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Writing and Reading Curriculum at Orchard Fields


At Orchard Fields, we have adapted and adopted the Read, Write Perform/Learning Journey approach in the learning and teaching of Writing and a skills based approach in reading. Our reasons for taking this approach are as follows:

  • The context of our school/children – the reading phase of this approach supports the development of our children’s use of the English language and their breadth of vocabulary. It allows children to gain a further understanding of how written language works and gives them the opportunity to develop their spoken language and background knowledge. This approach is consistent with our understanding that reading was a weakness across the school; it brings reading to the forefront of writing.
  • The skills based approach is embedded across the school and children understand how to read as a reader. The terminology is used across the school. It is necessary for our children are exposed to skills as it provides them with a toolkit to think as a reader as often we find that reading is the poor relation.
  • Previously, we used the Talk For Writing approach, which worked well to support children’s understanding of text types. However, it became apparent that children became too reliant on this model and as a result it hindered their independence. The current approach that we implement encourages children’s independence and teaches them the skills needed for each text type.
  • The National Curriculum and end of key- stage phases focuses a bigger emphasis on audience, purpose and form and has therefore moved away from a genre-driven approach as used before. Research shows that when rich texts are used to drive a written piece, it enriches children store of knowledge, allows them to creatively imitate quality writers and builds strong links between reading and writing. Purpose and audience are central to effective writing. Pupils need to have a reason to write and someone to write for, (Improving Literacy in Key Stage Two, EEF Guidance Report)
  • Since developing this approach, our end of Key Stage Two data for writing has consistently been in line with national data. Children have suggested that by using a text first, they have a better understanding of text types and that the text-drivers give them ideas to help. Throughout the school, children‘s independence has been developed and their understanding of the features needed is more coherent. Because writing is taught in this way, it means that children are exposed to more books than ever before.
  • Since developing the use of a skills-based approach children have become more confident with the skills and are using them more readily, however this was not always evident in our end of Key stage data. Since then, we have implemented a combination of skills-based learning and fluency focus, which has had an impact of the comprehension of a text.

The main aim of this approach is to ensure that our children develop key skills in spoken language, reading and writing that pupils need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

As things stand, this approach is implemented but is continuing to be developed due to the needs of our children and on-going continued professional development.

Our curriculum shows clear planning and sequencing across the whole school to support our children in building upon previous knowledge and achieving success. Our curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the disadvantaged the knowledge and cultural capital they need to have success in life. This can be seen through the progress children are making across the school within reading and writing and the quality of the writing that they are creating. Our curriculum sets out clear end points. This can be seen through our assessment system, progression documents and planning. We ensure that, across the school, that children have the opportunity to experience a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and that the rich quality of these is built up over time. Children are exposed to these across the curriculum not just in reading and writing sessions. We intend that children achieve the key skills expected of them by the end of each year. 

We intend for all pupils to access the curriculum and we will ensure this happens by:

  • Adult support within lessons
  • Precision spelling (KS2)
  • Daily fluency lessons
  • Every Child A Reader programme (KS1)
  • Fluency programme (KS1)
  • Reading intervention (KS2)
  • Pre-teaching during reading phase of writing
  • Talk Boost intervention (whole school)
  • Speech and language therapist (EYFS and some targeted children across the school)
  • Specially equipped pens/pen grips
  • Word banks
  • Working walls
  • Small groups
  • Echo-reading
  • ELS intervention
  • Grammar intervention

We intend for all pupils to achieve their full potential, including challenging our more-able pupils. We ensure this happens by:

  • Using only high quality texts
  • Modelling to the more-able and differentiating down
  • Opportunities to write independently and creatively
  • Reading daily to develop their understanding and use of language
  • Daily challenge to extend the breadth of their knowledge
  • Use of higher-level vocabulary and punctuation
  • Questioning
  • Opportunities to develop their own ideas
  • Shared writing with our more-able
  • Guided writing with our more-able
  • Echo-reading to ensure expression and understanding of a text


We ensure that all staff at Orchard Fields have expert knowledge in English. We do this by ensuring that all staff spent time with an English consultant/an experience member of staff planning and team-taught to ensure their understanding of the new approaches was consistent; we make use of regular staff meetings, where the English lead disseminates latest research and development to the approach, regular opportunities to peer observe and opportunities for staff to attend course updates. This CPD has meant that increasing consistency has been gained across the school. Where staff have less subject knowledge, they are supported by the English lead, who supports them with planning and implementation of approaches through the use of team-teaching and peer observation.

Across the school, there is a one-hour daily Literacy lesson. These lessons begin with a word/spelling of the day to increase children’s vocabulary, then main input is developed, including modelled and shared writing (when necessary) and lastly, the activity and plenary. Lessons vary depending on where in the unit the lesson is. During the read stage, children will be gathering vocabulary, reading texts similar in genre-type, looking at good examples, applying reading skills, exploring the text driver and pre-teaching vocabulary needed. During the ‘Write’ stage, children are learning the discrete grammar needed to be successful and planning the text they’re going to write. They then develop their ideas into a draft in small chunks. During the ‘Perform’ stage, children will have edited and created a final draft. Their work is then used to fit the purpose intended.

Children have a thirty-minute reading lesson daily. During this time, they are taught as a whole class. Within the lesson, children are taught to apply the skills necessary to a be a successful reader, they are exposed to high quality texts, they are expected to read out-loud and then are stretched by the use of questioning. Each day, children have a twenty-thirty-minute fluency lesson. During this time, children independently read a book that is suitable to their stage. Teachers and Teaching Assistants listen to children read aloud and interact with the book with them; this includes, teaching intonation, volume and expression and checking children’s understanding/comprehension of the text they have read.

Reading Progression Map

Useful websites:


National Literacy trust:

BBC - Key Stage 1 - Bitesize Literacy

BBC - School KS1 and KS2 Literacy: Topics

Lovereading 4 Kids: Online Children's Book Reviews

Epic reading

Reading Games: PBS Kids

Literacy Games - Topmarks Education

School reading list

Oxford Owl

Story Nory

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