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Barrington Primary School

"Supporting each other to achieve together"


Our English Subject leader is Miss J Haycock


At Barrington, our intent is to encourage children to become passionate and enthusiastic lifelong readers of a wide range of texts, who have the ability, knowledge and skills to become self-assured users of spoken and written language.

In addition to a daily literacy session, we teach many English skills throughout the school day, particularly when children are sharing their ideas, views and feelings in other subject areas.

We want every child to leave Barrington equipped with the English skills they need to thrive and succeed.


Talk for Writing

All children learn to write through Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett.

While it is designed to be fun and creative to engage the children’s interest, it is also a tried and tested systematic and cumulative approach to developing young writers.

Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. It is rooted in the belief that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to and at its heart there is a strong ‘literature spine’ which identifies key stories, picture books, poems and non-fiction which will be read and drawn upon when teaching writing. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.

During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children will learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention’ stage, children write their own text independently.

Writer of the Week

Our writing is celebrated and proudly displayed in classrooms and around the school.

In addition, each week a writer of the week is chosen from each class for special effort or achievement.  These children are recognised in our newsletter and their work is displayed in the school for everyone to see.

Systematic Synthetic Phonics Program - Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised

In Reception and Year 1, we teach early reading and Phonics through the Little Wandle Systematic Synthetic Phonics Program.

Phonics is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme).  In Reception and Year 1, phonics is taught daily with opportunities to revise and embed new learning throughout the day.  In four of the weekly sessions, the children are taught a new grapheme and phoneme correspondence (GPC), how to blend known sounds to move towards automatic reading and how to read tricky words.  The final session of the week is a review session, which gives the children the chance to revise and further embed the sounds that they have been learning.  The children are assessed every six weeks and this information is used in order to support children's progress through the scheme.  

Both Reception and Year 1 pupils have three reading practice sessions per week, in small group with a teacher or teaching assistant.  The first session focuses on decoding, where the children are taught how to use the GPCs they have learnt to decode a text at an appropriate level for them.  The second session is a prosody lesson, during which the children re-read the book from session one and are taught how to use expression whilst reading.  In the final session of the week, the children answer questions about the book they have been reading to develop their comprehension skills.  At the end of the week, the children take the book home as their decodable reading book and bring it back the following week.  Alongside this, a picture book for the children to enjoy with their parents is sent home each week.  The children's reading is regularly assessed and this information is then used to match each child to the correct level of book.

Reception and Year 1 teachers also read picture books for pleasure to their classes on a daily basis.

Reading - Years 2 - 6

At Barrington, every year group has a dedicated daily reading session, where we use Talk for Reading (developed by Pie Corbett) to systematically teach children to decode and then explicitly teach the skills needed to enable children to acquire and refine a variety of comprehension strategies.

Talk for Reading follows a three phase structure.  First, fluency is modelled by the teacher; the children read the text several times to gain a basic understanding of the text and vocabulary is explored.  After this, the children deepen their understanding of the text through a range of activities, including drama and writing in the role of a character.  This part of Talk for Reading identifies themes from the text, viewpoints of characters and looks at the main ideas of text.  Finally, the children are encouraged to demonstrate their independent understanding of the text by answering different styles of comprehension questions.

All pupils will have an ability appropriate reading book of their choice which they read at home and during an allotted slot in the school day.  Years 2-6 use Accelerated Reader, which is a computer program that is a powerful tool for both monitoring and managing independent reading practice while promoting reading for pleasure.  After a baseline assessment, children select a book from within a range at the level identified for them and, when finished, take a short quiz on the computer at school.  All of the school books are labelled with a colour sticker that helps guide the children in choosing a book that is right for them.  Parents are able to follow the progress of their children by registering with the Home Connect feature. 

A Reading Record Book allows parents and carers to make their own comments when they have heard their child read at home. We expect children to read on a daily basis at home for a minimum of 10-15 minutes building up to longer periods as they progress through the school and ask parents and carers to set aside time to do this.

Each class also has a class book that the teacher can read with the children, to encourage reading for pleasure. 

Curriculum and Assessment

The majority of children in our school setting will be working towards achieving curriculum objectives for their own year group. 

This is a direct result of the introduction of the 2014 National Curriculum and the change in assessment methodology.  Each year group is working with and assessing against a discrete stage.  Please speak to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about this.


We believe reading and writing are key life skills and are the doorway to a lifetime of learning.

Our approach is to offer a layered and challenging curriculum which empowers pupils to build a wide repertoire of literacy skills and deep knowledge of different genre which they can use and apply across the curriculum. Our pupils will become confident and competent users of English throughout their school years and beyond.