At Meadowside Primary School our aim is that every child will learn to write, and love to write, by being given real and exciting materials to inspire them; and by providing them with opportunities to write for different reasons and in different genres and contexts. We aim to provide all pupils at Meadowside with support to write using quality first teaching and clear, well planned progression across all aspects of writing at genre, sentence and word level. We understand that the spoken language, reading and writing are tightly interwoven and therefore we aim to use excellent reading materials and texts as well as examples of high quality writing to inspire pupils and to enable them to emulate these styles which helps pupils understand that their writing is for reading. We also aim to ensure language and vocabulary is built up from our youngest children in EYFS through to end of KS2, using our own school’s version of Talk for Writing in collaboration with our own assessment systems to ensure our children are able to write at the best of their ability. Handwriting is taught and practised across the whole school using the Kinetic Letters programme and we aim for pupils to write autonomously. At Meadowside, we aim for pupils to meet the spelling aims set out in the National Curriculum. In years 2-6 pupils are taught using the Read, Write, Inc. spelling programme. We also recognise the importance of applying writing skills across the wider curriculum and plan regularly for this to take place.
EYFS, KS1 and KS2 utilise quality texts to inform their English activities and lessons. The use of quality texts enhances pupils understanding of vocabulary in context, understanding of sentence structure and provide quality models for pupils to utilise. Where possible cross-curricular links are made to embed wider curriculum understanding as well as to meet National Curriculum age related expectations.
In EYFS pupils are provided with daily opportunities to write in their continuous provision, this allows pupils the chance to use their phonic knowledge to write words and simple sentences. Each week pupils have a dedicated writing session led by an adult, this writing is linked to a class text.
Writing happens as part of some morning English lessons in KS1 as well as forming part of varied contextual responses in other subject areas, such as history, geography, science and RE.
In KS2 pupils are provided with daily opportunities to write. This allows pupils to not only build stamina for writing but to also focus on required grammatical knowledge to produce work at the National Curriculum age related expectation. These writing sessions are not always taught as discrete English lessons and may form part of other subject areas. Written responses form a large part (but are not the entirety) of other subject lessons. When utilised, these provide another context for our pupils to explore their skills and understanding of age-related writing expectations.
Talk for Writing
Each teacher/year group uses the objectives mapped out in the National Curriculum and the EYFS Framework as their foundation point and plans writing lessons using the writing sequence of learning document which provides a yearly overview of the content that should be taught in each year group. We plan our teaching sequence, based on our own version of Talk for Writing as we recognise the importance of speaking and listening, especially oracy, in its ability to support writing. Throughout the school we recognise that language plays an important role in helping pupils understand curriculum content, as it is a vital link to writing. Talk for Writing provides opportunities to develop oracy skills within all our writing teaching sequences and to support pupils thinking and organisation of writing. Grammar and punctuation is threaded and planned carefully across each teaching sequence and in context of the writing so that children can see the purpose and how it is used.
Handwriting- Kinetic Letters
Meadowside Primary uses the Kinetic Letters programme to provide our children with an automatic response to letter formation that allows pupils to concentrate their effort on the content on their writing. The programme focuses on building physical strength for writing so the sessions have active and interactive elements to inform desired letter formation. Our children are taught the Kinetic Letters approach from EYFS, which supports their understanding of letter families. By the end of KS1 pupils are expected to write fluently with clear letter formation and are beginning to join letters upon entry to KS2. Currently our pupils have not yet had the experience of Kinetic Letters from EYFS through to KS2 and so we are teaching the Kinetic Letters approach through LKS2 to prepare our pupils to meet end of KS2 expectations as fluent writers. Once our writers have mastered, size relative, clear and consistent letter formation and joining, our UKS2 pupils develop their own individual legible style. The training received in earlier years within the Kinetic Letters programme supports children in building a legible style with clarity for their reader.
Read, Write, Inc. Spelling
Spellings are linked directly with phonics teaching for our youngest pupils and years 2-6 are taught using the RWI Spelling programme which fulfils the spelling requirements of the National Curriculum. Pupils will learn to spell with confidence and clarity. These sessions are taught daily using systematic teaching so the knowledge is continually practised and committed to pupils’ long term memory.
