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National Curriculum states, the programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading

  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

At Burnhope Primary, we want our children to leave primary school with a confidence and love of reading. We understand that It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, to support them in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education and beyond.



Our children begin their reading journey in nursery, with listening to and experimenting with sounds. More formal phonics sessions, for nursery, begin in the Spring term, all children in nursery learn the single letter sounds (set 1) and begin to blend with the RWInc Phonics programme by Ruth Miskin.

In reception, children continue to develop their phonics and letter formation (sets 1-2) with learning more complex sounds (digraphs and trigraphs). Pupils are taught to read fluently, understand extended texts (both fiction and non-fiction) and are encouraged to read for pleasure.

Word reading and spelling continues after children have finished the phonics programme with RWInc. Spelling right up to year 6. Each KS2 child receives daily spelling practice.

As well as a robust phonics and spelling programme, we also promote children to read widely through linking text to foundation subjects, inviting authors in, use of Reading Plus and planned daily guided reading sessions with high quality text. By reading frequently throughout the day, we endeavour to increase pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

At Burnhope Primary, we also provide library facilities where children can choose a book of their own interest. We set ambitious expectations for reading at home by offering incentives and prizes for those reading consistently.


  • KS1 phonics results have seen a steady rise and in 2019, 100% of year 1 passed the phonics screening.

  • A 3 year upward trend in KS1 Reading scores.

The impact of this is implementation was also noted in our January 2019 Ofsted:

Most pupils say that they enjoy reading. They have frequent opportunities to read aloud in school and are encouraged to do so at home. Pupils in key stage 2 in particular talk confidently about the different authors and books they enjoy. They read widely and often as part of their work in other subjects. Leaders rightly emphasise the importance of deepening pupils’ understanding of unfamiliar words from a range of texts.



National Curriculum states, the programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)

  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.

At Burnhope Primary, we want our children to be confident writers who apply their skills in a legible coherent way across the curriculum and in later life. They should use be able to ‘magpie’ ideas from known stories and exposed to all text types through their primary career.


Our children begin their writing journey in nursery, with gross motor activities and playful fine motor activities (dough disco and funky fingers). More formal writing sessions begin in reception with accurate letter formation, hold a sentence and short composition.

In KS1, children complete their writing through the RWInc, phonics programme until they reach the spring term in year 2 when they begin to follow Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing process and begin to join by using Letter Join for support.

At Burnhope Primary, we understand that pupils need to develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation that is why after children complete the RWInc. phonics programme they transition into the RWInc. spelling. Each child has a daily spelling session. Through the Talk for Writing process developed by Pie Corbett, children are exposed to strong models and high quality text from which they can investigate and base their own writing.

KS1 and 2 children, are taught the correct use of grammar through daily starters and discrete grammar lessons. They build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. With careful succession in planning, the writing children create includes: narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.


  • KS1 results have seen a steady rise and in 2019, 81% reached ARE with 19% reaching greater depth.

  • In 2019, 86% of KS2 children achieved ARE in writing and 29% greater depth which is above national expectations.

The impact of this is implementation was also noted in our January 2019 Ofsted:

Pupils’ work demonstrates the improvements that have taken place, and continue to be refined, in writing. Where leaders identified that the quality of pupils’ presentation was inconsistent across classes, books show a marked difference at the point that expectations were raised. Pupils are given clear direction in how to improve their writing, and the positive changes can be seen in their subsequent work.

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