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At Oaklands, we seek to ensure that children are supported to be enthusiastic, lifelong learners with a love of literacy. Acquiring the skills to read, write and speak with confidence are the most important things that a child will learn: we encounter literacy every day of our lives as it is the framework of our communication. The ability to express ourselves effectively gives children a voice, and therefore opportunities to share their ideas with the world.


From the moment children start school in EYFS, they are taught phonics. This systematic synthetic approach is taught throughout Key Stage One following the Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised early reading programme. Through whole class teaching, these daily sessions develop fluent word reading skills and provide good foundations in spelling. Rapid catch-up sessions are provided, where necessary, to ensure all children make good progress.

Spellings are taught explicitly throughout the school. This starts in the form of ‘tricky words’ in EYFS, and builds to support spelling patterns and rules with a clear progression that develops children’s strategies and understanding of language.

All children take part in daily reading sessions.  High-quality teaching of whole class reading, guided group work and comprehension lessons enable children to be confident readers. Classes share a daily read aloud and children read their own books with increased independence as they progress through the school. Teachers and teaching assistants listen to children read on a regular basis.

Our children are all encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. This establishes an appreciation and love of reading which supports wellbeing as well as providing access to knowledge across the curriculum. A range of high-quality reading interventions are offered quickly to ensure that every child reaches their full potential and as they progress through the school, children participate in the Accelerated Reader scheme where they can quiz on the books read if they wish to.

Children experience a broad and balanced diet of genres; there is a clear progression of reading and writing skills through each year and across each year group.  Each English unit is led by a model text and enhanced by a variety of multimedia. Shared writing supports children’s understanding of the necessary transcriptional and compositional skills, such as the relevant punctuation, handwriting and grammatical rules for the text type. In order to give a purpose and an audience for writing, children are given time to discuss, plan, write, edit and redraft their work into published pieces that are celebrated.

Oracy skills are developed across the school through a variety of games, discussions, debates, performances and explicitly taught sessions; all of which develop children’s vocabulary and supports them in becoming confident communicators. The understanding of vocabulary is key to the wider understanding of texts and as such, we celebrate the discovery of ‘new’ words in our classrooms as we develop our working walls.

Literacy skills form the cornerstone of education across the world. High-quality, rapid intervention supports children to ensure they are ready for the next stage of their learning.


  • Children are competent communicators and have a vast knowledge of vocabulary.
  • All children make at least good or accelerated progress in their literacy development.
  • Children have an awareness of a variety of authors and genres and are able to voice their love of reading.
  • Our children are enthusiastic writers and produce quality extended writing.
  • The school’s results for the Phonics Screening Check and end of Key Stage 1 & 2 English results compare favourably to that of the national data.
  • Children’s literacy skills support them to access the wider curriculum and the next stage of their education. 

Oaklands English Overview

English Long Term Plan


At Oaklands, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach early reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and rigorously follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum.

We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that  speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. Moreover, we value reading as a crucial life skill, and so we ensure that our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary, which allows our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Children at Oaklands therefore make a strong start in Reception, where the teaching of phonics begins in week 1 and any child who needs additional practice has daily 'Keep-up support'.

For further details of the progression of phonics, please click here


Assessment is used to monitor and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it. Keep-up support then happens daily. Summative assessment is used every six weeks to assess progress and identify any children needing additional support. A placement assessment is used with any child new to the school in Reception and Year 1 to inform teaching. Fluency assessments are used throughout the school and children are supported with rapid-catch-up interventions to ensure that no child is left behind.

Phonics Screening Check

Every Year 1 child in the summer term will take the national Phonics Screening Check. This is a phonics-based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable words including nonsense, or alien, words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at the expected level in their reading. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level and will be supported with appropriate intervention.


Teachers include all pupils fully in their daily phonic lessons. All children benefit from participating in watching, and listening to other children demonstrating and explaining their ideas. Differentiated work, appropriate to individual children’s needs, is provided in the independent work during the day and also during intervention sessions.

Early Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” – Dr Seuss.

At Oaklands Community Primary School, we value reading as a crucial life skill.  We ensure that our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary.  We ensure our children see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Enjoying books and reading stories from a very early age is crucial in the development of children. It helps with their ability to understand words, use their imagination and develop their speech, as well as being something they really enjoy. We ensure that children have exposure to a broad range of authors through our 'Explore an Author' termly themes.

