Oldswinford C of E Primary School

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Oldswinford C of E Primary School

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"When you read well, you hear how the parts work together. Once you can do that, you can create writing from parts to a whole you couldn't imagine before." 

At Oldswinford C of E Primary School, we are passionate about the experiences we provide in English for all our pupils.



We want our children to develop a love for literature and to become responsible readers, appreciating and understanding diversity in our world through varied and frequent reading. We want them to have a passion for books and to see that books provide knowledge, relaxation, escapism, vocabulary, imagination, and enjoyment while simultaneously helping children to boost their own mental health and wellbeing. It is our intent for all our pupils to read fluently and confidently in any subject by the time they are ready to move to secondary school and to become adept at talking deeply about books.


We teach early reading through Rocket Phonics, a systematic synthetic phonics programme. Children from Reception to Year 2 have daily phonics sessions and are taught how to apply their phonic skills and achieve effective blending through our reading scheme - Rising Stars 


We adopt key principles from  ‘Hooked on Books’ and the VIPERS programme for our whole class reading provision to enable us to tailor our reading provision to the needs of our children. Children have daily whole class reading sessions where they listen to a story being read to them by their teacher, promoting reading for pleasure, and then learn to discuss and analyse texts using a variety of approaches.


Reading at home...

We encourage parents and carers to hear their children read as often as possible at home. Each child has a diary which provides a link between home and school and is taken home every day. Regular practice helps children to develop their reading and fluency skills and develop their comprehension and vocabulary. Please see our documents section below for some suggested questions to ask your child when you are listening to them read. 


Children have access to a range of reading materials.  

  • They all have a home reading book which is matched to their individual reading level / ability. The expectation is that all children read to an adult at home every day with comments being written into their reading record book.  
  • Each classroom has a reading incentive to promote and recognise regular reading at home. 
  • Children who are on the Phonics pathway, also use a school-based reading book - their 'Target Practice' book. These books are decodable and used in line with our Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme (Rocket Phonics and Rocket Phonics: Next Steps). These books provide the children with additional opportunities to practise and apply the GPCs that they have been taught to date, whereby if an adult is not present, they are not forced to guess from pictures, content or the first letters of a word or its shape. This ensures that our children feel a sense of achievement with their reading.  
  • Children are also invited to borrow a reading book for pleasure from their class reading area or the main school library. Children are encouraged by school staff to select books that are suitable for their age / ability but that also interest and intrigue them.  


Please see the documents section below for a link to our suggested home reading spine. These are high quality books that we feel every child should experience as they are growing up. We encourage all families to enjoy regular reading time at home together and share these wonderful books. 



We want our children to have passion and enthusiasm for writing; where their ideas are valued, and they pursue purposeful and authentic writing projects for real audiences. We aim for them all to write clearly, accurately, and coherently, adapting their language and style as necessary. We develop skills progressively so that our pupils have the stamina and ability to write at or above the age expected standard.


We have adopted Pie Corbett's 'Talk for Writing.' This approach advocates children imitating the language needed for a particular piece of writing orally before the go on to read and analyse it. We use a text map to help the children rehearse the model text and then a range of regular writing opportunities to enable the children to craft their own writing in a similar style. 

Phonics and Spelling

We teach phonics using a systematic synthetic programme called 'Rocket Phonics' and 'Rocket Phonics: Next Steps.' We make phonics a priority in our school by ensuring that lessons are taught everyday (EYFS - Y2)  and to a high standard. Children are assessed regularly to monitor progress and identify any gaps in their learning. Children receive additional intervention as required. 

Pupils from Year 3 - Year 6 are taught spellings on a regular basis each week following the Rising Stars spelling scheme.


EdShed is used by class teachers (Y1-Y6) to send home weekly spellings. We have a weekly spelling incentive to encourage children to learn and practise their spellings. We announce the top three classes from each phase every week as well as the top ten individual spellers from across the school who are the highest in our spelling league table. We recognise and celebrate their efforts every Wednesday by announcing their achievements on our whole school class dojo page and award them with a trophy to have in their classroom. We also celebrate the leading class in each phase by naming them on our Super Spellers celebration board in the hall. 

Spelling Incentive

Reading Ambassadors at Oldswinford...

We are thrilled to have recruited a group of enthusiastic Year 5 children who are keen to spread their love of reading around our school. The Reading Ambassadors are working closely with Mrs Dunn to implement new reading initiatives to promote reading. The Reading Ambassadors are now running a 'Reading Buddy' scheme with some children in Years 1-3. Each week the Reading Buddies will visit a small group of selected children in a chosen class / year group. They will spend time listening to their buddy read to them and help them to develop further confidence and a love for reading. 


The Reading Ambassadors are also keen to get started on their termly reading newsletter and set-up our very own reading cafe! Watch this space...more details to come very soon.  

English Documents

Rocket Phonics Parent Guide

Believe, achieve and shine brighter together.