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Alwoodley Primary School

Learning Together, Growing Stronger.


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 are determined 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 use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our SSP across the school.
  • Children in Nursery use the Foundation for Phonics to help children to develop an awareness of sound through engaging activities that nurture focused listening and attention, including oral blending. This ensures that children are prepared to begin grapheme-phoneme correspondence and blending at the start of Reception. 
  • In Reception, children begin learning the alphabetic code and how to blend words containing it. They receive daily phonics sessions which last up to 25 minutes and follow the order of revisit and review, teach and practise, practise and apply. I
  • In Year 1, children continue to learn the alphabetic code and learn alternative pronunciations for sounds. They develop their fluency within reading and apply phonic knowledge. 
  • In Year 2, the children review the phonics knowledge they have learnt before moving on to our spelling scheme (Spelling Shed) after Christmas. 
  • All children in Reception to Y2 receive 3 reading practice sessions each week where they are grouped according to phonics ability. Within these sessions, trained teachers and teaching assistants focus on decoding, prosody and comprehension to develop the child as a reader. Children who need further support with phonics, receive daily keep up in small groups or 1:1. They are assessed regularly to identify further support that may be needed. 
  • 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.
  • From Y2 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. 
  • Reading for pleasure is promoted through a range of different strategies; all children visit the school library each week to choose a book, reading ambassadors, library club, Little Libraries, class novels, World Book Day celebrations, author visits etc.

VIPERS question stems



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


  • demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary
  • anticipate - where appropriate - key events in stories
  • use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play

Word reading

  • say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
  • read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending
  • read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words (irregular words).


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 long term overview 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 print letter formation. From Year 2, children are then formally taught using the Irlens handwriting scheme. 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.

Writing long term plan



By the end of KS1 children can;

  • Apply their phonics knowledge by using strategies taught in Little Wandle 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.

To see our great readers and writers in action, please look at our Twitter page @AlwoodleyPS

If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach please contact the school directly.