Our intended impact is to meet the aims and rationale set out in our initial intention. We will measure the impact of our implementation against our intention through regular scheduled book scrutiny, formative and summative assessment (against Target Tracker statements) as well as pupil/parent/teacher voice. Subject leaders and SLT will perform pupil progress meetings to analyse and discuss pupil’s learning, progress and attainment against National Curriculum age related expectations.
English : Reading
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
For further information about the Primary National Curriculum for literacy , please follow this link.
When pupils at Meadowside are fluent, independent readers they move away from using the Read, Write Inc (RWI) scheme used in the early stages of their reading journey (find out more about RWI on the early reading and phonics page). In Year 1, pupils are moved onto colour banded books and from Year 2 they are moved onto Accelerated Reading books. Accelerated Reader is used from then on throughout the school.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a program whose intent is that pupils enjoy reading more when they can select their own books. (The program has more than 150,000 titles to choose from on its BookFinder list.) Each book has online “reading practice” quizzes, which are referred to as “AR tests.” Teachers use these quizzes to track each pupil’s progress and set appropriate goals for them. It’s intended to encourage pupils to read independently, at their own level and pace.
Pupils are guided with personalised goals around the three factors proven to make reading practice most effective:
For more information, see our reading files below.
Reading in school
From Year 3 to Year 6 children spend at least 45 minutes of their school day on reading activities. All classes in KS2 have daily Whole Class Reading (WCR) sessions, which last from 30-45 minutes. These sessions introduce children to a wide range of age appropriate texts, including poems, songs, fiction, non-fiction, historical, traditional, modern and multi-cultural stimuli. The activities involve listening to texts and then tasks, which help pupils to understand the stimulus at a deeper level.
- Vocabulary check - introduces the pupils to new words and checks meaning.
- Quick Start – includes repetitive style questions to encourage a general understanding of texts.
- Individual thinking - encourages independent thinking.
- Partnered talk - encourages discussions, personal views and debate.
- Solo work – opportunities to record their ideas and responses in writing in their reading books.
Each class throughout the school will have a class reader. These are longer texts, which are usually read by the teacher to the class. Dedicated time each day is given to these texts to allow children to access and listen to more complex texts. Class readers are chosen for a number of reasons - children’s choice, curriculum links, seasonal links or because they are written by a favourite author. Two WCR lessons per week are linked to the class reading book.
See example of some WCR lessons in reading files
Encouraging a love of reading
At Meadowside, we want our children to love reading in all its forms. We believe providing children with exciting places to read will help to encourage this ethos.
Meadowside has a beautiful school library, which was completed in May 2021. The school resident artist used inspiration from some of the children’s favourite texts to create a, sensational, colourful and unique setting for our shared books. Pupils have timetabled access to the library and may choose any book, which interests them, they can then take them home. Books are organised by author surname for fiction books and using the Dewey Decimal Classification system for Non-Fiction books.
In Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 each class has a designated reading area or book corner. Children have access to these throughout the day. In Key Stage 2 there are reading spaces in the shared areas which children can use throughout the day when appropriate.
In the near future, we will be opening an outside reading garden. Children will have access to this during some lessons and again is aimed to promote a love of reading.
Jeff the reading dog
Jeff is a regular visitor to our school. He is used to support and encourage pupils to read within a safe environment. Reading to the dog helps them to take on the responsibilities, as well as the pleasures of independence. The children become the experts as they read, leading to greater confidence in their reading abilities.
We hold regular reading events throughout the year, book fairs, book stalls, World Book Day and Creative Mission Days all help to keep reading a key focus of Meadowside Primary School.
Parents play an important role in supporting and promoting positive reading habits. It is expected (as outlined in the school homework policy) that children are given opportunities to read at home. Your child will be responsible for bringing a school reading book home each day. During their homework time it is expected they should read for between 10 and 15 minutes at least four times each week. With younger children, this would need to be with an adult or older sibling who can record their reading in the school reading record. With older more independent readers this may be reading by themselves and then a discussion with an adult about events, information or characters after reading. The child may record their progress in their own reading record. School reading records are checked regularly by staff and can be a useful platform for asking questions about your child’s reading and learning. Please use the records to let teachers know if your child has struggled, asked questions, explained vocabulary or if they have or have not enjoyed the book.
Don’t forget it is still important to read to your child and share books together.