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Tubbenden Primary School

Tubbenden Primary School


At Tubbenden Primary School, English is at the heart of everything we do and skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening underpin pupils’ learning across the whole curriculum. Teachers promote a love of English language through creative topics, writing, drama and the study of inspirational literature. The aim of the English curriculum is to guide your child to become an effective communicator and at the same time engender a life-long love of literature and language.  English lessons are engaging and creative, stimulating children’s imaginations, providing pleasure and broadening their understanding of the world around them. The English curriculum is extended through visiting authors, poets and illustrators, World Book Day and school trips.


A love of reading is essential for learning and this is developed through sharing inspirational novels, plays and poetry which encourage critical discussions of characters and ideas.  Pupils are taught to read with confidence and encouraged to provide a personal response to texts.

As part of our partnership with parents, children are provided with books to share and read at home throughout the year. A Blue Reading Record is assigned to each child and parents are encouraged to make comments as part of the dialogue between home and school. Infant children bring home a book from a phonics/reading programme that matches their decoding ability and a book of their choice to share with a parent. From Year 2 onwards, all free readers (which means children who are confident at word decoding and who do not require books from a particular phonics or a reading programme) are provided with Reading Journals instead of the Blue Reading Records. The Journals give an opportunity for children to write about their reading experiences in detail. It is a personal response to their reading.

Special Schemes are used to teach children phonics and reading. These are ‘Letters and Sounds’, ‘Jolly Phonics’, ‘Phonics Bug’, ‘Bug Club’, ‘Oxford Reading Tree’, ‘Rigby Star’, ‘Usborne’ and others. In addition, children bring home spellings and English home learning to complete. Children are encouraged to use the school libraries to change books, gather information from reference books and browse. A range of events to promote reading are held throughout the year, including visits from the Travelling Book Company, authors and theatre groups. Furthermore, during Book Weeks, children celebrate a particular book or author.

 Suggested Reading List YR-Y6

Year Reception

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Talk for writing - the key to raising attainment

Tubbenden Primary School has adopted Talk for Writing as a whole school approach for teaching writing.

T4W, developed by Pie Corbett, is powerful because it enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try to read or analyse it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in a similar style.

The impact of Talk for Writing has been outstanding. Schools have found that storytelling can have a dramatic influence on progress in composition. Regular handwriting practice encourages children to develop a neat, legible and cursive handwriting style.

The imitation stage

The teacher starts by establishing a creative context. A typical Talk-for-Writing unit would begin with engaging activities to inspire children to engage with the text, helping children to internalise the pattern of the language. A model text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements, help children to recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language and learnt the story, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. During reading, children probe the meaning of the text and discuss how the writer has been effective. Children are helped to understand the sequence of the text by using the boxing up technique. The class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves.


        Talk For Writing Story map in Year 6                                     Talk for Writing Learning the Story in Year 5

The innovation stage

Once the children have internalised the original text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. Shared writing is the process of creating, improving and editing writing collaboratively to create a new version of the text. Talk for writing is important at this stage; children work with partners, magpieing ideas and constantly editing and improving during shared rehearsal. The teacher facilitates the shared writing, encouraging children to search for the most engaging version of the writing. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases. Flip-charts of shared writing and interesting words and phrases can be put on the washing line so when the children come to write they have models and words and phrases to support them. 

The invention/independent application stage

 The teacher now has the opportunity to assess the children’s work and to adapt their planning in the light of what the children can actually do. This stage could begin with some activities focused on helping the children understand aspects that they were having difficulty with and should include time for the children to have a go at altering their work in the light of what they have just learnt so that they start to make progress. This stage will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress so the children can become independent speakers and writers of this type of text. Perhaps some more examples of the text are compared followed by more shared writing on a related topic and then the children can have a go themselves on a related topic of their own choosing. Typically, teachers work with the children to set ‘tickable targets’ which focus on aspects that they need to attend to. Again this section will end with response partner and whole class discussion about what features really worked, followed by an opportunity to polish your work. This process also helps the children internalise the toolkit for such writing so that it becomes a practical flexible toolkit in the head rather than a list to be looked at and blindly followed. At the end of the unit, the children’s work should be published or displayed. The teacher will now have a good picture of what features to focus on in the next unit to move the children forward. It is important to provide children with a purpose for their writing so classroom display or some sort of publishing is useful.

 Literacy Websites

Click to visit BBC Bitesize website Literacy for Key Stage 1 
Click to visit BBC Bitesize website Literacy  for Key Stage 2 
Woodlands Junior School Resources Click to visit Website