We follow the National Curriculum. Wherever possible, we link reading and writing to the International Primary curriculum (IPC) and other curriculum areas. This provides a real context for learning.


Speaking and listening

Speaking and listening are especially important because children access all areas of the curriculum in this way. Verbal communication is also essential for personal and social development. We provide a wealth of practical and structured learning opportunities for speaking and listening to develop confidence, vocabulary and self-expression.



We follow the Tower Hamlets Letters and Sounds programme in Early Years and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily and children learn a new sound each day. We follow a structured pattern of teaching and learning each new sound. Children apply their phonic knowledge when they are reading and writing throughout the day. Children are assessed at the end of each phase so that we can make sure that children make progress and can achieve the Phonics screening check at the end of year 1. 

Early Years:

In Nursery, children develop listening skills by hearing environmental sounds, instrumental sounds and making body percussion. They hear and learn rhymes, listen to voice sounds and begin to blend and segment sounds orally. Children are helped to tune into sounds, listen to and remember sounds and talk about different sounds.

In Reception, children learn to blend and segment sounds. They practice reading and writing the new letters and sounds. They begin to learn the spellings of tricky words.

Key Stage 1:

In each lesson, children revise taught sounds, and learn a new sound every day by hearing, reading, writing and applying the sound. They learn the spellings of tricky words.

Phonic lessons begin at 9.00am once the register is completed. Please make sure your child arrives in school by 8.55am, so they are ready to start learning the new sound for the day.



At Shapla we are committed to fostering a love of books and a lifelong passion for reading. All children are expected to read at home every day; this might be a picture book, newspaper article, web page, leaflet, an information book or a book of short stories.

In EYFS and KS1 children learn to read using Letters & Sounds and by building their own repertoire of known and loved books that they can read independently. We teach through guided reading, using a range of decodable phonics books alongside imaginative and exciting real books. We also recognise the importance of reading aloud to children every day.This inspires an early love of reading and provides a pattern of rich language.

In KS2 children learn to build stamina; read with increasing fluency and independence; read for pleasure; research information for different areas of the curriculum; discuss together and explain their understanding of a text; make appropriate book choices.

Resources throughout the school include  CLPE Core Books in each class, Book Power units, Pearson Phonics Bugs, Comics for Phonics and a variety of high-quality real books (including information texts for IPC research). We have a well-loved library which is filled with exciting stories, poetry and non-fiction books. We are part of the Tower Hamlets loans library, and this enriches our book provision across the school.  



Wherever possible, we make writing purposeful, contextualised, engaging and fun. In this way, children are motivated to express ideas and communicate in written form.

We teach writing through Letters and Sounds, Book Power units, non-fiction units that link to the IPC or Book Power texts wherever possible, and book-making. We teach the National Curriculum objectives for Spelling, Grammar and Punctation, which are frequently embedded in writing. Each class has a working wall that shows good models of vocabulary, sentence structure, planning and ideas for writing, linked to the current unit.

We follow the Continuous Cursive handwriting scheme.