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Literacy at Red Oak Primary


Teaching our children to speak, read and write accurately, fluently and confidently is the most important thing we will do.

A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

Ofsted’s greatest focus, as well as ours here at school, is upon the teaching of reading: Read Write Inc. is the Phonics and Literacy programme that we use across the school to maximise reading and writing results.

Here at Red Oak we recognise that children who read a lot are successful at school. Reading enriches their vocabulary, their grammar, their writing and their spelling.

As children learn to read, the more they want to read and the more they understand; the less they struggle with spelling, the more capacity they have for writing what they want to say.

Importantly, if they read and write fluently, they can draw ideas together – a key skill for effective learning at any age. Teaching children to read – and keeping them reading – are the two things that will make the biggest difference to their future.

The five key principles of all the Read Write Inc. programme are:

Participation, Praise, Pace, Purpose and Passion

Broken down this means that children:

  • actively participate in each lesson through partner work
  • that praise is paramount for success
  • the pace of the lessons move the children on as quickly as possible
  • each activity within a lesson has a very clear purpose
  • the teachers at Red Oak are passionate about teaching reading and writing.

How we organise Literacy at Red Oak (Implementation)

All children in Reception and Year 1 are in RWI Phonics, grouped according to their ability. Some children in Year 2-4 continue with RWI phonics if they still need it. Children in Year 5 & 6 still needing support access the Fresh Start Programme. All children from Year 2- Year 6 not in RWI or Fresh Start are in class for Literacy.


RWI Phonics

Children in Nursery are taught Set 1 sounds and they practice these throughout their sessions, they also learn rhymes and songs that help with learning sounds.

All children in Reception and Year1 are grouped for Phonics according to their ability. They are assessed every 6-8 weeks. Children in Year 2 -4 who are not yet confident in their reading and sound knowledge are also grouped for Phonics according to their ability. We aim to keep the groups as small as possible so that the children can receive the highest level of support possible.

The chart below shows how children move through the Phonics programme. Ideally children should be finishing the Grey books by the end of summer in Year 1, ready to start Literacy in class in Year 2.

New Speed Sounds to learn

Speed Sounds to review

Ditties, Storybooks and Get Writing! Books

Set 1 and blending




Set 1 and blending


Set 2

Set 1 and blending

Green and Purple Storybooks and Get Writing! books

Teach letter names

Set 1 and 2

Pink Storybooks and Get Writing! books

Teach Set 3 reading only

Set 1 and 2

Orange Storybooks and Get Writing! books

Teach Set 3 reading and spelling

Set 1 and 2

Yellow, Blue and Grey Storybooks and Get Writing! books

What to expect in  RWI Phonics

Throughout the week the children participate in variety of enriching activities. Each day they practice their speed sounds, and read green and red words, as well as speed  words, they read the story book associated with their writing activity and have to answer questions about the story. There are regular vocabulary checks through the week to ensure that the children understand the new and rich vocabulary they are expected to use. They also practise reading with fluency and expression. During the writing part of RWI Phonics children regularly carry out a spelling check, edit work for spelling and punctuation, hold sentences (dictation), and build sentences. Towards the end of the week children write a composition based on picture prompts. The children’s reading books are directly linked to the sounds they know and can blend. Every Friday the children do an extended piece of writing based on the skills they have focussed on that week.

Red Oak Literacy

Our Literacy programme runs from Year 2- Year 6. There are 6 units of work per year, broken down into roughly two per term.  Each unit starts with a fiction reading focus, then a fiction writing focus and finally reading and writing non-fiction.

What to expect in Literacy

For each fiction reading focus the children hear and read an age appropriate, quality text. At this stage of our programme children make predictions about what to expect in the story, answer questions about the text and focus their attention on the subtleties and nuances of the stories.

For each fiction writing focus the children build up their writing skills through a three stage process. Initially they mirror the writing through drafting and revising their own writing, and then through role play, partner work, children build on these story frameworks by adding their own ideas, developing sentences and planning their own plots and scripts.

There are 5 core activities throughout our programme-

  • Word power- powerful and evocative vocabulary is explained, explored and used before children encounter it in the texts.
  • Scene setting- we give the children the opportunity at the beginning of each unit to explore the authors lives, and the settings in which our stories take place.
  • Grammar- grammar is explicitly linked in our Literacy programme, with each unit having particular grammar focusses.
  • Drafting- all children are given the opportunity to draft their writing first, either through story maps, or through first writing attempts.
  • Editing and improving written work- all children are able to spend time editing and improving their work.

