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Teaching and Learning

Presently, Learning and Teaching is based on the objectives specified in the National Curriculum and through the use of quality texts to increase depth of learning.  Specific skills taken from the National Literacy Strategy will be taught and rehearsed, as appropriate, during a designated hour of Literacy, each day for 4 days.  On day 5 (Friday unless time constraints do not allow), Learning and Teaching is based on Ros Wilson’s ‘Big Writing’ where an extended Literacy session is delivered covering grammar skills and giving an opportunity for an extended period of writing. A specific ‘Basic Skills’ session is also included once a week where children develop key skills linked to VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation). This is subject to change with the implementation of a new Curriculum.

Cross-Curricular Literacy Opportunities

The skills that children are taught in Literacy underpin all other subjects.  They enable pupils to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work.  Teachers will always make cross-curricular links wherever appropriate and will plan for pupils to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have acquired during Literacy to other areas of the curriculum.


Guided Reading is taught daily through a carousel approach.  Children will be given the opportunity throughout the week to engage in a number of Reading activities including a session with both their Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant.  Texts and activities will be linked to the children's current topics and areas of learning in class to help immerse them in the stories upon which their writing is them focussed around.

As part of home reading, children should be selecting and reading a book appropriate to their level at least three times a week.  We encourage parents/carers to hear their child read unless they are at a level where the pupils can assess their own reading.  Feedback on home reading is made by parents/carers or pupils within the Home Reading Records.

Power of Reading

The Power of Reading is a whole school development project, which engages children and teachers in the literacy curriculum with high quality books and creative teaching approaches.

What difference does it make?

  • Data shows the project is effective in raising children’s achievement and progress in reading and writing.
  • In project schools children in all year groups have made nearly twice national expected progress in reading and writing.
  • In the project schools the increased rate of progress for boys has narrowed the attainment gap between boys and girls.
  • Project data shows children are developing more positive attitudes to reading.
  • Teachers are using creative teaching approaches to engage learners in the literacy curriculum.
  • Teachers’ deeper knowledge of children’s books, combined with innovative teaching approaches, increases children’s enjoyment of reading and writing and raises achievement.

Taken from www.clpe.org.uk website.


Intervention groups are set up for those children struggling with their phonics learning and this additional support continues from Chatsworth Infant School, with small group or one to one sessions.  In addition, we have access to The Pioneer Lead Academy Teacher who is a phonics specialist.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

A good spelling programme gradually builds pupils’ spelling vocabulary, therefore when children enter Key Stage 2 they will have discreet Support for Spelling lessons at least three times a week. During these lessons children begin to understand the principles underpinning word construction, recognise how to apply these principles in their writing and develop the skills for proof reading. In Year 6 children are required to take a Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test. We endeavour to prepare children for this test as early as possible and therefore make spelling and grammar a key priority in all curriculum areas.

Drama and Role Play

At Burnt Oak Junior School we strongly believe that the more experiences children have, the better writers they become. We therefore place a strong emphasis on bringing drama and role play into our English lessons allowing the children to recreate those fantasy worlds that they so often read about.  Hot seating, teacher in role and freeze frames are just an example of the types of activities your children will experience through our diverse English curriculum. 

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