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Walton Oak Primary School



Writing is a crucial life skill.  Our intent is to provide children with the skills to write fluently and communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. As well as, to develop their love for writing across the whole curriculum. Regular opportunities are given across the whole school for children to use and apply the written and spoken language skills they have acquired. This can be through trips and visits, exciting hooks to capture their imagination as well as using high quality texts to engage and excite children.

Children are able to build on their skills and knowledge each year in a range of writing, such as narrative, poetry and non-fiction. Every week children have the opportunity to plan, write, edit and improve their writing and as they progress through the school further emphasis is added to developing an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.


Reading is an essential life skill. We endeavour to develop the full potential of all our pupils so they leave as confident, literate readers.

We encourage all pupils to read widely across a range of challenging, high-quality texts to develop their vocabulary and skills of fluency and comprehension, as well as fostering a life-long passion and appreciation for reading.  Through reading, a child is able to visit new places, meet a range of characters and explore new ideas.  As a result, we strive to embed a culture of reading; placing it at the core of all we do.  Time to read independently, in a group and as part of a whole class is highly valued and prioritised.

Early reading skills are developed through a structured synthetic phonics programme.  These daily sessions provide pupils with the opportunities to practice and apply skills, such as oral blending, in a structured, engaging way.  A rigorous approach equips pupils with the foundations on which to become successful, enthusiastic readers.


Teachers show children how to understand the relationships between words as well as how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Spelling is taught within the context of the text children are using within writing sessions and as explicit lessons to teach rules or common exception words set for the year group. Spelling tests are carried out on Fridays across the school.

Speaking and Listening

From their earliest time in school, children are taught to listen effectively and to develop their ability to talk in a range of situations; for example taking messages, carpet discussions, circle time, sharing opinions, class debates, Pupil Parliament and speaking in assembly. Opportunities for role play and drama further develop qualities of empathy and oracy, and impact positively on children's reading comprehension and writing skills.


From the Foundation Stage, a strong emphasis is placed on the teaching and learning of phonics. This is supported by a variety of other strategies designed to support each child's development as a fluent, independent reader who chooses to read for interest, information and enjoyment. Each class has a collection of books, in addition to the school library. Parents are encouraged to support their child's reading at home.


Cursive handwriting skills are taught from Reception. . We intend for children to leave school being able to use fluent and legible handwriting and explicit time is given each week to practise and improve this skill. Above all, we aim for children to take pride in their writing and presentation and as a school we celebrate and share our children’s successes with each other.


All of our Year 1 children take part in the national Phonics Screening Test.

Reading and Writing is formally assessed at the end of Year 2 and at the end of Year 6 within the context of the End of Key Stage Assessments. 

Walton Oak Primary School