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We teach our children the skills to help them:


Listen attentively:

Paying attention to detail to process the information and respond.

  • Modelling reading out loud

  • Encouraging the sharing of work


Talk confidently:

Explore, develop and sustain ideas through talk. Speak confidently with intonation, clear diction, accurate grammar and style with regard to their audience.

  • Effective questioning

  • Discussion using ‘book talk.’

  • Partner talk


Read fluently:

Using appropriate expression and intonation, with good comprehension, from a wide variety of texts, at their own level, for pleasure.

  • Daily phonics (Read, Write, Inc) in Early Years and KS1

  • CLPE Power of Reading strategies in KS2

  • Appropriate-level home reading books

  • Buddy reading, engaging book corners and visits to the school library


Understand and interpret texts:

Retrieving, deducing, identifying and explaining the writers' use of syntax, context, vocabulary and literary features.

  • Daily comprehension carousel in KS1

  • Daily guided reading in KS2

  • Quality texts

  • Texts linked to topics and areas of interest


Write for a range of purposes:

Develop their skills, imagination and personal expression through a range of writing tasks using clear, concise language with accurate punctuation and grammar in a style appropriate for the purposes.

  • Opportunities for independent, free writing

  • One ‘Big Write’ every term


Spell competently:

Become a competent speller using a range of strategies. 

  • Read, Write Inc in Early Years and KS1

  • National Curriculum and topic-based spelling in KS2

  • Weekly spelling lists for homework, tested weekly


Write legibly:

Using neat, legible joined handwriting in the cursive style.

  • Take pride in their presentation.

  • Use PenPals handwriting in Years 2-4

  • Individual handwriting interventions in Years 5-6


Evaluate critically:

Make fair critical responses about their own language work, that of their peers and a variety of published authors.

  • Reading high-quality, thought-provoking and inspiring texts.

We provide exceptional opportunities through visits, partnerships and exemplary teaching supported by CPD.

  • We invite authors, poets and storytellers to visit Handsworth to encourage reading for pleasure and develop writing skills.

  • We have developed a partnership with the local secondary school to offer Guided Reading and Paired Writing projects.

  • Teachers have attended the National Theatre’s Let's Play CPD to develop creativity and theatre-making in primary schools.

We promote a growth mindset through the support we offer and the questions we ask.

  • Our teachers use various teaching and learning methods to cater to different learning styles.

  • In daily lessons, children participate in a range of activities which enable them to practise their English skills. This includes whole-class teaching and reading, small group focused activities and independent work.

  • We regularly encourage children to edit, improve, share and evaluate their own work and that of their peers as an integral part of each unit of work.

We celebrate each individual child to be confident, curious and ambitious by reflecting and affirming pupil identity in the texts we choose and the context we teach.

  • All children have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts, whether in full or as extracts, which are carefully selected by teachers for their quality.

  • These texts are regularly reviewed, with teachers aiming to ‘refresh’ one book from their list once a term.

  • We use CLPE’s ‘Power of Reading’ approach to foster a love of reading that goes beyond school. The five key areas covered are:

    • Explore it: Questions to develop an awareness of language and vocabulary. 

    • Illustrate it: Visualisation skills to aid comprehension.

    • Talk about it: Book talk to encourage referring to the text to support ideas.

    • Imagine it: Thinking beyond the text and linking to real life.

    • Create it: Writing in response to a text, developing imagination and creative ideas.

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