Our English curriculum:

Our English curriculum is based on the National Curriculum (2014), however we go far beyond the confines of this to create a vibrant school curriculum that allows our children to not only become fluent readers and writers, but to develop a love of language and literature.

Our curriculum has its roots in four programmes:

  • Read Write Inc Phonics & Read Write Inc Spelling - learning the technical elements of reading and writing (including phonics)
  • CLPE's The Power of Reading - learning to love literature, reading and writing, with a significant focus on oracy
  • Voice 21 Oracy Framework - a framework for developing children's oracy skills across the curriculum
  • Kinetic Letters - A handwriting programme designed to make handwriting automatic, so all the attention of the brain can be on the content.


Learning to read (decoding):

In the final term of Nursery, children are introduced to phonics through the Read Write Inc. Phonics Program. Read Write Inc. Phonics is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Children who are learning phonics are taught the sounds that individual and groups of letters make in spoken and written language; this enables children to ‘decode’ any new words the encounter producing fluent and confident readers.

At Hardwick Green, RWInc. Phonics lessons are taught daily in Reception and KS1 with catch up sessions running in lower ks2. During these sessions, children are taught new sounds, and are encouraged to decode new words whilst reading with increasing fluency and expression. Our Early Reading Leader, Ms Iles, visits RWInc. sessions throughout the week supporting children and staff to ensure that all children are receiving great teaching and learning opportunities and are making the best progress they can. Home reading books are carefully selected to contain the sounds that children have learned in class that week and are kept for a week to encourage rereading to develop confidence, fluency and expression.

Every child’s progress in reading is tracked every half term, and those who are falling behind age related expectations are given 1-1 tuition so that gaps are closed quickly and effectively.

Whole school fidelity to the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and one-to-one tutoring ensure that schools guarantee progress for every child.

For information and tutorials on how to support, your child learning to read go to: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/

As children progress as readers, they read books from our main reading spine - Oxford Reading Tree - and also choose books independently from classroom reading areas and our library.

Click here for more detailed information on the teaching of RWI at our school.


The Power of Reading:

Reading | Foxborough Primary School Common Road, Slough, SL3 8TXTeaching English and developing our children to become literate, fluent readers and writers is at the heart of the Hardwick Green Primary Academy curriculum and all taught English sessions follow The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s (CLPE) Power of Reading rationale and teaching sequences. Our children from Nursery through to Year 6 follow this, which ensures our children are given the opportunity to read a wide and diverse range of high quality texts and use their developing encoding skills to write in a variety of ways across the whole school curriculum. High quality texts are the foundation of our English curriculum, which continuously supports and develops children’s reading and writing skills. Children’s implicit and explicit knowledge of language, vocabulary and grammar is pushed through the quality, breadth and range of texts being read aloud, re-read, discussed and performed consistently.


Fostering an early love of Reading at Hardwick Green:

From entering Nursery, our children are exposed to the highest quality texts through our CLPE English Curriculum. Throughout the day, staff encourage active listening, participation, and book talk as we immerse our children in stories, songs and rhymes.

For a child to be able to begin to learn to read they must be able to listen and understand spoken language. Through engaging in conversations and hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to take meaning from letters on a page. It is also important for children to understand how stories work. Even if a child does not understand every word, during story time they will hear new sounds, words and phrases, which they can then practise and perfect.

This whole school approach to a love of books and language is something that is embedded throughout the school from Nursery to Y6, and it is something that we are extremely proud of.

Hardwick Green Literary Cannon

Updated: 05/03/2024 1.25 MB
These are the books that EVERY child will read over their time at Hardwick Green - from entry in the two-year-old provision right up to Year 6! The cannon is a mixture of classic children's literature by significant authors and more recent texts that have been published and recognised by organisations such as CLPE as being high-quality. This list was created in 2022 with input from the whole school community and is reviewed annually to ensure that it represents the very best of children's literature. The cannon books are on display in our atrium - how many have you read?


At Hardwick Green, we use Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) as our systematic synthetic phonics programme.

We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.  Ms Iles is our Phonics lead teacher, so if you have questions about phonics, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.


What is Read Write Inc.?

Read Write Inc. (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme, which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Hardwick Green we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/.


How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions



The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 



The children work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary



When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions.


In Reception, all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and will practise writing those sounds to form words.

Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for one hour. 


Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.


Children are taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.


