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English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and our aim is to promote high standards of spoken and written language. At the Drive, we aim to develop children's love of literature through a wide variety of books.

Teaching of Reading


At The Drive Primary School we believe that learning to read is one of the most important things your child will do during their early years at school. We place high importance on this, as it is the gateway or barrier to the whole curriculum and to a lifetime of learning for children. Through a love of reading that is embedded within our school, we strive to help children to enjoy and appreciate the joy of literature. The children enjoy enhancement books covering different genres, from a range of reading schemes.


Aims and Objectives:

As a school, we aim to promote high standards of reading and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home.


As a school, 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.




All children have personal access to their own tailored reading scheme. Year groups  1-4 routinely used a computerized program called Lexia that provides phonics instruction and gives students independent practice in basic reading skills.


Reading Plus

Year 3-6 benefit from the web based reading intervention called Reading Plus which individualises specific interventions which scaffold silent reading practice with the aim to develop and improve students' silent reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.


At The Drive Primary School, we teach reading and writing through the Sounds-Write Phonics Scheme. This programme helps to teach children to understand the relationship between spoken language and written words. Teaching children to read through Phonics allows them to develop their decoding skills; this supports children in learning to blend graphemes (letters) for reading, segment phonemes (sounds) for spelling and manipulate phonemes (sounds) to develop accuracy in early reading and spelling.


Reading schemes:

All children learning phonics will use 'decodable readers' in class and at home.  These books have been carefully selected to ensure children are reading words made up of sounds they have already learnt. 




To aid our teaching of reading we use VIPERS.  VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

VIPERS stands for






Sequence or Summarise

The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc.  As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that our teachers ask, and our children are familiar with, a range of questions.  They allow our teachers to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.

Promoting the Love of Reading


Reading in the Classroom

When you walk around our school, you will see that reading and books are very much at the centre of everything. There are reading areas in each classroom stocked with books the children have chosen (thanks to our Librarians for making this happen) and in some classrooms, depending on space and the year group, these areas are perfect for curling up with a good book. Each class has their own reading spine and at the end of the day, 15 minutes is dedicated to reading one of these treasures to the children – why not ask them what book they are reading at the minute?


Topic books are also present in each classroom, matching to the topics the children are studying at the time: non-fiction is important too and just because the Internet exists, is doesn’t mean that reference books are redundant, as they can be a very valuable source across all subjects.


Reading is great and I bet if you ask our children, they would agree! 


Our School Library 

Thanks to the hard work of our parents, staff and children and the donations from IKEA, we have a full functioning, well stocked Library where children can borrow books when ever they like using our alphabetised and Lexile range system (linked to Reading Plus).


Our trained student Librarians (thanks to one of our Governors for the training) are timetabled every lunchtime for children to come and change their books; however, they can use it throughout the week too if they need or want to choose another book. I am sure our Librarians will be more than happy to help if you fancy choosing a new book to read at home or in school when you get a spare moment. 


Our Library is also used when children are in the ICT Suite taking part in a carousel of activities, and before and after school. 


There is a 'Spotlight on the Author' display. All the facts you see about the author have been researched by our school Librarians, and there is always suggested books for the children to choose to read themselves or have read to them. 


The Spotlight this half term is J.K. Rowling. 



See a book you like? Please take one!

In school, we have a 'Reading for Pleasure Bookcase', where children can choose a book whenever they like, take it home and keep it! This will help them build their own mini home library and encourage them to read more for pleasure. 

We also host Free Book Friday's, this is an opportunity for our children to choose from a wide selection of books, take them home and keep them. 



Our children have shown a real enthusiasm for reading recently and are choosing books to read at home, which must continue to be encouraged. With this in mind, can we all remind parents and carers of our, 'see one take one', book selection that the children can pick from, keep or just borrow (separate from the library) if they wish! Let’s get reading everyone!  




Teaching of Writing


At The Drive Community Primary School, we believe that writing is one of the primary forms of communication and to write with confidence and accuracy is an essential life skill. Writing is a complex process that draws upon more than handwriting and spelling.  It is the ability to effectively communicate ideas, express emotions, state opinions, explain understanding and share experiences and stories. It is also one of the more difficult aspects of the language as its many conventions are difficult to follow and master.

However, given the right environment and stimulus it is an aspect of literacy that can give enormous pleasure. We aim to set high expectations and enable our pupils to consider themselves as ‘writers’. We always encourage confidence, independence and the motivation to want to write and to have sufficient control over the mechanics of their writing to allow for skillful development of the writing process.


Aims and objectives:

Our aims are for all children at The Drive Community Primary School to:

  • Write with confidence, clarity and imagination
  • Understand and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling
  • Understand how to write in a range of genres (including fiction, non-fiction and poetry), using the appropriate style, structure and features
  • Experience of a variety of reading materials and writing styles to appreciate and understand the purpose and audience of writing.
  • Develop their vocabulary including technical and expressive language
  • Understand the importance of planning, drafting and editing
  • Use a wide range of resources to support and enable them to become independent writers: toolkits, WAGOLL, ‘boxing up’ plans, dictionaries, thesauruses, word banks, word mats, picture/story maps, wall displays.

Action and Implementation

We follow the National Curriculum (2014) which ensures that a range of genres are covered, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Genres are taught and learnt considering the:

  • purpose
  • form
  • audience

Throughout each unit of work, we use the following process to teach the process of writing. Within this structure there may be some flexibility to meet the needs of the pupils or the unit of work (EYFS use a modified version to serve Development Matters framework).








Explore with a WAGOLL

With every unit of work, it is important that children are familiar with the genre of writing. In this Explore stage, the class book may explicitly link, or they are shown a range of texts from the focused genre, so they are aware of the structure, layout and language used. At this stage children will be presented with a ‘What a Good One Looks Like’ (WAGOLL) which allows children to see the expected standard of work they should be working towards achieving.


Plan with a Toolkit

Once the children have explored examples of the focused genre, they will begin to plan their writing creating a toolkit (see below). At The Drive, we use toolkits (the layout originally promoted by James Durran and promoted by education Gateshead) so children are aware of the purpose and audience, the effect and the writing features they will be using. When possible, children should make their own toolkit alongside the teacher. English class displays include a toolkit which is amended with every new piece of writing allowing the children to interact and access the criteria independently and easily. 

Innovate with Story maps or Boxing Up

As children are more familiar with the chosen writing genre and WAGOLL, they can begin to innovate. A new subject is presented (different from that in the WAGOLL) and the teacher leads children to take ideas and examples from the WAGOLL and retell a new version. A story map is used or the boxing up method (both taken from Pie Corbitt’s Talk for Writing approach).

Learning Objectives

For each piece of writing a learning objective is used which details the specific writing genre, the writing skills that children should use and the context of the writing piece. 


Examples of writing

National Curriculum Link