Approach to reading and writing

English holds the key to successful learning. It is through speaking and listening, reading and writing that we make sense of our world.

Since September 2014, all schools in England and Wales follow the Revised National Curriculum, which has a greater emphasis on the importance of English and the skills needed to become successful readers and writers.


Reading is the most important basic literacy skill. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. With this in mind, reading has a high priority at Mallard Primary School because we want to ensure that children successfully acquire these skills and develop a positive attitude to reading. The aim of our reading curriculum is to create a community of enthusiastic readers who become readers for life.


All children’s reading is closely monitored as they move through school. From Foundation Stage to Y1, our children follow a structured reading programme called Read, Write Inc.(RWI)  to help develop their phonics, fluency and comprehension skills. From Y2 onwards, our children take part in daily reciprocal reading sessions, where they are exposed to a range of texts and activities to continue to build on their predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising skills. In addition to this, children are asked to review their thoughts on reading every two months to ensure that we are aware of every child's needs.

Children are encouraged to read every day by taking age appropriate books home to share with family.

  • Foundation Stage and Y1 children bring home RWI ditty books along with shared reading stories, which can be changed by parents on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Home reading is to be recorded in home- school liaison books and returned daily.
  • Y2 children are to bring home RWI books and then will begin to access colour banded books. Children will have two opportunities in the week to swap their reading books, but reading journals should be returned  daily to school.
  • Y3 children are to bring home a colour banded book and will be given two opportunities during the week to swap their books, but reading journals should be returned daily to class. Some Y3 children will complete the colour banded books and will progress to the Mallard book challenge.
  • Y4 - Y6 children should be accessing the Mallard book challenge, where they will have the opportunity to progress through the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum reading challenges. Children will select these books from the school library and will be given two opportunities during the week to swap their books, but reading journals should be returned daily to school.


Throughout the year we promote interest in reading through special events such as Poetry day, Word Book Day, Doncaster Book Awards etc...


Writing is a critical skill as it not only promotes communication and thinking skills, but it also supports your reading skills. Writing is the primary basis for communication, be through physical written work, drawings or electronic writing.

Evidence suggests that children who are fluent and expressive writers are more likely to succeed in future job roles and will become better at expressing their thoughts, feeling and beliefs. In an ever changing world, where writing is becoming controlled more through media and technology, it is important to allow children the opportunity to write as often as possible. With this in mind, writing has a high priority at Mallard Primary School so children successfully acquire these skills and develop a positive attitude towards writing. The aim of our writing curriculum is to provide children with an opportunity to write a wide range of genres which cover an array of topics. Therefore, children will leave Mallard knowing a bank of stories, an array of facts and written presentational skills to support them in their future life as learners.

To support children in their development of writing skills Foundation Stage - Y3 participate in 'Talk for Writing' sessions. Through these sessions, children learn about the structure, grammatical features, punctuation and vocabulary used in a quality text during the imitation stage. We then move on to innovating the original text and using what we have learnt about it to invent our own version. Through the use of story maps and drama, children develop their ability to learn, re-tell and write imaginative stories. As children progress through school, they are able to use the 'Talk for Writing' skills to help support in their continual journey as a writer.

All pupils are taught cursive script from the time they begin to form letters. Ask your child’s teacher for a copy of our handwriting policy. As they progress through school, they need to develop a neat, joined up handwriting style.


Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)

To become fluent and effective writers, accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar is essential. Children access daily skills sessions through their writing, which focus on improving SPaG. When working with your child at home, take the time to talk about spellings and encourage your child to write with the correct punctuation and grammar.


For further guidance and help about reading and writing click on the links below.

Parent Guide