English Curriculum Statement

At Barrow Primary we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading and writing. We have an ambitious, fulfilling and rewarding English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading and writing. Our English curriculum is taught using CUSP (Curriculum by  Unity Schools Partnership) resources and further information about the curriculum can be accessed at https://www.unity-curriculum.co.uk/clusp/  


Our CLUSP Reading curriculum is deliberately designed to be ambitious and aspirational, ensuring that every child leaves our school as a competent, confident reader. Drawing on the latest research around explicit vocabulary instruction, reading fluency and key comprehension strategies, this curriculum is a synthesis of what we know works in helping children make outstanding progress in reading and a distillation into consistent, well-structured practice.

Pupils will receive a daily diet of excellent reading teaching and this will be supplemented by regular opportunities to engage with shared reading experiences, promoting the joy of reading with the whole school community. The clear structure and principles ensure that teaching is progressive, challenging and engaging and the rich, diverse literature spine acts as both a mirror so that every child can see themselves in the core texts and as a mirror to engage pupils with experiences beyond their own field of reference. 


Our CLUSP Writing curriculum draws on taught content from CUSP History, Geography and Science and from the depth study of core texts from the literature spine. Expert subject knowledge is carefully woven into each Writing module which gives teachers the opportunity to teach and rehearse key knowledge and skills before applying this learning to meaningful extended outcomes. The careful architecture of this curriculum ensures that pupils build on prior learning and maximise purposeful curriculum connections to become writers for life.  Within the CLUSP curriculum, punctuation and grammar is taught both directly and discreetly with pupils receiving a daily SPaG lesson. Vocabulary is taught alongside with direct and explicit teaching of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary.

Handwriting is taught using the programme, Letter-Join. Pupils learn pre-cursive handwriting in Year 1 moving to cursive handwriting in Year 2. In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to develop their speed, fluency and presentation of handwriting.

Early Years English

In EYFS, Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS, we aim to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been specifically chosen to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension.

Books will be embedded in our provision through activities, daily story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories. While we do not specifically follow the CUSP structure used in Key Stage 1, our curriculum is carefully constructed to prepare children and ensure that there is cohesion and consistency with our approach through:

-The inclusion of high-quality texts which are age and stage appropriate modelled reading and re-telling opportunities across each session

-Structured comprehensions questions based on Blooms Taxonomy -A focus on Tier 1, 2 and 3 Vocabulary

-Dedicated phonics sessions, employing tricky and high-frequency words -Cooperative learning behaviours which develop oracy and interdependence.

-Children are encouraged to apply their phonics in independent and supported writing opportunities across the curriculum from letters, to recipes, short stories and information reports


There is a clear structure and sequence to the teaching of phonics.  It is taught systematically in response to ongoing assessments and the needs of individual children. Phonics teaching follows a six level programme, starting at EYFS and continuing through KS1.  A Phonics overview document is used consistently throughout EYFS and KS1, specifying when children are taught each phase. Phonics sessions are taught daily through ‘Twinkl phonics’ which is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme which meets the national curriculum expectations in grapheme- phoneme correspondence and word reading. This ensures that systematic synthetic phonics is the prime approach to decoding print. Children are encouraged to start learning phonic knowledge and skills early in reception, this ensures most children exceed or meet the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check.

Phonics lessons include opportunities for the children to revisit previous learning, as well as practice and apply new learning. Our approach enables all pupils to learn how to decode words before they move on to develop fluency and greater comprehension. For additional reinforcement and for those falling behind, we signpost parents to the phonics classroom on Google Classroom which contains a series of phonics videos and lessons. Phonics websites are also signposted which provide opportunities for reinforcement and model correct enunciation of sounds.

In Reception, children are assessed against Phase 3 sounds, in Year 1 they are taught Phase 5 and will be assessed as part of the National Phonics Screening Check (if a child does not pass the phonics screening check in Year 1, they will be given additional support in Year 2 and will be re-tested). Upon going in to Year 3 and beyond, if a child needs further support with their phonics, alternative provision will be provided. Year 2 pupils will receive phonics teaching but also lessons dedicated to spelling, punctuation and grammar. Following the DFE Reading Framework guidance additional phonics teaching is happening in KS1. children are also taught to read  common exception words by sight.

We have robust assessment procedures to regularly check progress and identify pupils in need of intervention across EYFS, Key stage 1 and if needed Key stage 2.