During the non- fiction reading and writing focus children are expected to look at the different audiences, purposes, styles and forms. They follow a three stage deconstruction process which reveals the conventions of different text types, building up to the children writing a similar text type.

Every week the children do an extended piece of writing based on the skills they have used and acquired that week.

Fresh Start

Fresh Start is a RWI programme specifically designed for UKS2 children who have struggled to pick up reading and writing earlier in their schooling. It follows exactly the same principles and activities as RWI Phonics but has age appropriate texts and writing opportunities designed to engage the older children.  At Red Oak we run Fresh Start for any UKS2 children not in a Literacy class. Our groups are kept very small, and in some cases some children are taught on a 1-1 basis.

One to One Tutoring

We use the RWI One to One Tutoring system and any child that is struggling in their Phonics group, or not on track for their age receive one to one tutoring every day. It is based on sound knowledge, being able to blend, and being able to read words at speed.

Spelling and Grammar

We use the RWI Spelling programme daily across the school from Year 2- Year 6. Each week the children have a different spelling pattern to learn. Throughout the week the children learn to identify the different sounds in a word using the dots and dashes technique, they learn to use the words in context, they practise dictation using that week’s focus words and above all they practise, practise, practise!

KS1 teachers plan the grammar that their classes need to know based on the outcomes from the literacy that week.KS2 using the Nelson Grammar scheme and grammar is taught daily in KS2, with a different focus each week. Children listen to the input, focus on the task, then practise their new skills and finally meet the grammar challenge.


Assessment criteria has been developed in line with the National Curriculum requirements, and enables us to assess children as they move through each stage of their learning journey. We regularly attend Standards' Meetings in the North Lowestoft Hub in the Active Learning Trust for EYFS, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 to discuss standards wider than just our school community. In addition to the Standards' Meetings, we also meet as a hub and share work between schools, as well as participate in shared writing workshops at various points in the year. We take part in the No More Marking scheme, which allows us to make comparative judgements in writing against other schools' writing nationally. 

In our school, we carry out regular and consistent learning walks and book monitoring to measure the impact and assess the implementation of our curriculum. We also subscribe to Pixl to compare our Reading and GPS results within a national context every half term in Year 6, and termly in the rest of KS2. We allow our children the opportunity to experience English through drama by attending theatre productions locally, working with local theatre projects, creating opportunities for enhancing vocabulary through the Arts, hosting regular theatre visits in school, and having regular story-telling visitors. 

We achieve a GLD (Good Level of Development) in EYFS in line with national standards, and are at or above the national standard in the Phonics Screening in Year 1, KS1 National Tests and KS2 National Tests. This ensures that every child leaves Red Oak as an able reader, writer, listener and speaker, with the confidence to take forward their learning to the next stage.



  • To develop the Oracy skills of all children within their Literacy lessons.
  • To ensure the English curriculum exceeds the expectations of the national curriculum.
  • To continue to raise attainment in spelling, grammar and punctuation. (QLA)
  • To improve the quality of vocabulary used across the school
  • To continue to raise quality and quantity of writing in all Year groups.
  • To continue to raise the quality of reading across the school, and the attainment of reading across the school.
  • Ensure RWI continues to develop; ensure new staff are trained/ supported with new developments
  • To ensure more able pupils are challenged appropriately and learning extended.
  • Raise attainment through staff knowledge of assessment systems and processes.
  • To minimise the impact of Covid- 19 lockdowns on the progress and attainment of the children in Literacy (both past lockdown and any future lockdowns).

Improvements to date Feb 2021

  • RWI taught 5 days a week for all of EYFS and KS1, staff using the online videos to support their development.
  • Author visits in the Autumn term and the Spring term (virtual).
  • Investment through school budget and grants in improving the library provision, both in classes, in the new library, and the new community library.
  • Monthly reading newsletter shared with parents, staff and children highlighting who is reading what across the whole school community.
  • Reading badges have worked as a huge incentive for the children to read at home more often, adults in school also incentivised to read in order to get their badges.
  • Power words and topic specific words are on all knowledge organisers, and regularly referred to with the children.
  • Online learning adapted due to lockdown to best support pupils, parents and teachers with ease of use and access to the learning. Reception phonics split in to ability groups for online learning.
  • Pixl data used to inform gaps and use to support interventions in Autumn term
  • 95% pass rate for Year 2 phonics screening test in Autumn term 2021
  • Literacy has been live every morning for the Spring term via remote access, all children in school have had the same learning as those at home.





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