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Stechford Primary School


At Stechford Primary School. we know that reading and writing are intrinsically linked and strongly believe that exposure to high quality and challenging texts support learners in both of these essential life skills as well as developing a child's understanding of vocabulary, style and formality in a wider context.

We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of the grammar, knowledge and conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Talk 4 Writing

At Stechford Primary School we follow a Talk 4 Writing approach.

Talk for Writing works with any genre of writing and each term children will work with a fiction (story) and non-fiction (instructions, diary, explanation etc) text linked to their current topic. Children will share poetry linked to their topics on a regular basis.  Have a look at our curriculum maps to find out more.

A Talk for Writing unit is based on 3 I’s: 

  • Imitation– Each unit begins with the teacher sharing an engaging, topic related text with the children. As a class, or in groups, children create actions to accompany the oral re-telling of the story. They also create story maps, using pictures and symbols, to depict actions and events from the text.  Children then explore the key ingredients and language that make the text work and build a tool kit of important features to use when writing their own versions of the text. 
  • Innovation – This stage of the process is where children and teachers work together closely using the structure of the example text but changing certain aspects to make it different in some way. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases. This stage begins with shared writing between teacher and pupils and develops into children working with peers to edit and review their work regularly as they re-write their own versions. 


  • Invention – This stage is where children write their own text on a different topic but based on the structure and genre of the example text and using the key features they picked out and placed into their toolkit.


 An example 
The given text could be a narrative story about life during World War II with flashback events. During the invention stage children may be asked to adapt the flashback as an evacuee this is linked to their topic WWII.  They would follow the structure of the narrative and utilise some of the emotive story language used in it but they would change the setting, maybe the characters and the significant event to make it into a different story. Children who are confident writers may change all of these things where as children who are less confident may change smaller aspects, still making it their own story.


If you would like to find out more about Talk for Writing, then follow the link to Pie Corbett's website. http://www.talk4writing.co.uk

English Lessons

English Lessons

Our English curriculum is delivered through dedicated reading and writing lessons each week from Year 1  onwards.  Daily phonics lessons also take place up to and including Year 2.

Writing lessons: 

  • Warm up - focused GPS skill/spelling rule. 
  • Discussion of build up to the final piece of writing.
  • Writing always begins with reading.
  • Reading and text analysis should inform success criteria.
  • High quality modelling for all tasks. 
  • Allow planning time before drafting.
  • Build in challenge and support.
  • Allow pupils to redraft in response to feedback. 
  • Publish pupils’ writing for a wider audience. 

Reading lessons:

  • Warm up: these should be quick and used to consolidate skills.
  • Practise one or more reading skills e.g. vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval or summary.
  • Utilise a wide-range of appropriate texts.
  • Discussion of genre/purpose/audience of the text. Pupils have a chance to read/be read to. Vocabulary pre-tutoring with images, child-friendly definitions, synonyms etc. in every session.  Repetition of key vocabulary.  Opportunities for paired talk and independent tasks.Reciprocal Reading where appropriate (predict, clarify, question, summarise)


Essential Letters and Sounds (Little Wandle) is our chosen Phonics programme. 

We follow the Little Wandle progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. 

We begin by teaching the single letter sounds before moving to diagraphs ‘sh’ (two letters spelling one sound), trigraphs ‘igh’ (three letters spelling one sound) and quadgraphs ‘eigh’ (four letters spelling one sound)

We teach children to: 

Decode (read) by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently Encode (write) by segmenting each sound to write words accurately. 


Literacy in the Early Years is particularly important for children as it gives them a head start in learning essential skills, such as reading and writing that they will use on a daily basis. Here at Stechford Primary School we believe that it is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading and this is encouraged from the very first day of school. Children are exposed to a language rich environment with a wide variety of books and story-telling props such as puppets and role play resources. We follow the Little Wandle phonic programme which enables all children to learn the key skills needed in reading and writing. Opportunities are then provided for children to explore and extend this knowledge through child initiated and adult led activities. Children show this in range of ways including understanding and speaking in sentences, familiarity with phonics, demonstrating understanding of what they have read, the ability to write spoken sounds and words and by the end of the year, write independent sentences.

To find out more about our early years curriculum, visit https://www.stechfordprimary.co.uk/bham/primary/stechford/site/pages/curriculum/eyfs

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