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English at Roebuck

English is formed by various strands, reading, writing, handwriting, spelling and speaking and listening.

Intent of Literacy Curriculum

  • Ensure that every child becomes a writer, a reader and a confident speaker by the time they leave Roebuck Academy which will allow them to be ready for life after Roebuck.
  • To promote and instil a love and motivation for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils at all ages. At Roebuck, we aim for our children to develop a love, passion and respect for Literature.
  • For all children, to leave Roebuck as a fluent reader and well-equipped writer.

Implementation of Literacy Curriculum

  • Accelerated reader quizzes (LKS2) allow teachers to track which children are reading and that they are reading appropriate level of book
  • Termly book fairs organised and run to promote an exciting reading culture with the school community
  • All new staff trained in DSR to support the delivery in KS1 and reading fluency for all staff.
  • Staff CPD provided on: Reading Fluency, Vocabulary rich environment, Hooked on Books.
  • Staff observations organised on schemes of work across the school and opportunities to buddy up to enhance pedagogy
  • Exciting class book corners well-stocked and organised with a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry available.
  • Trained staff continue to improve the teaching and learning of reading (Hooked on Books)
  • Immersive topic with Literacy – topics to get boys hooked. E.g. ‘Marcus Rashford sporting biographies’
  • Immersive themed days/weeks (e.g. World Book Day) including regular experience days within the Write Stuff units. Staff given time during staff meetings to plan in their hook/experience days for upcoming units.
  • Reading challenges for home including extreme reading and summer reading challenge.
  • All new staff given mentoring by members of the Literacy faculty to help with confidence in planning and regular feedback is provided.
  • Promoting a love for reading through:
  1. Scrapbooks/scrapbook day
  2. Parental engagement
  3. Reading challenges
  4. Author visits
  5. Vending Machine
  6. Immersie Book corners
  7. Ready, set read Usborne book 

 Impact of Literacy Curriculum

Recent HIP visits (May and July 2023) illustrated consistency across the school in terms of delivery of the ‘Hooked on Books’ scheme of work across observations of all teachers and pupil feedback. The advisor was confident that all staff were ‘well on board’ with the scheme on work and showed great subject knowledge as well as enthusiasm.

  • Continuity in displays across the school with each writing unit clearly signposted.
  • Positive responses from teachers regarding staff CPD. Teachers found the sequence of Hooked on Books planning easy to follow and gets children excited about reading.
  • A positive love for reading embedded throughout the school. Recent Hip visit outlines that children had a great attitude when it came to reading and writing.


Throughout Years 1-6, we use Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff approach. The Write Stuff is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing. Key aspects of The Write Stuff system include:

  • The Write Stuff builds pupils’ confidence with sentence structure.
  • The approach widens the repertoire of writing options for pupils.
  • Pupils gain an understanding of the ‘whole’ piece that they are writing.
  • Organisation of their ideas and cohesion between them is strengthened.

Additionally, we read a wide range of quality texts that help exemplify the text type so that the children will develop a sound understanding of the text. After practising sentence craft with teacher modelling, the children are then given opportunities to produce an extended piece of writing linked to the text type they have studied.

EYFS writing

EYFS follow the whole school approach the ‘Write Stuff’. In the EYFS, children are exposed to Literacy right from the start through sharing books with adults, listening to, learning and performing nursery rhymes, songs and stories. We recognize that literacy skills are dependent on communication skills and there is a strong focus on the development of listening and attention, understanding and speaking. Children who have delayed language skills are identified early and additional support is put in place to help them to catch up. The EYFS environment offers a literacy rich environment promoting engagement with reading and writing across the curriculum both inside and outside.

Children are given opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills in preparation for writing from Nursery upwards. There are numerous activities and resources that promote mark making and when ready children are introduced to letter formation through direct teaching of handwriting. A love of writing is promoted through giving children opportunities to write for a variety of purposes throughout the environment. In Reception more structured activities support children’s writing development alongside these other opportunities. 


Handwriting is taught separately following the Letter Join scheme of work. In EYFS, Marvin the Monkey is used to teach cursive script.


