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School Council

While we would usually welcome visitors to our school, at the moment we are closed for visits due to Government Covid-19 guidelines. We look forward to welcoming you into school again as soon as possible. 



Literacy skills are important because:

  • They are pivotal for all learning in every curriculum area.
  • They are essential for independent learning, the world of work and most other aspects of everyday life.
  • They enable a child to communicate effectively, develop confidence and to have a healthy self-esteem.



 We aim to encourage all children to:

  • Develop the necessary skills to use the English language confidently, appropriately and accurately to the best of their ability.
  • Speak confidently with intonation, clear diction, accurate grammar and style with regard for the listener.
  • Listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and to process the information and retain aurally as much detail as they are able.
  • Read a range of materials fluently and with good comprehension for enjoyment and for information.
  • Write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes using spelling, punctuation and syntax accurately and confidently.
  • Present work using neat legible handwriting. 

The above aims are consistent with the requirements of the National Curriculum for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. They take into account the aims of the National Literacy Strategy which identifies the fundamental skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing under the categories Word Level, Sentence Level and Text Level work.

Strategies for the teaching of Literacy

We are currently following the National Literacy Strategy, which will be adapted where relevant to the needs of the children.

The Foundation Stage endeavours to cover all aspects of the Communication Language and Literacy area of early learning goals throughout the year.  Greater structure will be added towards the end of the Reception year to prepare the children for the National Literacy Strategy and the National Curriculum.


The Literacy Curriculum is organised into:

  •  Formal learning of reading, writing, speaking and listening in periods distinctly allocated to this work.
  • Informal learning which goes on throughout the school day and throughout all curriculum areas. It should be noted that equal importance is given to both these aspects of the Literacy curriculum and that opportunities are sought to engage the children in cross-curricular links.

Literacy is taught through a balance of different teaching methods. Pupils will be given opportunities to learn through real experiences, practical tasks, through focussed analysis of written text, published learning material, teacher-prepared materials, educational visits, ICT and tasks set to complete at home.


Reading and Phonics Schemes


At Pickhill CE Primary School we use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. This follows a systematic synthetic phonics approach. In Reception and in Key Stage 1, phonics is taught daily. The new phonemes are taught in a particular order using the four part lesson format: revise and revisit, teach, practise and apply. A new sound is taught daily using flashcards and interactive resources and games. The reading and writing of common exception words and high frequency words is also incorporated into each session. On a daily basis the children have time to practise blending and segmenting the different sounds to read and spell words. Phonics is also integrated into many areas of the curriculum, with regular references being made back to sounds and strategies wherever possible. Each week children have spellings which link to the sounds and spelling patterns they have been taught that week.


Phase 2 phonics teaching starts as soon as the pupils start in reception. Phase 1 is also ongoing throughout reception. We then move onto teaching phase 3 and once children are secure in applying phase 3 sounds, we begin teaching phase 4 which consolidates phase 3 phonemes in longer word structures.

Year 1

Year 1 begins with a brief recap of phase 3 and then children begin phase 5 phonics.

Year 2

Children spend the first part of Year 2 revisiting phase 5 alternative spellings and pronunciations. We then move onto phase 6 and learning prefixes and suffixes. Children are also taught to understand spelling patterns based on their understanding of root words. We also focus our teaching on the national curriculum and end of KS1 English Reading framework.




At Pickhill CE Primary School we have a scheme which is divided into different coloured book bands. All individual and group reading books in reception and KS1 match the pupils’ phonic knowledge, ensuring all words can be decoded.

Each week the children have at least two group reading sessions with an adult, reading a book which closely matches their phonics phase, to allow for both success and challenge. These sessions are built around a structure which develops decoding skills, fluency and comprehension. As well as this, during each session children will develop a skill linked to the VIPERS reading skills (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence).  Alongside this, all pupils have their own individual reading book which is taken home every evening. Children are encouraged to read to an adult at home at least 5 times a week.

 As well as the above, children listen to and share a class story daily and individual 1:1 reading also occurs at least 2 times a week.

Children also practise their reading skills through the use of the ‘Oxford Reading Buddy’ online programme. Children read a range of online books matched to their current reading level and then complete quizzes to test their knowledge and understanding of the texts they have read.



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