English at Gonville Academy
EYFS and KS1
In EYFS and KS1 we focus on the use of Phonics to develop reading and writing. All of our learning is linked to a key reading text, and our Humanities curriculum gives the context that supports reading and writing across the curriculum.
More information about Sounds-Write phonics can be found here:
In Key Stage Two, the English curriculum is based around a rich reading text. Throughout the school year, students will read six books as a class using a ‘close reading’ approach inspired by the work of Doug Lemov and Reading Reconsidered. Each class has a daily half-hour close reading session, where they read a novel together as a class. There are four key principles, which underpin our approach to reading.
1. Read harder texts.
All our classes have challenging books to read. For example, Year 6 read ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ which is also taught at secondary level.
2. ‘Close read’ texts rigorously and intentionally.
We teach strategies that enable students to have a deep understanding of the text, both in terms of vocabulary and text analysis.
3. Read non-fiction more effectively.
Our Humanities curriculum provides plenty of opportunities to read non-fiction texts linked to the main reading text.
4. Write more effectively in direct response to the reading text.
Writing in English and Humanities is linked to reading books and key themes contained in the text.
Our Humanities curriculum is directly linked to the context of the book, and our writing comes from the rich learning within our ‘text and context’ curriculum.
More information about our close reading approach can be found here: