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. Where possible the units have been organised to complement the topic based approach of the ‘Cornerstones’ curriculum. 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).


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 practice 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)

How we teach Phonics

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 English Lead, Mrs Jain.

How we teach Spelling

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.

How you can help at home?

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 practicing sounds 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


Crickweb – KS1 Literacy

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