Writing Curriculum

At Giles Junior School, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. With regular practise, we intend for children to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing effectively. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.


Planning – When do we teach?

  • Four hour long lessons each week
  • Five 30 - 45 min lessons are allocated to Guided Reading
  • Three 30 min lessons are allocated to Spelling

Planning – What do we teach?

  • Teachers follow Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff approach to writing which is in line with the National Curriculum. Within this approach, grammar is taught through the different lenses on the Writing Rainbow.

Spelling and Phonics

  • We follow Herts for Learning’s Essential Spelling which covers all objectives from the National Curriculum.
  • Weekly spelling lists include at least ten words following a particular spelling rule and then five words that are commonly being misspelt. These will be learnt as part of homework each week. 
  • Phonics should be revised and taught through spelling lessons; this is built into the Essential Spelling Scheme.  Regular practise of oral blending and segmenting of words ensure that children apply their phonetic knowledge in reading and writing activities.
  • Phonics will be taught discretely as part of the Magic Spells intervention for children who have gaps in their learning. 

What does a typical writing unit look like?

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 and techniques of writing.

Handwriting and presentation

We follow the ‘Penpals’ handwriting scheme throughout the school and have regular handwriting sessions.  We have very high expectations for handwriting and presentation and this is showcased in our weekly leadership assembly where the ‘Presentation of the week’ award is given out.

Please see the Penpals parent information document below for more information.


Reading Curriculum

At Giles, we believe reading is the key to unlocking learning across the whole curriculum. Reading is a fundamental part of the learning experience at Giles Junior School and children are given a variety of reading opportunities, including:

  • Whole class structured guided reading lessons

  • Independent reading

  • Home/school reading

  • Hearing texts read aloud on a regular basis

  • Cross curricular reading

Home/school reading

When children join Giles Junior, they will be given a banded reading book that accurately matches their reading ability. This will be their reading book that they take home with them and read to an adult at home. Each child has a home/school reading record; it is the school’s expectation that this will be signed by an adult from home each time the child is listened to. We expect children to read at home at least 4 times a week. If a child is not reading outside of school regularly, they will be supported to complete extra reading in school.

When a child finishes their reading book, they will have the opportunity to change it for another book from the same colour band from their class library. Ongoing teacher assessment will determine when a child is ready to move up to the next book band and this will be communicated to parents/carers in the child’s reading record.

In order to encourage reading at home, children may receive a reward in class based on the number of times their reading record has been signed by an adult.  

Guided Reading

All children take part in daily guided reading lessons which last between 30-45 minutes. Throughout the week, the children have the opportunity to develop their fluency and embed key comprehension skills – summarising, predicting, retrieval, inference and deduction.

During each guided reading lesson, there is a focus on the key comprehension skills for the whole class based around the same text. The activities or level of support is adapted for different abilities so all children can access the learning and be challenged.

Texts can either be part of a class book, a short narrative extract, a poem or a non-fiction article.

Promoting a love of reading

Developing positive attitudes towards reading is a priority at Giles Junior. We aim to foster a love of reading within every child. As well as explicitly teaching children the skills to become successful readers, we also recognise the importance of reading purely for pleasure through:

  • Class readers – books/stories/poems read aloud to the whole class daily
  • Celebrating world book day
  • Awesome Authors display and author studies
  • Annual poet visit (October 2021 - Joshua Seigal)

Speaking and Listening

We believe that speaking and listening is an essential part of children’s development.  We offer children many opportunities to speak in and around the school and hold discussions.  Part of our 7 habits leadership programme works to develop children’s ability to speak and be heard.

play: How to pronounce pure phonics sounds How to pronounce pure phonics sounds

How to pronounce pure phonics sounds