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Tomorrow’s success starts today
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Tomorrow’s success starts today


English at Willowcroft

 At Willowcroft, we place the highest emphasis on literary skills and we teach much of the English curriculum through storytelling techniques.  Our main aim is for children to express themselves effectively. Children need the ability to speak clearly and appropriately, they need to develop the skills of listening as well as speaking and to then use these skills to develop their understanding of the written word.

Children are read to at every stage of school life and are encouraged and given many opportunities to retell stories they have heard so they can experience the wide range of rich vocabulary, that stories and poetry present. We wish children to have a love of reading, and a fundamental enjoyment from exploring books. Children are taught to read using a variety of strategies that suit their differing experiences and abilities. We use a range of reading scheme books which are colour coded in levels of difficulty. We also encourage children to use books from the school library and each class in Key Stage One and Two regularly visits the local library.  Parents are encouraged to help at every stage of their child’s development and we subscribe to Pearsons Bug Club which enables the children to have colour coded e-books. We also use many reading interventions, a list of which can be found at the end of this document.


Writing is given a high profile from the earliest days in the school. Early attempts are valued and a high priority is placed on developing good fine motor control in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as this is vital for the child if they are to write in a legible manner.  We believe that writing should have a purpose and we actively encourage enthusiastic and interesting writers; and it is our aim to foster these qualities in our children’s work throughout their school career. Phonics is taught daily in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and Year Three and Four. At Willowcroft we use the government recommended guidelines in Letters and Sounds and use the kinaesthetic approach from Jolly Phonics. A huge emphasis is placed on Spelling, punctuation and grammar and we follow the Pearson online scheme of work.


The main aims for the pupils are as follows:


  • to read and write for pleasure with confidence, fluency and understanding;
  • to be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes;
  • to understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately;
  • to have fluent and legible handwriting;
  • to have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary;
  • to know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot;
  • to understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts;
  • to plan, draft, revise and edit their writing;
  • to have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing;
  • to be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences;
  • through reading and writing to develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

We endeavour to teach your child all these elements. However, any help and support you are able to able to give your child with his/her literacy skills will obviously be extremely beneficial to them.


We are committed to extending children’s literacy skills through fun and stimulating activities.  We have adopted the ‘Storytelling approach to reading and writing, which focuses on developing and extending spoken and written language and developing an engrained understanding of the structure of fiction and non-fiction writing.  Each term we also focus on inventing our own stories and a ‘Big Write’ approach is adopted when the whole school will write fiction and non-fiction based on the same stimulus.


Interventions for reading and writing  used at Willowcroft



Key Stage



Project X Code



Key Stage One







Key Stage One


Reading and writing


Direct Phonics



Key Stage One/Two




Precision Teaching



Key Stage One and Two




Write Away Together


Key Stage Two




Hi Five



Key Stage Two


Reading and writing






Well done to the children who got through to the next round of the verse competition run by Didcot Rotary Club.

                                   Well done to the children who got through to the next round of the verse competition run by Didcot Rotary Club. 1

The semi- finalists!

The semi- finalists! 1


Uploaded by Amanda Doy on 2015-01-30.