Orchard Way Primary School


Vision & Intent

Our vision is to instil a love of reading in all pupils, inspiring them to become lifelong readers, in addition to becoming competent and creative writers. 


Reading at Orchard Way

Our aim is for all children to become fluent, confident, life-long readers. There is a strong emphasis on reading for pleasure; provided both through our whole school reading spine, and our well-resourced library. We believe reading is at the heart of learning and we facilitate discussion and exploration of literature to promote enjoyment of the written word. 


Writing at Orchard Way

Our aim is to develop pupils who can communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively with confidence and creativity.  They will become capable writers, involved in the sharing of ideas both peer to peer and in a wider context.  Using engaging and high-quality models, including stories, poetry and non-fiction, we encourage our pupils to develop independence and authorial voice, thinking carefully about the impact of their writing on an audience.  They will have opportunities to consolidate their learning across all curriculum areas, writing with purpose and reflecting critically on their own work and that of others.



In reading, pupils are supported with regular opportunities for whole class discussions which are developed through the six reading domains (VIPERS - Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explaining, Retrieval, Sequence/Summarise).  Our tailored reading spine provides a diverse range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.

Pupils will be explicitly taught high frequency (tier 2) and subject specific (tier 3) vocabulary that will empower and challenge them to read and write to a high standard across a range of curriculum areas.  Appropriately pitched model texts will be used to develop pupils’ oracy, in addition to regular paired and whole class discussion.

In writing, pupils engage with high quality, tailored model texts and develop their understanding of underlying story patterns through drama, story mapping and oral rehearsal.  Spelling, punctuation and grammar is modelled through high quality shared writing which exemplify the skills required for pupils to become competent writers. 

We provide pupils with a range of inspiring stimuli, which provides the context for both short burst writing and independent application of taught skills.  Opportunities are given for pupils to read their work aloud to their peers, edit and improve.

In Reception, pupils progress from mark making to print, in line with our SSP (systematic synthetic phonics) scheme.  In Year 1, pupils are taught pre-cursive and in Year 2 they progress to continuous cursive.  KS1 handwriting is taught through regular practise of letter formation and targeted teaching of specific joins.  In KS2 handwriting is taught regularly alongside spelling and pen licences are awarded to those who show consistency in their ability to write cursively. 

All teachers have high expectations for handwriting and model the use of diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters.


Phonics and Spelling:

Throughout KS1, we use Rocket Phonics (a DFE accredited systematic synthetic phonics programme of study).  Children are taught to recognise sounds, visually pairing them with words in which these sounds are common.  They have access to the phonetic code through the use of Rocket Phonics sound mats which helps them with the process of encoding. 

Children in KS1, read books that align with their ever-growing phonetic knowledge which is ascertained through regular sound assessments. 

Children who progress to KS2 with significant gaps in their phonetic knowledge are provided with tailored catch-up interventions alongside their current year group curriculum, still following the principles outlined in ‘Rocket Phonics’.

All pupils will be taught spelling through the application of a systematic synthetic phonics approach which builds on the skills taught in previous years, giving them the opportunity to consolidate.

Each week pupils are given spellings to learn which link with their current phonetic knowledge; they are given the opportunity to practise these both at home and at school before being assessed through the use of dictated sentences. 



Our approach to the English writing curriculum enables pupils to become keen, capable linguists, applying their newly acquired vocabulary, both in speech and in writing. Children at Orchard Way enjoy sharing books they have read and new language learned, while the writing produced across the school showcases their progression of skills from Year R to Year 6.