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Reading and Phonics


Our priority is both the teaching of reading skills and the enjoyment of literature, enabling children to become lifelong, confident readers. As children begin to read, we focus on decoding, primarily through phonics in addition to other strategies e.g. whole word recognition, rhyme and context. As children build fluency, comprehension skills become our main area of focus and questioning looks at skills such as re-telling, inference and prediction. We believe that high-quality literature is key to motivating children to read and instilling in children a love of literature and children throughout the school are read to at the end of each and every day.


In KS1 pupils are emergent and developing readers and pupils will focus on decoding using phonic strategies as required by the 2014 curriculum, but also understanding what the words they are decoding mean and how they contribute to the meaning of the whole text. Central to our approach is the teaching of systematic phonics using Bug Club Phonics. Daily, discrete high quality teaching alongside effective assessment and tracking helps to ensure that children meet the ambitious reading targets that are set for them.  Pupil premium funding has been targeted effectively to support the reading skills of identified groups of children.





The school uses the following reading schemes in KS1 and throughout the school where appropriate to support the teaching of reading:


  • Project X
  • Floppy Phonics
  • Songbirds
  • Treetops
  • Oxford Reading Tree
  • Bug Club Phonics


Grouping pupils according to their stage of reading development is essential here so that pupils can access the chosen text, apply phonic knowledge, pay attention to sentence structures without loss of meaning. The curriculum requires us to ensure that all pupils read willingly and for pleasure, developing positive attitudes to reading and guided reading sessions must allow pupils to understand, respond to and enjoy the text.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar


Our aim is to encourage our learners to fully understand the wonderful rich nature of our English language and begin to use it to its full effect through writing and speaking. We hope that through games, interactive activities and high quality teaching and learning, the children will command an exciting vocabulary, a vivid imagination and appropriate skills to enhance their writing, whatever the genre.


Part of the daily teaching of writing focuses on the development of Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling skills as outlined in The 2014 National Curriculum and in The Letters and Sounds progression. These basic writing skills are developed on a regular basis, through a wide range of games and short written activities. Grammar is taught where possible through a quality text and in the context of high-quality engaging writing. It is an expectation that from EYFS, all children are taught specific Grammar terminology and application so that they develop competence and confidence from an early age. Indeed, from EYFS onwards, an emphasis has been placed on encouraging the children to build up an understanding of sentence structure, the accurate use of punctuation, the application of spelling rules and the identification of different word classes. Appendix 1 and 2 outlines The 2014 Statutory Curriculum for Grammar.


The Dormansland ‘Progression in Grammar’ document further outlines the specific elements of grammar that should be taught in each year group.




Children at Dormansland Primary School should:

  • Develop the stamina and skills to write at length
  • Use accurate spelling and punctuation
  • Be grammatically correct
  • Write in a range of ways and purposes including narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations
  • Write to support their understanding and consolidation of what they have heard or read


The 2014 Curriculum divides writing skills into two dimensions:


  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas in speech and writing)


We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We recognise that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary.


We believe that writing should be a creative/developmental process both at a functional and an imaginative level. All attempts at writing are valued and we know that all children have potential to be successful writers. The compositional and transcriptional skills are taught alongside the creative aspects. Immersion in reading, talk and preparation for writing is essential to the writing development process.