texts, and associated link texts, to predominantly develop their inference skills.

Why does this theme feature?

Its aim is to build an understanding of our British cultural heritage through the lens of studying British authors.

Spring 1 - Picture Books

Flotsam by David Wiesner, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®  Voices in the Park: Browne, Anthony: Books    The Man Who Walked Between the Towers: Mordicai Gerstein:  Books


Spring 2 - Historical Fiction

Stig of the Dump by Clive King, Edward Ardizzone | Waterstones   Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Book 1): Riordan,  Rick: Books   Who Let the Gods Out?: the first EPIC laugh-out-loud adventure in Maz  Evans's bestselling series: 1: Evans, Maz: 9781910655412:  Books   Secrets of a Sun King: 1: Carroll, Emma: 9780571328499: Books


Summer 1 - Mental Health, Disability & Neurodiversity

The Day I Was Erased: Thompson, Lisa: Books   The Goldfish Boy   A Kind of Spark: Elle McNicoll: 9781913311056: Books   Boy In The Tower: Ho-Yen, Polly: Books


Summer 2 - British Values

  Flying Eye Books | The Journey  The Boy At the Back of the Class: Onjali Rauf: Books  The Arrival: Tan, Shaun: 9780340969939: Books


Poetry Spine

Poetry runs within our Literature-Led Curriculum. Each term, it is our intention that pupils study a key poet through a Storytime session a week being devoted to listening to, rehearsing and performing poetry and learning about these key poets. The first three texts for each year group are our termly poets and the final text is an anthology for each year group, used in class assemblies throughout the year.

Year 3

Year 4