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Please find below information relating to our approach to teaching English and some helpful websites:


At Tooting Primary School our core principle is that learning should inspire excellence and we think this is key to our teaching of literacy. Not only do we believe that every child has the potential to be a great reader and writer but we believe that each child will find excitement and enjoyment through the creative literacy lessons taught at our school.

We are a ‘Talking School', which means that the children are encouraged to verbalise their thoughts and reasons for an answer in full Standard English with support from a talk partner or a teacher/teaching assistant.  We believe this allows the child to process their thoughts more clearly and enables them to achieve a higher standard when writing. In the lower year groups this may involve ‘pulling the sentence out of your mouth’, which helps children structure grammatically correct sentences.

The new national curriculum has an emphasis on performing and reading work aloud, this is something Tooting Primary children are encouraged to do on a regular basis to enhance their speaking skills and develop their confidence.

Reading - is an essential part of our curriculum and the following opportunities to develop reading skills are incorporated into our school day:

  • EYFS - Year 2: We encourage all of our emerging readers and writers by giving them exciting phonics lessons following the Ruth Miskin Read Write Programme. These lessons involve a rich array of speaking, listening, reading and writing opportunities that reinforce phonetic development to meet each child's learning needs.
  • Year 3 - Year 6: Whole class Destination Reader sessions focus on everyone reading from the same text, allowing children to access literature that may be above their level of reading. The children receive outstanding modelling from the teacher and rich discussion with quality questioning, which encourages detailed answers with textual evidence.
  • For All: Classes receive daily reading of a whole class story and the older children are encouraged to read independently for pleasure.

Writing – each half term the children will have a focus book, this is normally a picture book which is accessible for all. This style of book allows the children to feel safe whilst also giving them space to be creative and to explore their style as an author. We create exciting outcomes to give children an incentive to write. We deliver the core skills of vocabulary, grammar, transcription and composition in a variety of ways, to stimulate different learning styles. Opportunities for drama are planned into opening units to let the children explore their ideas and imaginations in a creative way.

  • EYFS: In Reception children receive regular handwriting lessons in addition to their daily Read Write phonic lessons, where they have teaching on sentence structure. They also have daily Literacy lessons which focus on the basic skills embeddeding how to form sentences by ‘pulling the sentence out of your mouth’.
  • Year 1: The children continue to explore and learn key literacy skills using rich exciting texts as starting points. They continue to ‘pull sentences out of their mouth’ and build on developing the complexity of their writing.
  • Years 2 and 3: The children are beginning to extend their grammar and writing skills. Handwriting continues to be a daily part of our literacy practice and children sustain their writing through the teaching of descriptive language techniques. Rich texts are used for exemplar modelling which sets the standards high for children to aim for when undertaking their own writing. Under the new national curriculum dictation now takes place to improve children's listening, writing and reading skills.
  • Years 4, 5 and 6: Focus is given to the technical terms for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Children are taught and expected to be familiar with most genres of fiction and non-fiction writing. Children are coached to develop the structural elements of their writing and to understand the effect their choices make on the reader, this is modelled through the work of established authors.


For simple ideas, top tips, activities and games to help your child with their reading at home as well as over 250 FREE e-books that you can share with your child visit Oxford Owl


Reading at home EYFS, YR1 - 2019