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Reading at Denaby Main Academy

The teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading.  Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.

We use a range of reading strategies to support your child on their journey to becoming a fluent reader. We use Read, Write Inc as our core reading scheme but we also encourage the children to choose from our library as well as read books from home.  We want our children to practise reading so that they develop this important skill. Every child who reads 3 times each week adds a sticker to their reading journey card. At each milestone the children choose a reward from the School Council shop and have their photo added to our Reading Champions board.

Our older pupils read with our younger pupils on a regular basis. This supports both age groups to enjoy reading and to value this important skill.

In year 3, the majority of children will be secure enough in their phonic ability to move on from the Read, Write, Inc. programme.

The Big Five – National Reading Panel Report tells us that the 5 pillars of how children learn to read are:

  1. Phonemic awareness (covered in nursery)
  1. Phonics (FS2 – Y2)
  1. Fluency
  1. Vocabulary
  1. Comprehension

At Denaby Main, our approach to reading has been developed with these concepts in mind.

Reading, spelling and vocabulary is taught daily 9:00am to 10:00am from FS2 – Y6.

FS2 – Y2 follow Read, Write, Inc spelling (see phonics policy)


Writing at Denaby Main Academy.

We believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately, coherently, and creatively, adapting their language and style for a range of meaningful contexts, purposes and audiences.
Handwriting, spelling and grammar will be explicitly taught to ensure that children are able to understand the conventions of writing and manipulate language to create effects for the reader.

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing. Children will learn the cursive script and will present their writing in variety of ways and write for a variety of genres for both English lessons and the wider curriculum. Through the writing process, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.

We use the Literary Tree Curriculum to support our teaching of writing across our school as we believe that placing high quality children’s literature at the core of teaching and learning really supports the children to develop into confident writers.


Children are initially taught spelling through the Read, Write, Inc programme. When they have become fluent readers spelling is taught through daily sessions and through Word of the Day. By exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.

Children are also taught to

  •  Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings.
  •  Proof-read their spellings
  •  Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses.

Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary 

Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills are taught explicitly during writing lessons and the children identify how authors have used them effectively during their reading lessons. Grammar and punctuation is planned and taught using the 2014 National curriculum year group expectations and children are expected to apply their knowledge in their writing.


We are also working hard to encourage the children to develop a fluent, legible handwriting style. This is taught through the Read, Write, Inc programme from EYFS and throughout KS1 and KS2. All KS2 children are currently working towards achieving their handwriting pen licence.

In order to earn a pen licence in Key Stage Two at Denaby Main Academy, the following skills must be demonstrated consistently in all areas of the curriculum.

These are:

  • Using a correct pencil grip
  • Writing on the lines
  • Joining letters correctly
  • Starting each letter/digit in the correct place
  • Keeping letters/digits the same size
  • Forming letter/digits with the correct shape
  • Leaving appropriate gaps between words
  • Ensuring that ascending and descending strokes are the right length.

Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. Teachers record and track each child’s progress and use this to set future targets. They use a variety of formative assessment methods and constructive marking strategies. In addition to this, children also complete

  • Read, Write Inc Spelling Test
  • Rising Stars SPAG Assessment (End of Each Term)

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2 children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards are improving and skills taught in the English lesson are beginning to be transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation

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