Our School Offer for Reading

Within the Purpose of Study for English (National Curriculum 2014), we know that ‘through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually…Reading also enables pupils to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know’.

What do we mean by Reading?

In Key Stage 2, we focus on the two dimensions of word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading).

Word reading:

When children start at the Junior school, they should be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They should be able to decode (work out the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words) most new words. We build on structured phonics teaching from Key Stage 1 (‘Read Write Inc’ if children come from SPIS).


Good comprehension draws from knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and from knowledge of the world.  We believe that comprehension skills develop through high-quality discussion with an adult, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. The more children read, the more they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.

How do we teach Reading?

  • Each child participates within weekly whole-class comprehension lessons, using a range of commercially published texts.
  • We teach higher-order reading skills which children need to better understand and discuss texts; each class uses the same approach of ‘VIPERS’ (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising)
  • During comprehension sessions, children are listened to reading aloud and are encouraged to highlight new or interesting vocabulary in the texts. This allows whole class discussion of vocabulary and extends the children’s understanding of words.
  • Each child reads daily with books matched to their reading ability; the school uses Accelerated Reader to identify this though a STAR Reading test which gives a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Each child knows the range of books that they can choose from.
  • After reading their individual Accelerated Reader book, each child will take a short online quiz to check understanding and vocabulary.

How do we inspire a love of Reading?

We believe that reading feeds the imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy. We believe that we must excite children with a range of high-quality books that can be found within the Classroom and Gallery.

Each classroom has an identified reading area to both share a range of appropriate banded books and to motivate children to read. Each class is named after an author and is distinctive through door display and quotes. Class teachers read books by their author within the year and plan units of work around these. Year 3 and 6 Buddies meet to share books; this promotes immeasurable joy and pleasure.

Our Gallery promotes motivation with two exciting reading chairs, book quotes and listening centres. All classes have the opportunity to read within this area.

We celebrate National events such as ‘World Book Day’ and ‘National Story Telling Week’.  Through these we try to engage children with oral story-telling, book discussions and quizzes.  We also aim to further enrich our curriculum with visiting theatre group performances of well-known tales or visits to theatres.

How do we address gaps in pupil’s knowledge and skills in reading?

If children struggle to decode, they need to be taught this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonic programme. Children may receive further phonic support using specific phonic interventions, Individual Literacy sessions and other evidence-based interventions.  We also use reading scheme books to ensure progress and children will be identified for 1:1 additional daily/regular reading with an adult.

Regular testing helps us track progress; we use formal tests such as the Single Word Reading Test (SWRT) and the STAR Reading test (Accelerated Reader) which give us a raw score that can be converted to a standardised score. These can then be compared against national averages.  All interventions are monitored in conjunction with the class teacher and school SENDCO for impact.

How do we assess Reading?

We continually assess reading skills; this may be through 1:1 reading or through comprehension activities. Each child will also complete a short-written comprehension test twice within the year. In Year 6, each child will take the Key Stage 2 Reading SAT (1 x Reading paper with three comprehension texts).

How can Parents/Carers help?

We know that most children love reading at home; many Parents/Carers create a love of books through daily reading before bedtime, listening to audio books and visiting Libraries and bookstores. We thank everyone for this.

The school will ensure that all parents/carers have clear understanding of their child’s reading level; Parents/carers will also be told if their child is receiving group or 1:1 intervention for reading.

The school will send a Reading Log home to aid Home/School communication; a clear prompt for use will be attached to the front of the book.

Our School Offer for Spoken Language

Within the Purpose of Study for Spoken Language (National Curriculum 2014), we know that ‘Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing…’

What do we mean by Spoken Language?
Pupils should be taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. Pupils will use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas. Pupils will develop their competency in the art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

How do we teach Spoken Language?

  • We teach the statutory requirements across all subjects; Spoken Language is not bound to discrete teaching
  • In Year 3 & 4, we teach pupils to become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences & purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate
  • In Year 5 & 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language is extended through public speaking, performance and debate
  • All pupils have opportunities to work in groups of different sizes eg. pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class
  • We teach pupils to understand how to take turns and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates
  • Across all subjects, we focus on vocabulary acquisition eg. in Comprehension lessons, new vocabulary is highlighted, discussed and defined in order to increase children’s understanding of words

How do we inspire a love of Spoken Language?
We provide a ‘language – rich’ environment where words are celebrated and explored eg. ‘Wall of Words’ in each classroom. Adults talk with children throughout the day, modelling standard English and celebrating the nuances of the English language.

We take part in National Events eg. World Book Day and National Storytelling Week; whole school themes are agreed and planned to allow class collaboration and to ensure a purpose to share and celebrate with an audience.

