English at Maple Court Academy

Subject Leader (Strategic Lead): Mr Copestake

Reading Lead: Mrs Cadman

KS1 & EYFS Lead: Miss Barlow

KS2 Lead: Mr Ward


Here at Maple Court Academy, it is our aim to encourage and nurture aspirations of all children to achieve their dreams. With this, children who have a love for reading fluently and confidently. Our curriculum design of inspiring, high quality and exciting coverage of texts and genres aids us in doing so. Alongside our staff’s passion and commitment to reading, we teach our children the adequate skills and knowledge that enable them to learn from what they read and to be able to take this to further education and life. Immersing our children into the reading texts is couple closely with our approach to writing and empowering our children to write creatively, powerfully and accurately. At Maple Court Academy, the strong relationship between reading and writing is bridged through the use and understanding of vocabulary, which is why it is at the heart of everything we do. Prioritising vocabulary and language within English allows our children to become independent learners within English and opens windows to learning that feeds their aspirations for the future.

The Subject Leader

I would like to introduce myself as Mr Copestake – subject leader for English. Having developed a real love for the subject of English, and acquired the roles of SLE for English and English School Improvement for the Alpha Trust, I feel that I am equipped with the skills and knowledge to support staff in delivering a consistent, enjoyable and challenging curriculum for all of our children.

My main role across the academy include striving to set a good example to all others, ensuring that every member of our academy speaks, listens, reads and writes well in order to support pupils in developing their language and vocabulary. In addition, ensuring that we have quality sequential approach to the English curriculum is high on my agenda so that pupil’s fluency, confidence and enjoyment in both reading and writing is evident across all year groups. Another one of my priorities is making sure that reading itself is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum on offer at our academy. Furthermore, I am dedicated to ensuring that our children receive a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which enables our children to gain sufficient knowledge and skills for life in the future. Subject knowledge across the academy is good; however, should members of staff need any specific support with particular areas of English, this is addressed through quality CPD either with training delivered by myself and the English team, or through accessing what is on offer outside of our academy, including collaboration with other schools within our trust.

I would like to introduce myself, Miss Barlow- Foundation Stage Leader and English lead for EYFS and KS1. I love the magic of reading and the places it can transport us to, story time is my favourite way to end a busy day of learning in the classroom! Working with the youngest children in the school allows me to share the children’s first steps with their reading and writing journeys and it’s a pleasure to see the children develop their confidence and independence as they progress into KS1. I enjoy being able to network with other schools in our trust and work alongside class teachers to ensure that standards in the delivery of English are high and that our children are challenged appropriately to achieve their full potential.

Hello all! My name is Mr Ward, I am new to Maple Court, and I would like to introduce myself as Key Stage Two English lead. It is an honour to lead an English-based subject because I am passionate about reading and vocabulary. I love to read fantasy books such as Harry Potter or investigative thrillers by the author Harlan Coben.  You will often hear me trying to list as many synonyms for a word, in lessons, or discussing why “amble” is a better word then “stumble” in a certain context. Working with children is amazing, once they are hooked, it is amazing to see them use vocabulary with such flair.

Aside from the reading for pleasure, and losing yourself in another world, I want to help children achieve a high level of fluency in their reading. For this, I am currently embarking on a research project for the Trust. Reading really is a gateway in to other subjects and passions: children have to be able to read and comprehend, in order to be successful. In relation to writing, I have written short stories, letters and lyrics myself. I will always encourage children to use recently taught vocabulary in subsequent pieces of writing. I will work alongside other teachers and hope to implement high standards of reading fluency as well as creating articulate writers.

The Curriculum

English is at the heart of everything we do here at Maple Court Academy. Our curriculum is designed to be ambitious and meet the needs of all pupils through tailored scaffolding approaches. Taking the objectives from the National Curriculum, we deliver a sequence of sessions for English which marry reading and writing together. Starting with ‘book talk’, the children are taught how to predict, retrieve, infer, understand language, summarise and give justifications for their answers. This approach enables the children to gain lots of reading skills while becoming familiar with authorial style which leads into the teaching of writing. The writing process begins with ‘immersion’ where the children will be exposed to what they are expected to achieve (through a WAGOLL resource), giving them knowledge of structure and organisation and writing style for the genre. This is also the stage where we explore and gather vocabulary; therefore, we give the children the opportunity to get to grips with language used in the WAGOLL and use different ways to collect their own for their own piece. A key grammar skill for the genre of writing will then be looked at with the children and applied in their own sentences. Children then have the opportunity to plan their final piece in a way that is appropriate to the task before writing their final piece. As stated in the National Curriculum, we prioritise drafting and editing and consistently include this within the final steps of our sequence of sessions.

Demonstrating that reading is a priority across the academy, high quality texts have been carefully selected to ensure engagement of all pupils. Where applicable, these texts are linked directly to the foundation subjects. Using texts which link to our topics ensures our children are fully immersed in their topic and this in turn moves children towards a deep level of understanding where they use and apply skills and knowledge in different areas. We carefully choose texts throughout the course of the year which cover a range of genres: our long term and medium-term planning and guided reading journeys ensure that every genre is covered, covering classic fiction, historical fiction and science fiction to name a few, poetry and many non-fiction text types. As an academy, we also place high value on picture books and the opportunities they bring right through to Year 6.

As vocabulary is a key priority across our school in all subjects, in order to develop our children’s understanding and use of a variety of vocabulary, we use our Word Aware scheme. This is a vocabulary thread throughout our sequence that enables our children to explore the meaning of new words and develop understanding within context.


In EYFS, children learn how to read through the early reading programme Little Wandle. In the Autumn term, children learn Phase 2 and some Phase 3 phonemes and graphemes. They learn how to read and write CVC words, which builds onto children learning to read and write phrases and simple sentences. By the end of the school year, children develop their accuracy and fluency when reading short stories with known sounds and tricky words. They develop their writing stamina and are expected to write at least three sentences at the end of the year to help prepare them for Year 1. Reading and writing opportunities are provided in the continuous provision – both inside and outside – to allow children to practise the skills that they have learnt.

Assessment for learning

At Maple Court Academy, assessment is ongoing throughout every lesson with teachers identifying strengths, misconceptions and next steps. Teachers use this information to feed into subsequent learning sessions. Retrieval practice is a key element of every session, revisiting prior learning. Whiteboard work, partner discussion and questioning are just some of the strategies that we use to identify children’s progress towards the learning outcome, identifying children’s understanding and progress.

Another tool for assessment that we use is our Active Developmental Marking (ADM) – this is where we address misconceptions as they arise within the lesson so that they can be addressed immediately. A rigorous moderation process is undertaken termly as a more summative assessment; however, during regular monitoring from the senior leadership team, this is also checked regularly.

Pupil voice

‘I like everything about English, especially when we learn about different types of stories. Fox and The Demon Headmaster are my favourites’ – Year 6

‘The writing is the best. You can really express yourself with it by writing your own opinions or writing about anything you want’ – Year 5

‘I like that we’re learning about moles and rats in a book called ‘Wind in the Willows’ because I want one as a pet one day, and it is helping me to learn about them through Reading.’ – Year 4

‘It is fun. I like writing in our English books.’ – Year 2

JLT and School Council: TBC

English Curriculum Documents

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| Ofsted 2023

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