English: Reading & Writing


We use The Literacy Tree to support planning and teaching of English. Units of work focus on a particular book and include a range of genres. The Literacy Tree grew from a passion for quality children’s literature and a belief that if children engage in these books early on not only will their lives be enriched but they will also develop that same passion and, through excellent teaching, become critical thinkers, readers and writers, enjoying the process at every stage (as learning should be an exciting and creative process).

The Literacy Tree approach: Creating Contexts for Writing

Our aim would be that children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Teaching is underpinned by a high-quality text

Each new unit for English starts with a beautiful, high-quality text. These texts offer opportunities for empathy and philosophical enquiry, developing the spoken language though through debate, drama and discussion, which will spark their imagination. 

Spelling and Grammar is embedded 

Spelling and grammar is taught through the context of a book so that these can be applied purposefully within writing.  

Children write for a purpose

Children have real reasons to write whether that is to explain, persuade, inform or instruct, usually on a daily basis. Within each sequence of teaching, pupils will write for different purposes and will practise their skills creating ‘shorter’, ‘longer’ and ‘extended’ writing outcomes.


In all years groups the children work with a range of texts to create breadth and stimulate interest in learning to read and reading to learn. We use every opportunity there is to support children’s reading skills and comprehension, and we teach them to develop a love of reading.  Children have the opportunity to listen to a variety of reading genres which enables them to develop their comprehension, make links between books and develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of the world.

To extend and increase opportunities for children to practise and develop their skills class timetables include:

  • phonics or guided reading daily;

  • reading in small group with the class teacher or teaching assistant in KS1;

  • whole class guided reading sessions in KS2;

  • 1:1 reading opportunities each week with staff and volunteers;

  • shared class book

  • reading sessions at the school library;

  • independent reading at home (daily)




Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme).

At Goldfinch Primary we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to support the teaching of reading and writing, giving children a flying start with their literacy learning. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

In phonic sessions children are taught to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition. Children continue to apply their new knowledge of phonics, through regular interactive reading of texts with the teacher and their reading partner during the school day.

If you require any further support, please come into school and speak with your child’s class teacher or our Phonics Lead, Mrs Pearson.




In Key Stage 2, children have regular short spelling lessons which are focused on developing different strategies for successful spelling and learning the different rules and patterns for spellings from the National Curriculum. Interventions are in place to support children, beyond phase 2 who have yet to acquire a basic phonological understanding.




The websites below have a variety of interactive games that are perfect to play with your children at home. By the end of Year 1, your child is expected to be fluent in phases 1-5. In Year 2, your child is taught phase 6. Always check with your child’s class teacher to see which phase they are working in, before you begin practising sounds at home.

Here are links to support phonics and reading learning at home:

Read Write Inc Parent Page

What is Read Write Inc Phonics

How to say the sounds

Phonics screening check

Phonics workshop Reception and Year 1 overview


Oxford Owl Reading at home

English games