Literacy - Reading

We use the scheme Read Write Inc. to teach reading and phonics skills from the EYFS Reception year which allows pupils to learn successfully at their own pace until they are able to read around 140 words per minute and have a reading age of seven years.

Read Write Inc. - Information for parents

Read Write Inc. is a complete literacy programme which pupils will begin the term they start at our school with sessions building up to 40 minutes a day in Reception and a minimum of an hour a day in Year 1 and above. The scheme is highly successful in developing:

  • Fluent, enthusiastic readers
  • Deep comprehension of texts
  • Confident and articulate speakers
  • Keen and competent writers

As young readers develop at different rates we organise the learners into groups according to ability. Regular assessments allow us to track our pupil’s attainment and so we are able to regularly review and change groups accordingly.

We aim for every pupil to read before the end of EYFS and a pass rate above the National attainment in the Year 1 Phonics test.

Once pupils are confident readers they will progress from Read, Write Inc to Literacy and Language in Year 2. This programme continues the skills developed during Read, Write Inc phonics through interesting texts and a broad range of written styles. Grammar is taught through units of work in addition to the development of comprehension, vocabulary, writing, critical thinking and discussion skills.

Eleven year-old children who read, write and speak to a very high standard are likely to achieve well at Secondary school and as adults. It is our aim to ensure that Literacy at Maylands equips the pupils with necessary skills in addition to a love for reading. A school library is available to all pupils from EYFS to Year 6 in order to develop a love for reading. It is a very special themed room, with a full size treehouse deck. The library includes the MicroLibrarian system so that pupils are able to take the role of librarian for other children in their class. School librarians are volunteers from the school community and Library prefects in Year 6 will be in place to support the running of the library.

On their reading journey, early readers will be able to select books which are organized into Book Bands and then able to select from a wide range of quality texts in each classroom. Pupils are expected to read daily at home in order to practise skills learnt in school, research by using non-fiction books and electronic forms and enjoy sharing new skills with their parents and carers. Vocabulary development and comprehension skills will be equally important and focus on these through Home Learning, resources and planning will ensure progress for all pupils.

How to get your children to love books - without really trying, by Nick Butterworth


Literacy - Writing

Writing skills are taught in EYFS by encouraging children to develop skills in communication, storytelling and motor skills. Writing for pleasure and purpose ensures a positive attitude in the early developmental stages. Gross and Fine Motor skills are developed alongside the spoken language and phonics skills which emerging writers need.

Writing skills are covered daily during Literacy lessons and supported by cross-curricular writing tasks to deepen and practise skills. Pupils are able to develop accuracy and confidence as writers through daily guided writing sessions with teachers. Extended writing opportunities are given for pupils to demonstrate their skills and develop written style from Year 2, increasing the range and competence of different written styles from Year 3 to Year 6.

Handwriting is taught from letter formation as part of the phonics programme to joined handwriting skills once formation is automatic. The expectation is that all pupils have fluent, neat and legible handwriting from Year 1. Pen Licences are awarded in Key Stage 2, once pupils can demonstrate consistent accuracy in joined fluent handwriting.

Spelling skills are taught from the earliest stages of Read Write Inc through to Year 1. From Year 2 a formal spelling programme is in place with daily spelling practice to support accuracy for writing.


Literacy – Speaking and Listening

Spoken language communication is an essential skill. It determines success in writing and prepares children to encounter the next stage of their education with confidence.

Our school ensures that pupils are given opportunities to develop confidence, vocabulary and an awareness of purpose and audience through activities across the curriculum. Speaking and listening skills are developed from the start of Reception during ‘Chatterbox time’. The learning environment is designed with spaces to talk and listen. Developing pupils’ vocabulary and spoken language skill is an important feature of our school.

Our literacy scheme places emphasis on collaborative talk and we encourage pupils to be confident by developing good communication skills. Speech and Language link intervention programmes support pupils with language difficulties and following screening for all pupils at the beginning of Reception are put into place swiftly and monitored regularly so that necessary support is established and enables accelerated progress.

From Year 1 pupils are able to develop presentation skills and speak with confidence to an audience. From Year 3, the curriculum includes opportunities for more formal spoken presentations and pupils will be able to participate in Public Speaking competitions in school and in the local area.

Pupils are able to use language in imaginative ways from role-play opportunities to drama activities through role-play and performance to an audience.


Literacy - Spellings