Southfield Primary School

English through Literature

Literature has enormous educational potential; it can enable children to experience a range of emotions safely and vicariously, promote understanding of the human condition… It can be a source of reflection on universal themes of courage, love, sacrifice, compassion.       

                                                                                                            Nikki Gamble

Our core aim at the heart of the English curriculum is to motivate children to become passionate and purposeful writers whilst making meaning and sense of the world around them. Underpinning this is the use of a rich and stimulating disparate range of literature designed to challenge, motivate and stimulate children’s imagination and understanding of the world around them. Each half term children study a picture book or class novel and use this as stimulus for their fictional writing. Children examine and manipulate key language, vocabulary and syntax whilst exploring characterisation, themes and genres of writing. Fostering and acquiring a strong and rich vocabulary supports pupils’ self-expression and ability to reason and articulate ideas. 

We believe strongly that through close guided reading of the text, all pupils acquire the internalisation of the rhythmic patterns of language and sentence construction which they can replicate and capitalise upon in their own unique writing style when writing independently. Through exploring high quality authorial texts, pupils gain an understanding of how to compose writing in different genres, writing for both engagement and purpose, and for a range of audiences.

Children explore genres such as recounts, explanations, narratives using the text as a foundation. Teachers use a variety of tools to explore children’s meaning and understanding of language through the use of drama and role play, guided writing and examples of genres to analyse and interrogate. Research indicates that children learn to write through writing; adopting this approach we offer children the opportunity to write extended pieces in each genre and through high quality dialogic marking pupils improve their self-expression and ability to communicate in specialised genres of writing. Adopting a transactional model of reading, we believe children bring their own knowledge and interpretation to a text and when they encounter a text there is a merging of the novel and their understanding of the world. Indeed Harding describes the literature encounter as ‘when responding to great works of literature, the reader is changed and becomes something other than they were before’. We hope that children will become fluent, passionate writers engaged and fused with a sense of purpose and an ability to write for technical purposes and for pleasure.


Here are the texts children in Reception to Year 6 will explore this academic year:

Year Group

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term


The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Burglar Bill


Happy Families Series

Six Dinner Sid

Year 1

Peace at Last

The Magic Bed

The Whale Song

Year 2

The Mousehole Cat

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Bill’s New Frock


The Angel of Nitshill Road

Year 3

Charlotte’s Web

The Ice Palace

Stig of the Dump

Year 4

Street Child

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Wind in the Willows

Year 5

The Chronicles of Narnia


Tom’s Midnight Gardern

Why The Whales Came


Year 6

The Other Side of Truth

Goodnight Mister Tom

The Giant’s Necklace