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Our English vision is to foster a love of language and literature through the use of quality texts and books; this inspires, excites and engages our children.

Reading at Alwoodley Primary School



At Alwoodley Primary School, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent readers whilst promoting reading for enjoyment. We aim to develop independence and fluency in all readers to ensure a life-long love of reading and ensuring that they can all achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum.

We approach reading in three different ways; reading for pleasure, reading across the curriculum and teaching reading skills explicitly.


  • We follow the Bug Club Phonics scheme from Nursery to Year 1, which teaches the children the 44 different sounds in the English language and 175+ different ways of writing those sounds (graphemes). The correct enunciation of phonemes and modelling of blending by all adults at Alwoodley Primary School is of paramount importance in the accurate and effective teaching of phonics.
  • The children have access to a range of different reading books. Each child in Reception and Year 1 will have access to a fully phonetically decodable book matched to their stage of phonics and a reading for pleasure book for within their coloured book band. Children all also have access to online reading books through the programme ‘Bug Club’. Bug Club books are finely matched to the Phases in our Bug Club Phonics programme and support the progression of all reading skills through regular comprehension questions and assessments.
  • From Y2-6 we use Spelling Shed to plan and teach spelling patterns. The children can access this resource at home, to apply and embed the skills they have learnt.
  • For any children working on Phases 2-6 in year 3 or beyond, we provide individualised intervention to diminish gaps and accelerate progress for these children.
  • From Reception to Y6, children have whole class reading sessions using the VIPERS (vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve, sequence or summarise) format. We use a variety of text types and genres to ensure full coverage of different curriculum areas.


We ensure a progression of skills in Phonics throughout Early Years and KS1 and expect that by the end of KS1 children can;

  • Independently use their phonic knowledge to read fluently, sounding out and blending unfamiliar words without support,
  • Read age appropriate books with increasing fluency and expression.
  • Read accurately words containing two or more syllables.
  • Read words containing common suffixes.
  • Make predictions and inferences based on what they have read themselves and what has been read to them by others.


By the end of KS2 children can;

  • Confidently read aloud with intonation and expression, drawing on subtle clues from the text.
  • Express individual interests, thoughts and opinions on texts.
  • Compare and contrast different texts on the same subject.
  • Explain and comment on structural devices used in a variety of texts.
  • Evaluate, comment and compare the different styles of writers – providing evidence and explanations (PEE – point, evidence, explain).
  • Perform familiar poems using tone, pitch and other devices to engage the audiences.

Writing at Alwoodley Primary School



We aim to prepare and equip children with the writing skills they need to become confident, independent writers and bring enjoyment into writing to inspire them. Through a balanced and broad curriculum, we intend to provide regular opportunities for children to write from different perspectives, e.g. to write as a historian. We want to ensure that all children, regardless of background and experiences, are provided with the scaffolding support and tools that they need to succeed.


  • Grammar and punctuation is taught both explicitly and implicitly within English lessons. Our grammar and punctuation policy ensures that grammar skills are effectively embedded into the children’s everyday work.
  • Talk for Writing is used from Nursery – Year 1 to support and engage children in stories.
  • Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes such as: explanations, instructions, reports, balanced arguments, stories and poems. They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing.
  • From Nursery, our children are introduced to letter formation using the Irlens handwriting scheme and this is then formally taught from Year 2. As they progress through school, the children are encouraged to write in a neat, legible style using a cursive script.
  • Drama and speaking and listening are an integral part of our curriculum in order to encourage self-confidence, imagination and empathy. It is used collaboratively alongside other subjects to engage pupils actively in a topic and develop a deeper understanding.


By the end of KS1 children can;

  • Apply their phonics knowledge by using strategies taught in Phonics lessons.
  • Write independently, using Talk for Writing as a tool to guide and sequence sentences.
  • Write simple coherent narratives.


By the end of KS2 children can;

  • Write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes, selecting appropriate language and form.
  • Use a range of punctuation, tenses and dialogue in their writing effectively.
  • Use grammar and vocabulary efficiently to suit the needs of the writing.
  • Develop speed and fluency when writing in cursive script.

A Snapshot of English at APS June 2021

Reception - The children have been reading and rehearsing the story 'Sharing a Shell'. They have, independently, written some super sentences about the story . 

Year 1 - This term Year 1 have been learning all about Kenya! We are learning to make predictions about a text, draw inferences about characters, describe and compare setting and write non-chronological reports based on our Kenya research. We have enjoyed using drama and Talk 4 Writing to re-tell stories such as 'Lila and the Secret of Rain' and 'Why Elephant has a Trunk'. We have linked our story work to our art topic this term and have had a fantastic time recreating patterns, textures and prints from the 'Tinga Tinga Tales'. 

Year 2 - In Year 2 we have been reading our new book Vlad and the Great Fire of London. We have made predictions, written character descriptions, and looked at using a variety of conjunctions in our work. We are looking forward to reading more because we love this topic at the moment.

Year 4 - In Year 4 we have just come to the end of a poetry unit. We started by investigating the poem 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe. We rehearsed it, explored the tone and intonation of the poem, presented it, unpicked the narrative, looked at the structure of the poem and finally wrote some lines that would fit in the poem. We then linked it a poem in our class book, 'The Scarecrow and his Servant' by Philip Pullman and wrote our own rhyming poems about an inanimate object. Here we are presenting our poems to the rest of the class. 

Year 5 - In English this half term we have spent some time writing a manifesto for the Leeds Children's Mayor competition. We have just started our work on Mayan folk tales which links with History. We have read a few different ones and talked about the features and now we are starting to write our own.


New Colour Banded Books - April 2021

Our beautiful new books have arrived in school! We are so excited to reveal the fabulous new reading books to the children for them to choose and read at home and in school. We have all new shelving, colour coded boxes and fabulous reading displays. Happy Reading :) 


We have donated all of our many old books to charities to support schools in Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. We will update the images when they arrive in the schools. 

World Book Day 2021

This year, we celebrated World Book Day during lockdown. We created a Masked reader competition where the children had to guess the member of staff reading their favourite story. We even managed to include a celebrity (Helen Skelton) to join in. The children loved listening to the masked voices and listening to the clues.

Recreate a Book Cover

As a part of World Book Day 2021, during lockdown, children and families were challenged to recreate a book cover from home and send in their photos. We think some family members enjoyed it more than the children :) 

Book Advent December 2020

To promote the love of reading in school we created a book advent during December. Each day we investigated a new book and on the final day of term, each class voted for their favourite book. Some magic elves delivered the books to each classroom post lock down for the children to enjoy listening to. 

World Nursery Rhyme Week

Thank you to everyone for taking part. There are some brilliant videos of you all in the Video Resource Centre!

If you want to, you could try some of the activities below.

Returning to school (After a lockdown) Septemeber 2020

We bought some gorgeous new books to use with the children to help settle them back into school and to support their transition into a new class. They all have a message of resilience, adapting to change and well being.