How It Works

'The Literary Curriculum has without question brought about a dramatic improvement in the quality of children's writing - particularly the boys - and I was so proud at our cross-school moderation meeting when our children's writing had all sorts of literary features which they were using very naturally'

Dan Paton, Deputy Headteacher, Arnot St Mary, Liverpool

The Literary Curriculum is a complete, thematic approach to the teaching of primary English that places children’s literature at its core.

Children explore over ninety literary texts and experience at least seventy-five unique significant authors as they move through the school.

As a whole-school approach, it provides complete coverage of all National Curriculum expectations for writing composition, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, as well as coverage of spelling, phonics and reading comprehension. All plans lead to purposeful application within a wide variety of written outcomes.

We provide the planning sequence which guides teachers through a text for 2, 3 or 4 weeks. This is a detailed set of daily plans with a medium term overview that can be adapted to support differentiation by a class teacher.

How it works

All our texts sit within literary themes. Each year group has 6 themes and includes a minimum of 12 literary texts that have clear progression.

Below is a sample of the map for Autumn 1.




Autumn 1

Outside inside

Where the Wild Things Are

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

Year 1

Autumn 1

Journeys & exploration

Cave Baby

Naughty Bus

Moon Factfiles

Year 2


Autumn 1

A twist in the tale

The Goldilocks Project

Jim and the Beanstalk

Year 3

Autumn 1

Magic & wonder

Leon and the Place Between

The Heart and the Bottle

Year 4

Autumn 1

Freedom & captivity

Iron Man


Year 5

Autumn 1

Ambition & desire

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Robot Girl

King Kong

Year 6

Autumn 1

Migration & movement

The Unforgotten Coat

The Arrival

Texts are always selected for their quality and significance. There is a wide variety including classics, award-winning texts (Carnegie, Kate Greenaway, Guardian, Newbery and Caldecott) and celebrated and significant authors such as children’s laureates and poet laureates. The range includes novels, novellas, picture books, wordless texts, narrative poems, playscripts and narrative non-fiction.

Within the range, there is a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, such as historical narrative, mystery, adventure and fantasy.

All plans include engaging starting points to generate interest, engage and activate inference. These link to the books’ themes and employ elements of dramatic conventions, which are maintained and addressed across the sequence.

Plans include explicit grammar objectives so that the grammar skills for writing are seen in context and can be applied within writing. These can be taught ‘discretely’ yet creatively, and still embedded firmly within the context of the book.

In addition, planning integrates spelling investigations and activities, so that patterns and rules can be explored, discovered and then used purposefully within writing.

Built into the plans are a variety of shorter and longer writing opportunities that are purposeful and pertinent to particular points of text. Children are encouraged to write in role, with bias and for a distinct audience, rather than writing in one fixed genre for the whole planning sequence.

Collectively the sequences help children build a literary repertoire; develop a knowledge of significant authors and prepares them for the subject content of critical reading at Key stage 3.

This can best be answered who have used our planning sequences throughout their schools to support their agenda in raising attainment in writing:

'The Literary Curriculum has without question brought about a dramatic improvement in the quality of children's writing - particularly the boys - and I was so proud at our cross-school moderation meeting when our children's writing had all sorts of literary features which they were using very naturally

Dan Paton, Deputy Headteacher, Arnot St Mary Primary, Liverpool.

'Our GSP and writing scores were fantastic this year due to all the Literacy Tree planning sequences we follow. We were 93% Expected and 53% Greater Depth when 2 years ago we were 65% expected.’

Amanda Webb, Headteacher, Talavera Junior School, Hampshire

This is an online resource that teachers can adapt and personalise. All we recommend is that you purchase the books that go alongside each sequence.

We run an extensive training programme from our base in London that supports all aspects of the delivery, subject knowledge and pedagogy of our approach. However, we are not London-centric and our consultants are happy to travel. In the past year we have delivered book-based training across the UK and in Europe. Please contact us to discuss your training and inset needs:

Subscription to The Literary Curriculum entitles you to full access to:

  • 90+ comprehensive planning sequences and resources
  • A full thematic map from YR-Y6 with themes and texts outlined
  • A suggested order of progression of texts
  • An interactive curriculum coverage planning tool with NC objectives identified
  • An interactive cross-curricular coverage map identifying distinct links across other areas of the curriculum
  • A model English policy that identifies the importance of literature at the core of the curriculum
  • Individual user accounts with own usernames and passwords within a subscription account

Overview of Texts for the Literary Curriculum


Thematic Overview - Autumn Term Sample


Sample English PoS Coverage Map


Sample Cross-curricular Coverage Map


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak - Reception


Rosie Revere by Andrea Beaty - KS1


Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold - LKS2


Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho Yen - UKS2

The Literacy Tree, D129 Parkhall Business Centre, 40 Martell Road, London, SE21 8EN | Company Registered no: 07951913


  • The Owl and the Pussy-cat

    KS: R & KS1, R & KS1 / LKS2

    Year Group: Year 2

    More Info
  • Beegu

    KS: R & KS1, R & KS1 / LKS2

    Year Group: Year 1

    More Info
  • Flotsam

    KS: LKS2 / UKS2, Lower KS2, R & KS1 / LKS2

    Year Group: Year 3

    More Info


  • 06 Sep

    An Introduction to the Literary Curriculum

    Suitable for: New teachers at existing Literary Curriculum schools, School leaders/English subject leaders

    View Details
  • 12 Oct

    Entitlement: Teaching Reading Comprehension in Years 3 & 4

    Suitable for: Years 3 & 4

    View Details
  • 19 Oct

    Entitlement: Teaching Reading Comprehension in Years 5 & 6

    Suitable for: Years 5 & 6

    View Details

Blog & Booklists

  • 11 Reasons to Publish Children's Writing

    Posted On: 14/06/2018

    Read More
  • June Literature Review

    Posted On: 01/06/2018

    Read More
  • May Literature Review

    Posted On: 30/04/2018

    Read More