Parents Evenings Tuesday 24th October and Thursday 26th October 2023.


Reading at Allendale Primary School


Reading has a very high focus at our school and is something that we are all passionate about. The vast majority of our children say that they enjoy reading for pleasure - we'd love that to be 100% of our pupils! 

Our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree which is started in Reception through picture books. We have other supplementary material to practise and reinforce phonics as well as books to share with parents.

We use the Accelerated Reader Programme from Year 2 which provides the framework for children to start to choose their own reading material within an individual range and enables teachers to monitor progress and make suggestions and encourage the exploration of different reading material.

This extract from "The School Reading List" reflects our reading values and the importance that it has for life long learning and success.

"The primary age range is one that encompasses a significant amount of child development, particularly regarding reading and literacy. At the beginning of the key stage, some children will be reliant on sight vocabulary and developing their phonetic ability to sound words out. But by the end of the key stage in year six, many children will be picking challenging chapter books and using high-quality non-fiction for research and to develop arguments. In terms of writing, pupils will start with short sentences and teacher-led starters, but by the age of 11 may well be writing, reading and performing their own speeches, presentations and debates."

The importance of reading for pleasure in primary education

Reading underpins all of this, and the confidence gained by choosing from a wide range of rich material and genres from a school library, or a collection of books at home, will define a child’s approach to and enthusiasm for education.

Reading for pleasure is key to maintaining a child’s appetite for books, learning and improving reading ability. Children who are immersed in a ‘reading for pleasure’ culture from an early age are far more likely to transition to secondary school with a bedrock of literacy ability and enquiring minds."

Writing at Allendale Primary School
Writing is one of the most difficult and important things that children learn to do at school. It can be challenging to co ordinate handwriting, be creative with ideas, sequence thoughts and ideas, spell words correctly or use phonic / spelling knowledge to have a plausible go as well as use correct punctuation; after all that effort children are then expected to proof read, evaluate and often improve their writing.
Developing a child's gross motor skills and large muscle development plays a vital part in children learning to write. A child needs strength in their arms, shoulders and wrists before they can begin to be able to hold a pencil and make marks. We support the children to develop their gross motor skills through activities such as Activate exercises,  physical activity in the garden, climbing, hanging, using the fire man's pole, drawing on the playground with chalk and lots of PE activities. As well as developing their gross motor skills, we then support them to strengthen their fine motor skills such as the muscles in their hands and fingers so that they are then ready to hold a pencil! The children really enjoy activities such as threading, using tweezers, playing with small building blocks and playing with the playdough or sand and water which is inside and outside.
Children start by mark marking and learning to write their names, teaching the correct pencil grip and using a cursive letter formation style so that joining writing is easier in subsequent years. Phonics is skilfully used to develop letter and sound knowledge as well as sight vocabulary and children begin to write in sentences. The continuous provision around the EYFS promotes the development of writing and provides lots of opportunities for mark making and writing activities.
Writing in KS1
We build on the foundations laid in EYFS. Language and talking is key to develop writing skills, enhance vocabulary and sequence ideas. We base our teaching on the EEF improving literacy toolkit.

Language provides the foundation of thinking and learning and should be prioritised. High quality adult-child interactions are important and sometimes described as talking with children rather than just talking to children. We use a wide range of explicit and implicit approaches including planning the teaching of vocabulary, modelling and extending children’s language and thinking during interactions and activities such as shared reading. We also provide collaborative activities that provide opportunities to learn/hear language often also provide opportunities for wider learning through talk. Skills such as social awareness, relationship skills and problem solving are developed, as well as knowledge.

Writing in KS2

Purposeful speaking and listening activities support pupils' language development. Purposeful activities include:

collaborative learning activities where pupils can share their thought processes:

reading books aloud and discussing them, including use of structured questioning;

and pupils articulating their ideas verbally before writing.

We promote high quality dialogue in the classroom, between the teacher and the pupils and between pupils themselves, to support them to develop their thinking and use of language and extend their vocabulary by explicitly teaching new words, providing repeated exposure to new words, and providing opportunities for pupils to use new words.