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'The expert in anything was once a beginner' - Anon

Hear from the incredible authors Jacqueline Wilson and Laura Child with tips on writing a good story.


Reading image ethos

Key Principles - Our Intent

At Appleton Thorn our teaching team inspire children by sharing our love of reading and writing.  This is key to engaing children and creating a possitive attitude by having a go, not worrying about mistakes; while having high expectations of everyone.  Our curriculum uses amazing books as drivers, which inturn really creates a buzz in the classroom.  We develop within classes a 'Can Do' attitude and 'Can’t Do Yet'

Spelling and Grammar (SPaG) - Implementation

Our team ensures that teachers are confident in teaching SPaG terms in both current year group as well as year below and above to ensure breadth and depth of coverage.  SPaG quick starters carried out in at least 3 out of 5 English lessons a week.  There is a clear build-up of steps across each year group to show SPaG development, as well as constant revision of terminology, definitions, practice of previous year groups to help embed and consolidate understanding. We have a whole school approach to spelling, mapped out throughout the school.  Specific spelling lessons and opportunities to practise further, each week in every class.

Reading - Implementation

We encourage our children to read regularly and this is evidenced by weekly reading record checks, to ensure parents/carers are listening to pupils read.   Our children to have access to an appropriate range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry texts, both inside the classroom in class reading corners, our fantastic library and the KS1 and KS2 reading schemes.

A wide variety of reading sources are made available including  Active Learn Bug Club ebooks and high quality reading books stored readily in trays and children are able to access them throughout the day.

We are fortunate to have a bank of volunteer readers to listen to all children read, with appropriate questioning, this is monitored by our class teachers and English Lead. Our children are taught to tutor and support others through collaborative reading opportunities within class and across year groups.

Stimulating reading displays are created throughout the school, for example; 'Author of the Month' displays in all classrooms and library corner reading displays. 

A good choice of class texts in KS2 and regular story time in all classes, for pupils to listen and hear extensive vocabulary, intonation and volume; promotes further discussion encourages and promotes the love of reading.  Children are rewarded for reading regularly at home as they aspire to earn their Bronze, Silver and Gold badges. 

Our after school 'Book Stop' encourages children to drop in to a story time, sharing the the enjoyment of books and gives our children an opportunity to review books together in a book club style.  

Learn more about how we teach reading here:

'Children enjoy reading and talk enthusiastically about the books they have read, and range of class readers studied.' - Education Consultant 2019

Writing - Implementation

'Writing Pathways' is a brand-new methodology designed to equip pupils with key skills to move them through the writing process towards their final outcome. It is built around units of work that follow a mastery approach to the teaching of writing.

To support this approach, our teachers use clear detailed lesson plans and resources that are linked to a high-quality text. Pathways to Write ensures engaging and purposeful English lessons and encourages a whole school approach to writing.

Each unit covers a range of areas in the national curriculum:

  • Mastery of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills
  • Writing a range of genres across a year
  • Vocabulary development
  • Using a wider range of reading comprehension strategies as a whole class
  • Spoken language activities including drama and presentations
  • Opportunities for practising previously taught genres
  • An extended, independent piece of writing

Our teacher's use of good quality class texts inspire learning throughout all subjects.   These books engage children within the theme of study and enable the love of reading to be nurtured.  Pupils have extended opportunities to write within all subjects, demonstrating their mastery of key writing skills.  Children who are chosen for 'Star Writer' are celebrated in a whole school assembly, their writing is displayed in the awards area.  Pupils are equipped with a clear progression of skills and showcase these with high quality end points, such as handmade books, poetry within art, illustrated stories or real persuasive letters. 

Learn more about how we teach writing here:

'A consistently strong focus on developing and enriching children’s vocabulary and confident use of language across the curriculum is improving the quality of pupils’ writing across a range of subjects.' - School Review, Collaborative Learning Group

Phonics - Implementation

Our teaching is based around the principles and practice of high quality phonics using the synthetic phonics approach.  Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children learn to make connections between the letters of written texts (graphemes, or letter symbols) and the sounds of spoken language. Synthetic phonics also teaches children how to identify all the phonemes in a word and match them to a letter in order to be able to spell correctly.  Children are taught how to break up words, or decode them, into individual sounds, and then blend all the way through the word.  The ‘synthetic’ part of this particular phonics instruction derives from the process of synthesising or blending sounds to create words.   Our children enjoy using high quality resources and an excellent range of learning opportunities to keep the mind busy and active.  Our learning environment is enhanced with quality teaching using the Bug Club Phonics Programme as our chosen phonics scheme. 

Learn more about how we teach phonics here:

Our phonics 'one page wonder' 

Progression of learning through the years - building on skills



If you require any further information or paper copies, please contact Mrs Gibbon our English lead via the school office on 01925 266764 or email appletonthorn_primary@warrington.gov.uk

Celebration - Impact

Star Reader - An aspirational award for our children       Star Writer - Displayed on our school's wall of fame                'Reading is a passport to countless adventure' Mary Pope Osborne                       


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