From Years 3-6, we follow Jane Considine’s ‘the Spelling Book’. For spelling and phonics at EYFS and KS1, please see the Phonics tab. At Roebuck, we emphasise the teaching spelling rather than the reliance of testing it. It relies on teachers to bring the ‘wonder of words’ to life. The Spelling Books provide structure and support to teachers whilst allowing enough room for creativity, ensuring that all National Curriculum fundamentals are covered. The Spelling Book system exceeds all expectations around making the teaching of spelling effective, and ‘stick-able’, for children. The system is built on strong phonic foundations and includes a range of deep exploratory investigations, alongside short-burst ‘chunked’ revision activities.


Reading is crucial to children's development and potential for success in life. Research shows that children who read books often at age 10 and continue to read through adolescence, gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.

Nothing is more important in education than ensuring that every child can read well. Pupils who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career. Those who cannot will find themselves at constant disadvantage.

In Years 2-6, Guided reading is taught daily and children are provided with opportunities to read aloud weekly in whole class, 1:1 or group settings. Jane Considine’s Hooked on Books reading rainbow is used to support the teaching of reading along with book talk and comprehension sessions.

In Year 1, Daily supported reading is used daily where the children use decodable books where they develop their fluency, decoding, oracy as well as overall comprehension of a text. Children are grouped in accordance to their ability to ensure accelerated progress with children.

Equality, diversity and inclusion if at the forefront of our Literacy provision and we always seek ways how we can represent every child. To help teachers choose their novels, we have crated a working reading spine document which showcases various books with an underpinning of core values and themes.

As part of our reading curriculum, we have a strong focus on reading fluency. Some strategies we use to embed fluency within our curriculum:

  • Echo reading​
  • Paired reading​
  • Text marking (encourage this in lessons-  you may ​
  • need to spend a lesson on introducing the symbols​
  • Performance reading​
  • Read along (choral reading)​
  • Read aloud​
  • Repeated reading​
  • Pre-reading 

Promoting a love for reading

We all know that there is nothing better than a great book and nothing worse than a bad one! As teachers of young children, it is our job to instil both a love of literature in various forms as well as the skills with which to read. At Roebuck, we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books.  Each classroom is filled with a carefully chosen books which feature their class libraries. As well as this, the whole school library has an array of genres, text types and different representations making all children feel seen through literature.

Helping your child at home

Children in EYFS and KS1 bring home levelled books (according to their stage of development), each week. These books should be easily decodable for the children where they should be developing their fluency and expression. KS2 children will bring home a self-selected book from their class reading library which is matched to their reading ability. All children will have chance to attend the Main School Library where they will choose a book for their pleasure.

Please encourage your child to change their book regularly so they can read each evening; speak to the class teacher if this is not happening.

Your child should be reading at home for 15 to 20 minutes or more each day.  Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding.  Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.

How to support developing readers at home:


  • Try to listen to and read with your child regularly, 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week.  It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine.  Often we have found it is best if this time is set aside when the children arrive home from school.
  • Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed – learning to read needs to be a positive experience - build children's confidence by praising their efforts.
  • Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using phonic skills to read any unfamiliar words, and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
  • Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
  • Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
  • Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
  • Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.


Questions to Develop Understanding:

Where/when does the story take place?

Who are the characters in the story?

Who is the main character? How do you know? What clues are there to show this?

What happens in this part of the story? Explain using evidence from the story.

Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?

Can you retell the story using your own words?

Tell me what this character was like? Give evidence from the text.

Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story? Why?

What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?

What do you think would have happened if…? Why do you think that?

Predict what you think is going to happen next?

Which part of this book did you like best/least?  Why?

How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?

Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?

Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.

Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.

What do you think this story is trying to tell us?

Has anything like this ever happened to you?


Reading Apps / Internet

There are a considerable amount of free resources, free e-books and activities linked to your child's reading to encourage them to read at home, on a laptop, a tablet or computer!

Good recommendations are:

  • Words for life
  • Junior Jackanory
  • CBeebies Bedtime Stories