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  • Phonics teaching for KS1 is a priority at Horton Mill. Children receive daily phonics session through supportive, differentiated group work. Teachers use progressive planning based on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme of work.
  • Phonics are revised, modelled and rehearsed alongside an adult. Focused activities allow children to revisit, learn, practise and apply their knowledge and understanding in fun and engaging games and activities.
  • Children needing support with their phonic knowledge in KS2 receive additional support by continuing their learning journey through ‘Letters and Sounds’ and relevant intervention programmes designed to ‘boost’ children’s learning and support them in developing and applying the skills they need for reading and writing.
  • All children at KS2 receive and practise weekly spellings.



At Horton Mill all reading opportunities across the curriculum are valued. Reading skills are explicitly taught through daily Shared, Guided and Individual Reading sessions. We use a progressive reading scheme and read a balance of fiction and non-fiction.

  • At KS1, children are introduced to new books during individual and group reading sessions. Children are encouraged to re-read familiar books when reading independently or when reading at home.
  • Children in KS1 needing additional support may be targetted for Reading Recovery, to boost their phonic knowledge, fluency and develop their reading of more challenging texts.
  • At KS2, guided and group reading sessions develop targetted reading skills. During the week children will complete a range of phonic/spelling and comprehension activities linked to their reading. Children are encouraged to work in role, discuss, debate and explain their ideas and opinions about the texts they read in order to understand them fully.
  • Children in KS2 are encouraged to take home additional books from our well-resourced library. Certificates and awards encourage a love of reading.
  • Additional one-to-one lunchtime reading is offered to children who may benefit from ‘top-up’ reading sessions. Other intervention programmes also support groups of children needing further support with their reading.


Speaking & Listening

Every opportunity is explored to support children in acquiring and developing spoken language skills.

  • Drama and role play, discussion, debate and explanation opportunities are planned for across the curriculum and ‘Talk for Writing’ underpins our writing ethos.
  • All classes throughout school have structured role-play areas where children develop their vocabulary, sentence structures, organizational and presentational skills. These areas are linked to other areas in the curriculum and are changed termly. Language is modelled by an adult and is then rehearsed, applied and developed further throughout the term.
  • Our Active Class and School Councils, Eco-Team, and other positions of responsibility value the children’s contributions on issues concerning our school.
  • Themed weeks (see ‘The Aliens Have Landed’ 2013) develop children’s spoken skills further whilst engaging them in activities from across our curriculum.



Writing skills are developed across a range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Writing for real purposes is encouraged and appropriate texts and real life experiences are used to successfully emerse, engage and motivate the children. Children may write about a trip, a visitor, respond to a letter, or explore a scene or scenario from which they can develop their ideas and skills.

  • Talk for writing opportunities support children in rehearsing ideas and developing accuracy before writing.
  • Accuracy of spelling, grammar and punctuation is valued and explicit teaching sessions are planned by teachers.
  • Children are taught ‘how to be a writer’. They follow the whole writing process from exploring a genre to planning, drafting and redrafting their own work to create a ‘polished’ final draft.
  • Children are supported in their writing through modelled, shared, guided, group and independent writing opportunities.
  • Additional spelling, grammar, punctuation or organizational support is provided outside of Literacy lessons through a variety of intervention programmes and support packages designed by our teachers to best support our children.



  • At KS1, phonic knowledge is assessed daily in order to inform future planning and termly to assess the children’s current level of achievement within the ‘Letters and Sounds’ framework.
  • Statutory phonic screening occurs at the end of year 1 and, where appropriate, at the end of year 2. Assessment information is then used to identify children who continue to need support in KS2.
  • In reading, teachers make informal assessments of children on a daily and weekly basis during focused individual or group work. Planning is adjusted to take account of individual or group needs and next steps.
  • Children’s reading is benchmarked termly to check the colour band of the books they are reading. Children are encouraged to read immediately above and below their colour band to develop fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • Formal reading tests are completed at the KS1 and 2. Teachers throughout KS2 also use summative assessment tests at key times throughout the year.
  • Informal assessments are made of children’s writing skills on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation are assessed weekly at KS2.
  • Regular opportunities for writing in different genres provide a range of evidence of a child’s writing skills.
  • Weekly spelling tests are given from yr upwards.



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