Children develop oracy from EYFS to Y6. This is essential to learning to communicate in English and to learning the skills of reading and writing. We develop spoken language by creating a wealth of opportunities for structured and unstructured talk through which children are able to develop their skills including questioning, explaining, describing and evaluating their experiences. This aspect of the curriculum widens vocabulary and enables EAL learners to deepen comprehension of standard and dialectical English. Children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to refine oracy skills in all areas of the curriculum.


Reading is central to our school curriculum, from Nursery and EYFS where children develop their Phonics, explore early readers and take part in daily story and song times to ensure they begin to develop a love of reading and start to develop their fluency. We ensure all our pupils have access to wide range of books from diverse authors and dual languages, that would appeal to all children. Each classroom has a well-stocked class library with high quality texts ranging from and new current authors relevant for the year group as well as the classics, where children can take a book at any time. Our curriculum is carefully planned to cater for the strengths and needs of our pupils and is well structured to ensure that all pupils make progress.

Teachers select a class reader which is read aloud at the end of each school day to develop children’s vocabulary and to expose them to high quality and challenging texts. They also look for opportunities to share texts in new and different ways, for example, through our ‘Mystery Reader’ and occasions where we ‘Drop everything and read’ (DEAR).

At Heathland, we use the Read Write Inc programme from Nursery to KS1, and for interventions for KS2 children. In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Read common exception words on sight
  • Learn to shoe a understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on misconceptions.

In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly and this learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings, called common exception words. We make sure that pupils read books that match their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers.

Guided Reading:
Our methodical approach to Guided Reading gives pupils the opportunity to explore challenging texts in depth as well as look at current news topics through First News and when they read for pleasure.

Children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult at least once per week. Where possible, this is more frequent for children who may need additional support to become fluent and confident readers. As children move through school (or become more able readers), opportunities for sustained independent reading are provided. Books which reflect the current sounds they are learning in phonics are sent home on a weekly basis. Once children can read longer texts independently and with fluency, they will focus on their comprehension skills such as retrieval, inference, making a prediction and interpreting a story. A carousel model is used in KS1 and KS2 which can include comprehension activities, phonics learning, dictionary work and reading for pleasure, as well as a focus on a key text.


Our aim at Heathland is to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured writing with appropriate detail, in which the meaning is clear and the interest of the reader is engaged. Our approach to writing aims to infuse the importance of transcription and composition, as required in the National Curriculum.

We ensure that children of all abilities feel they are making progress in writing by using our “Next Steps” approach. Here children will have year group curriculum focused targets broken down into small manageable goals and built on to ensure progress is being made at a steady pace.

In EYFS, children have a writing area, which provides children with a range of materials with which to experiment and practice mark marking/letter formation and eventually to practice taught skills.

From KS1 onwards, each year group uses a 2-week plan to build on a particular genre (for example narrative). In the first week, the teachers will use a range of tools such as thinking skills, thinking maps and group activities to explore the learning focus. There will also be a grammar focus to match the learning targets of that week. All the lessons are building up to the Writers Workshop on Friday where children will then use the learning from the week and apply those skills in a piece of writing. The following week the skills will be looked at more in depth to see the application of prior learning and opportunities for editing learning are given throughout by marking and verbal feedback. Each lesson, the teacher will work alongside a focus group to help build up a particular skill. Opportunities to develop joins and cursive handwriting are built in where necessary.

Writing skills are not limited to English lessons; we use cross curricular lessons linked with our topics to ensure the skills are being applied.


At the heart of our school is our school library which is loved by all pupils and visited regularly by classes. Children have the opportunity to exchange books from here on a weekly basis. The environment gives them an opportunity to relax and read, and get lost in a new world, and is a place that adults can support them with their book choices. Our library monitors help us to keep the library tidy and organised.

Bug Club
In January 2021, we launched Bug Club. This allows children to have online access to reading books at home and is often used as part of home learning. In addition, there are a number of comprehension activities which compliment the skills that are being learning in Guided Reading lessons in school. Click here for the Bug Club website.

Spelling and Grammar

Each week grammar is taught and this will be reflected in the children’s targets as well as the “Looking Back” target which gives teachers and children the opportunity to revisit core skills. From Year 1 onwards, spellings are sent home weekly as part of homework and are tested on their spellings. Spellings are also be used as a follow up to marking where children’s target will be to learn the correct spelling.