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Brushwood Junior School


Reading including Phonics:



At Brushwood Junior School, we recognise the crucial importance of delivering an English curriculum which not only provides pupils with fundamental skills for their future, but also develops creativity, imagination and a love for learning.

We intend to:

  • promote an appreciation and love of reading;

  • enable pupils to read fluently and critically;

  • encourage pupils to listen attentively with understanding and empathy;

  • inspire pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction.



Pupils have frequent opportunity to both enjoy reading and develop their reading skills through independent reading time, whole class guided reading lessons and reading within other curriculum subjects.


Independent reading:

When pupils start Brushwood in Year 3, we review any existing data we have received about each child's reading and phonics ability, and we make further assessments in order to place them on the correct reading book level.


If a child has some gaps within their phonics knowledge, and they are not yet able to fully decode words when reading, they are placed on colour banded books which are decodable at their level. They also receive individual or small group phonics intervention, which provides precision teaching of the gaps within their phonics knowledge. This intervention is in addition to age-related teaching so that pupils’ gaps do not get wider. Furthermore, we deliver spelling lessons using the Spelling Shed scheme, which revises key learning from KS1 phonics.


For pupils who are secure with their phonics knowledge, the focus of their reading ability is on developing their comprehension skills. After an initial assessment, pupils are given a reading level from which they can self-select their own books which have been banded by the Accelerated Reader scheme. Upon completion of a book, pupils take a quiz which tests their understanding of what they have read, and allows teachers to track individual progress. Regular monitoring ensures that pupils are being suitably challenged and are reading books which they can access. Children really enjoy doing the quizzes which also helps to develop a love of reading.


Furthermore, our new library, separate to the above, is available to all pupils regularly where they can take out any book of their choosing to enjoy. All pupils are encouraged to read their books both in school and at home, sharing them with their friends and family members.


Guided reading:

In both English and guided reading lessons, a whole class approach is used where the teacher predominantly models reading aloud. Pupils also have the opportunity to read aloud through strategies including, choral reading, echo reading, paired reading and 1:1 reading with an adult. Texts are selected by teachers and cover a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. After reading, pupils engage in discussion about the text and answer questions to develop their reading skills. This use of book talk, helps to develop the children’s comprehension skills as well as enjoyment of reading. To support less confident readers, teachers aim to hold a pre-read session to help them access the text within the lesson.


Current enrichment opportunities for reading include visits from local authors and world book day celebrations.




At Brushwood Junior School, we recognise the crucial importance of delivering an English curriculum which not only provides pupils with fundamental skills for their future, but also develops creativity, imagination and a love for learning.

We intend to:

  • enable pupils to communicate effectively and confidently in standard English;

  • assist pupils in being able to write for a range of audiences and purposes using spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately and confidently;

  • teach children to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in KS2;

  • encourage children to use joined-up handwriting which is legible.



English lessons are planned and delivered through the study of high quality texts. Our approach helps to build an enjoyment of reading and writing, whilst developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Pupils have the opportunity to engage in drama and discussion linked to the themes and characters within the book, before rehearsing writing skills within a range of genres.


Our curriculum map for writing shows a clear progression of knowledge and skills across the year and across the school. Vocabulary and grammar instruction is embedded into lessons which means skills are learnt within a context, thus making it more easily understood and retained by pupils.


A whole class approach is used with appropriate scaffolding and challenge to allow all pupils to achieve including, the use of modelled and shared writing. Children have the opportunity to share and assess their own and each other’s writing, before having time to edit and improve their work. Success criteria is used to support pupils in understanding how to achieve, and working walls are used to support and display their learning.


We have implemented the Spelling Shed programme which we deliver to all of our pupils across the school. The programme meets the national curriculum expectations for each year group whilst tracking back to prior learning including phonics knowledge. Additional phonics interventions are also put in place. By following this programme with fidelity, we are meeting the needs of all pupils.


The children are encouraged to practise joined-up handwriting which is legible and of a consistent size. This is modelled by teachers. A neat presentation of work expected across all subjects.


Opportunities for enrichment include writing competitions, visits from local authors and drama performances.


The impact of our curriculum is monitored through:

  • Outcomes of KS2 tests
  • In school attainment tracking
  • Pupil voice 
  • Subject leader monitoring - lesson visits, book scrutinies, teacher voice, actions plans and governor reports


Our approaches to reading and writing ensure that all of our pupils are: provided with the essential skills needed for later life, supported to develop creativity and imagination and encouraged to foster a love for learning within English. Both internal and external data demonstrates a positive picture for both progress and attainment within reading and writing which is in line with national expectations. 

Christmas story writing competition winner (2022)

Visits to the Elgiva to watch CGS drama performances (2022/23)

Author Visit - Jack Meggitt-Phillips (2022-23)

Author visit - Jenny Mclachlan (2022-23)

World Book Day (2022-23)

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6