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Early Years Foundation Stage


The curriculum at Nishkam School West London is designed to ensure that our children attain highly, and are prepared as lifelong successful learners.  The primary curriculum enables our pupils to reach the secondary phase on track to achieve top grades in their GCSEs and A’Levels.  There is a particular focus on Reading, Writing and Maths – with children enabled to apply their learnt skills in these areas across all subjects.  Through our curriculum, we aim to nurture and develop the potential in each individual.  We take into account that every child is a unique learner with a mixture of talents and needs.  Our curriculum map offers a topic-based approach for each year group that is exciting and challenging.  This means that our children can have many rich and varied opportunities.  By making sure lessons are fun and engaging, children approach their tasks with enthusiasm and confidence.

We follow the National Curriculum.  The subjects are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Religious Education
  • Spanish
  • Physical Education
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Design Technology
  • Music
  • Personal, Social and Health Education


At Nishkam School West London, children from Reception to Year Two have a 20-minute discrete phonics lesson every day.   We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ from Reception to Year Two.  Reception also use ‘Jolly Phonics.’  The lessons are interactive and fully inclusive, with the whole class kept together.  The expectation is that all children will progress at age-related or above.  Children who are not at age-related have additional intervention sessions in small groups or 1:1. As a result of our approach, we have attained 98% in the phonics screening check for the last two years.

During the discrete phonics sessions, children are:

  • Taught a new phoneme (sound) every day.
  • Taught to read and spell words with the phonemes they have learnt.
  • Taught tricky words that cannot be sounded out to read and spell.
  • Taught to apply their growing knowledge to read and write sentences.

In the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, there are 6 phases the children progress through until the end of Year Two.  Their progression through the phases are as follows:


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


1st 2 weeks – Phase One

Phase Two

Phase Three

Phase Four

Phase Two

Year One

Phase Four

Phase Five

Year Two

Phase Six

Every year, we provide parent workshops, so parents can find out more about how we teach phonics, and how they can support their children at home.

There are a number of resources available that would support the teaching of phonics in school:

Suggested Apps for iPad

There are a large number of apps available, both for free and at a small cost.

  • Mr Thorne does Phonics (various at £1.49 – £2.99)
  • ABC Pocket Phonics (free)

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check takes place in June. The check is a list of 40 words which children will read one -to-one with a teacher.  It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1and ensure that children have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6.

It will check that your child can:

  • Sound out and blend graphemesin order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
  • Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.

The phonics check will help teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in year 2. Parents will be notified if their child has not met the threshold in Year 1 and will have to retake the test in Year 2.


At Nishkam School West London, we expect every child to become a fluent reader by the time they have completed their primary education.  We expect parents to listen to their children read every day.  Children are given plenty of opportunities to read across the curriculum in school.

The focus for reading is:

  • Word reading – sounding out, building up a sight vocabulary, working out the unknown word.
  • Comprehension – children being able to talk about and answer questions on what they have read.

In Reception, children are heard to read 1:1 by an adult two times a week.  This is an opportunity for children to further apply their growing phonics skills.

From Year One, children are heard to read 1:1 by an adult once a week.  In addition, children are heard to read by their class teacher once a week during a guided reading session.  This is when a group of up to six children develop their reading skills with their teacher, focused on a carefully selected book.

At Nishkam School West London, we use the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme from Reception, until children become fluent readers.  Once children are fluent in their reading, they become ‘free readers.’  This means they can select books to read from the class library.  Teachers support them to select appropriate texts.  Most of our children have become free readers aduring the course of Year Two.