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Effective new approaches to teaching writing ensures that pupils are suitably challenged and inspired to reach high standards



At Down Ampney Primary School, we take great pride in our commitment to fostering a love for reading among our students. Our school is recognised as a Reading school, with initiatives such as the well-stocked school library, classroom bookshelves, and a collection of non-fiction books directly related to our curriculum units. We actively encourage reading for pleasure by participating in programmes such as the Reading Teachers Reading Pupils initiative, which provides opportunities for children to engage with authors and attend literary events. Currently, we are involved in the Year of Reading project, a fully funded endeavour that involves collaboration with local schools to ensure all primary school pupils are reading at an appropriate level for their age. Through these endeavours, we strive to nurture a lifelong passion for reading and literacy in our students. We actively engage children by attending author and theatre events, which help bring books to life.

In our teaching of English writing, we utilise a variety of engaging and diverse texts, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction genres. Our approach incorporates embedded grammar within writing lessons to enhance literacy skills. Each unit is structured to encourage children to write with intention and to incorporate a spectrum of previously taught language features. Children are provided with the opportunity to craft sustained pieces of writing across different curriculum subjects, showcasing their comprehension and application of learned concepts. Our focus is on developing proficient writers equipped to communicate effectively in a range of contexts.

At Down Ampney, we use the Sounds-Write phonics programme for our phonics teaching. All staff, including support staff are fully trained in delivering Sounds-Write lessons through external CPD. Phonics is taught across all year groups from Reception through to Year 6 and by implementing Sounds-Write, we ensure that children embark on their reading journey positively. We integrate spelling rules, etymology, and morphology content within phonics lessons as well as vocabulary relevant to our curriculum units. We provide tailored interventions to support children in keeping up and we conduct termly assessments to pinpoint areas requiring improvement and to ensure children make rapid progress.

Our approach to teaching English includes a focus on promoting a language-rich curriculum through initiatives such as the oracy competition, Look Who’s Talking. Pupils are also presented with opportunities to refine public speaking skills through activities such as the Mock Trials, National Storytelling Week and the Poetry Slam, facilitating comprehensive language development.

If you would like further information about the individual disciplines, please click on the link below.