Every year, Year 3 & 4 and Year 5 & 6, take part in a school production where children have the opportunity to rehearse, refine and share a high quality performance with an audience.

How do we help children who find Spoken Language difficult?
Within the classroom, staff are aware of individual needs and support skill and knowledge acquisition when required. Staff may work with identified children in smaller groups to help them to prepare their ideas before they write or speak.

Children who need more support are first monitored by the Class Teacher and the school’s Universal Provision Map is used to ensure suitable provision. A referral to the SENDCO may be required at a later date.

How do we assess Spoken Language?
Each child is assessed against the key statutory requirements for Spoken Language; this may be through observation within the classroom or within a larger performance/ school event.

How can Parents/Carers help?
Parents/Carers can help by listening to and talking about stories and non – fiction books as this helps to develop their vocabulary and organise their thinking. Talking about current news and relevant stories will help children to understand that people have different view points and this can be used to build discussions and debates. Through speaking and listening, we hope to prepare children to establish positive relationships with the ability to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas confidently and successfully.

Our School Offer for Writing

Within the Purpose of Study for English (National Curriculum 2014), we know that ‘English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will enable pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings to others.’

What do we mean by Writing?
In Key Stage 2, we focus on the two dimensions of writing both transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). It is vital that we develop competence in these two dimensions and also ensure that pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.


When children start at the Junior school, they should be able to form some letters and recognise some joins. By the end of KS2, children should be able to write fluently (in joined up handwriting) and form letters of a consistent size and shape. Our aim is to encourage fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.

During Key Stage 2, children continue to use their phonic knowledge to underpin their spelling. However, they also need to learn and understand the role of morphology (word structure) and etymology (spelling structure). Spelling rules and patterns are carefully taught within each year.

Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

How do we teach writing?

  • Each child, in Year 3 & 4, participates in weekly handwriting sessions; the school uses the ‘Nelson’ handwriting scheme (commercial). Children in Year 5 & 6 continue to hone their writing style as they progress throughout Upper KS2.
  • Each child has a ‘Wonderful Writing’ prompt at the front of their Learning Journal; this states the expected progress from printed to joined
  • Daily spelling sessions take place across all year groups covering the NC statutory objectives and statutory ‘Word lists’ from each year group.
  • Each child participates in weekly punctuation and grammar sessions, linked to the NC objectives. This explicit knowledge of grammar gives all children more conscious control and choice in their language. We call this ‘SPAG’.
  • Staff plan a variety of text types across the year eg. Poetry, Persuasion, Recount, Explanation, Non-Chronological Report
  • Each child participates within shared writing sessions to ensure they have an awareness of the text type they are writing and how best to present this to their audience. These sessions will include a focus on the key vocabulary, punctuation and the grammar needed in each text type. Each classroom has a ‘CPOW’ board (Conjunctions / Punctuation / Openers / Words).
  • Writing is purposeful and linked to both class reading books, other subjects and to National events such as Anti-Bullying week and National Story Telling Week

How do we inspire a love of Writing?
We believe that writing is an essential skill and look to foster a love of writing in all children by basing it around stimulating and engaging texts. We make clear and purposeful links between what we are reading and what we are writing to ensure the best possible outcomes for each child.

How do we help children who find writing difficult?
If children struggle to form a neat and joined handwriting style, children may receive additional support/resources such as a pencil grip, support line guides for ascenders and descenders and multi-sensory teaching eg. letter formation within a sand tray.

If children struggle to spell correctly, they may receive individual word lists that are tailored to their level eg. 100 High Frequency Words. They may be identified for 1:1/group additional support. Classrooms also aid visualisation with display prompts eg. Wall of Words. For those children who struggle to compose, staff support with a range of strategies such as writing frames, sentence starters, oral retelling & then recording.

How do we assess Writing?
We continually assess writing skills; this may be through day to day tasks or through independent writing opportunities. Each child has a writing assessment document (linked to the NC objectives) which enables teachers to assess their work against given criteria. At the end of independent pieces of writing, children are given written feedback (which consists of targets or next steps) to further their development as a writer.

We assess Spelling through weekly tests (linked to week’s spelling pattern); children will also complete a short written close-procedure twice within the year. In Year 6, each child will take the Key Stage 2 Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling Test (1 x Spelling Paper and 1 x Grammar & Punctuation paper).

We assess Grammar & Punctuation through weekly tasks; children will also complete a short written test twice within the year.

How can Parents/Carers help?
Parents/Carers can support their children by encouraging them to write wherever and whenever possible. Fostering a love of writing at home will only encourage their child to write with more passion at school.