​Sir Edmund Hillary Academy

English at SEH

“The more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

the more places you’ll go.”

– Dr. Seuss

For our Curriculum Plans for English click here


We teach phonics using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds system.

In Foundation and Year 1, and whilst ever the children are still learning the Phonic Code, we use the Collins Big Cat for Letters and Sounds Revised reading scheme to accelerate children's ability to read Phonic based texts that match what they have been taught. The use of phonically regular texts is maintained whilst ever children are still at the developmental stage of learning, unless their learning style mitigates against Phonics being their 'best method'.


We are passionate about reading and want every child to become an avid and critical reader of books in and out of school. We expect all children to read for twenty minutes at home every day. We find that the more opportunities children have to read, the more they enjoy doing it, and choose to do it of their own accord.

Children’s bedrooms and routines therefore need organising for this;  bedrooms- as this is usually the best place to read before sleeping (certainly do not have televisions, computers and gaming consoles, phones in children’s bedrooms (see e-Safety advice).  A simple bookshelf by a child’s bed with a range of fact & fiction books for them to browse & entertain themselves with is ideal.

As the children move on in their competence in reading we use a mixture of schemes whilst ever the children are building stamina and fluency in reading, but all our reading stock is graded so that children have success within their confidence band.

The Great Hillary Reading Challenge

At KeyStage 2 we have our own carefully graded scale of books to climb.

How many Challenge Texts can you work your way through in a year?

The full list of books can be found below.

At each level there is a book written before 1950, one written in the 21st century, and one that is the first one of a series of books which you might enjoy reading your way through.

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