Teachers and parents play a huge part in the development of reading skills in young children. The more children experience books, the more they will gain interest and passion for them. Reading offers so much more than just quiet time in a cosy corner. It helps to develop social skills through the further development of speaking and listening, as well as all aspects of literacy that as adults we take for granted.  As a result, young children need to be able to experience books; they need to be able to understand and enjoy stories, books, rhymes and songs and listen and respond to them with curiosity and enjoyment. This will promote the value and pleasure of reading and encourage an interest in reading throughout school and in later life.

Teaching reading

Each reading practice session has a clear focus: decoding, prosody and comprehension.

Home reading

At Oaklands, we follow a system of books that are coloured banded and linked to the phonic phases that have previously been taught. These are then fully decodable so that children are able to decode with ease and develop their prosody and fluency skills. We identify where the children should be at the end of the year to ensure all staff know the end goal.

The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Children also take home a Reading for Pleasure book for adults to share with them. In school, class teachers read to children every day; we choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books.

Your child’s reading is closely monitored and once your child has completed the Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme, they will progress through a variety of book band colours, finishing on Lime. They will then become part of our 'Free Reader Hall of Fame!' where pupils can select small chapter books to build their reading stamina.  This is generally towards the end of Year 2.

The table below indicates the expected level of home reading book that children should be able to read at the end of each term:






Key Stage 2 Reading

Reading is important. Children are taught the skill of reading through guided reading as well as staff giving children the opportunity to read independently, to others and with an adult. We ensure that children have exposure to a broad range of authors through our 'Explore an Author' termly themes. For more information, please click here

At Oaklands, in Key Stage 2, we use Accelerated Reader to support children's independent reading to ensure books are closely matched to their ability.

What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read.

Adults may assist pupils in the following ways:

• Guiding them to books appropriate to their ability and interests

• Asking probing questions as your child reads and before quizzing

• Pairing your child with others, reading with or reading to your child

Since they are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, most children are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.

How can I help my child become a better reader?

As with anything, performance improves with practise. According to Renaissance Learning’s research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension rate on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Encourage your child to read at home, discuss books, ask questions about what they have read and visit your local library.

What is a Star Reading test?

Star Reading is used to determine your child’s reading level. It is a computer-based reading assessment program that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If the child cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

What is a Book Level?

Book Levels are reported using a readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. The levels range from 0.5 - 13.5. Books are chosen based on the ZPD range recommended for each pupil by Star Reading.

Age Related Expectation (ARE)

Range in Year 3

End of Year 3 End of Year 4 End of Year 5 End of Year 6 Reading Beyond…
Home Reading Book 3.0 -3.5 3.5 4.5 5.5  6.5 >6.5


Children experience a broad and balanced diet of genres where they have the opportunity to write daily; there is a clear progression of writing skills through each year and across each year group.  

Early mark making is soon developed into recognisable graphemes as part of our teaching in Foundation Stage. Children consolidate their handwriting skills throughout Year 1 and are then taught the skills of joined handwriting in Year 2. This is then further developed as children progress into Key Stage 2.

Each English unit is led by a model text and enhanced by a variety of multimedia. This is supported by the strong reading culture in our school that feeds our imagination and allows us to explore new worlds.

Shared and modelled writing supports children’s understanding of the necessary transcriptional and compositional skills, such as the relevant punctuation, handwriting and grammatical rules for the text type. In order to give a purpose and an audience for writing, children are given time to discuss, plan, write, edit and redraft their work into published pieces that are celebrated.


Children apply their writing across the curriculum and their independent writing is assessed termly. This is based on the Standards & Testing Agency (STA) Writing Assessment Framework and writing objectives. Alongside writing moderations within school, writing is also moderated with a variety of local schools.


Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers to ensure that all children are making expected progress and allows early intervention to be put into place for those children falling behind the expected standard. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include specific phonic and spelling support, handwriting support and/or additional individual or small group tutoring. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to write not only need to catch up with their peers, but also continue to make progress.


Our aim is that every child’s needs are catered for, and every child is given the chance to succeed and become a competent writer. We give every child the opportunity to experience success in learning and to be the best that they can be. Work is matched to individual children’s needs.