Fred Talk


We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred. 

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the insects body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


Down the long leg


Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Down the robot's back, then up and curl


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


Down, up, down, up the worm.


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink

Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

Click here to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.




Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Nonsense words (Alien words)          


As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

  • It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.  

Click here for further information on the Screening check.


 Step 3:

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties.

In all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.


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Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

During the RWI session, children will read the book three times and at each new reading, they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.





Children will use first use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down.  Children learn how to spell rather than just be tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they are stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word.


Order of Story books: 

Children will usually follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year 1 as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 


Year Group Expectations

Green Words in Books

Red Ditty


Click here to help your child



Click here to help your child



Click here to help your child


Reception/Year One

Click here to help your child


Year One

Click here to help your child


Year One

Click here to help your child


Year One

Click here to help your child


Year two

Click here to help your child


To help at home:

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!

If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or Ms. Iles.



What is oracy?

Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. 

In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. It is also a route to social mobility, empowering all students, not just some, to find their voice to succeed in school and life. 

The Oracy Framework

As a school working with the Voice 21 project, Hardwick Green Primary Academy uses The Oracy Framework as a tool to structure our oracy curriculum. The Oracy Framework, devised by Voice 21 and Oracy Cambridge, provides a structure through which we can understand what constitutes good speaking and listening in different contexts. It breaks down the skills within oracy into four distinct but interlinked strands: physical, linguistic, cognitive and social & emotional.



In EYFS we introduce the four strands – physical, linguistic, cognitive and social & emotional – and set one core oracy objective for each that gets to the root of each Framework strand. At this stage we put the emphasis on students’ fundamental oracy skills such as speaking loud enough to be heard, beginning to join ideas together, asking questions and taking turns.


For our Key Stage 1 we build on the ideas introduced in EYFS and have two or three interlinked objectives for each strand. Each objective is slightly more complex than the previous key stage and introduces more sophisticated vocabulary. At this stage we put the emphasis on beginning to have more self and audience awareness, considering which language is appropriate and thinking about speech being structured and purposeful.


For our Key Stage 2 we build on the ideas introduced in Key Stage 1 and have three or four interlinked objectives, each under the relevant subheadings for that strand. Each objective is more complex than the previous key stage and introduces more sophisticated vocabulary as well as demanding a little more thought to its application. At this stage we put the emphasis on adapting to different situations and audiences, tailoring speech to a particular audience and being more aware of group dynamics and how to influence these.

Oracy Progression

Updated: 24/05/2024 172 KB
A progression of which oracy skills are taught in which year group, aligned to the Voice 21 Oracy Framework. Updated: May 2024

Our approach to grammar & punctuation

In Reception, Year 1 and 2, grammar and punctuation is mostly taught through the writing element of 'Read Write Inc'. which is a complete literacy programme, as well as being a systematic synthetic phonics programme.

Once children complete Read Write Inc (around Autumn term Year 2), grammar and punctuation is taught through the 'Classroom Secrets' curriculum in discrete, bite-sized chunks, before being weaved into the English lessons that are taught through the Power of Reading approach. The long term plan of which grammar and punctuation elements are introduced when are detailed below.

Grammar & Punctuation Curriculum

Updated: 05/03/2024 2.31 MB

Our approach to spelling

From reception, children are taught spelling through Read Write Inc - our systematic, synthetic phonics programme.

Once children have completed Read Write Inc (around Autumn term Year 2), they move on to RWI Spelling to continue their journey to become fluent spellers. This is taught for 15-20 minutes each day, with an teacher or TA leading the session.

Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.

The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.

RWInc Spelling Progression

Updated: 05/03/2024 85 KB
An outline of what spelling patterns, rules and other features are taught through our Read Write Inc Spelling programme.




In September 2023 Hardwick Green introduced Kinetic Letters as our new handwriting curriculum. This programme covers four key strands:

The benefits of our Kinetic Letters handwriting curriculum are:

  • Automaticity – Formation, orientation and placement of letters becomes automatic which frees up space in the working memory.
  • Achievement – Fast, legible and fluent handwriting underpins success in every curriculum area.
  • Confidence – Good handwriting creates a positive initial judgement.
  • Creativity – When handwriting is automatic, the brain can concentrate on content.
  • Reading – Writing and reading are reciprocal skills, so improvement in one, helps the other.
  • Phonics and Spelling – legible handwriting means children can read and correct spelling.