Literacy at Firthmoor Primary School


A key priority in Firthmoor Primary School is for every child to develop a love of reading. There are many opportunities for children of all ages to read a range of fiction/non-fiction texts.

Daily phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1 follow the Letters & Sounds programme with additional intervention sessions to ensure all pupils acquire the basics to support reading fluency. Reading scheme books for home and school reinforce the different phases of phonic learning.

Reading scheme books throughout the school include Oxford Reading Tree and Project X (Oxford University Press) as well as a wide range of fiction books from leading authors which are available in each classroom and the school library. In addition, Y6 librarians run a lending library for recommended reads, which is open during playtimes. Children can also access age-related books from the recommended Book Trust list which can be signed in and out on a daily basis.

Non-fiction books that support curriculum topics for each year group can be found on subject shelves along the main corridors. Staff and pupils alike enjoy using these books to extend their knowledge of specific topics. Positioned around the school, is a reading ramble. Pictures and text are changed frequently to encourage pupils to develop their reading skills as they move around the school.

In addition to daily literacy lessons, short Topic Text sessions allow pupils to apply their comprehension skills across all curriculum subjects, whilst introducing and developing subject specific vocabulary.

Reading clubs and initiatives include: a daily ‘Family Reading’ session during Breakfast Club, Y5 ‘Bookworm Club’ and Y4 ‘Story Hunters’ during lunchtimes and a weekly after-school club for Y6 pupils.


Over the course of a year, children are exposed to a wide variety of texts to support the many different genres of writing taught. These range from: stories, diaries, letters, chronological and non-chronological reports to poetry and play scripts.

During the planning stage, teachers model the writing process and children learn to make notes in preparation for independent work. All pupils are taught how to self-edit and improve their writing whilst older children are encouraged to participate in peer assessment. Dictionaries, thesauruses and classroom ‘Word Wallls’ enhance spelling and develop vocabulary.

Marking ladders support the writing process, reminding children of their targets and promoting independence. Pink and green highlighters assist pupils in identifying positive aspects of a child’s work whilst providing editing tasks.

The development of a neat, legible handwriting style begins with a focus on developing children’s fine motor skills and accurate letter formation in the Early Years. All children are encouraged to take a pride in the presentation of their written work with the introduction of a joined handwriting style by the end of KS1.

Speaking & Listening

We view the development of good speaking and listening skills as a priority in ensuring that our pupils become effective communicators.

Speaking and listening is embedded in every lesson throughout every year group. Children are taught the characteristics of good speaking and listening in PSHE lessons, circle time activities and as a part of general classroom lessons where partner work allows children to share their ideas. Participation in drama lessons, assemblies and whole school productions provides further opportunities for our pupils to develop good speaking and listening skills in front of a wider audience


Early spelling is linked with Letters and Sounds phonic teaching. From Y1, spelling lists and common exception words are displayed in each classroom. The ‘5-4-3-2-1’ minute approach is used to allow children to practise these spellings on a daily basis. Spelling patterns are also taught within Literacy lessons.

Children are encouraged to self-edit their work and correct any misspelt words.

The DfE National Curriculum Document sets out the framework for the National Curriculum at key stages 1 and 2 and states:

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words

The word-lists for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the 100 words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of key stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate. Spelling lists are sent home with pupils on a weekly basis as part of their homework.

Spelling Word List – Year 3-4

Spelling Word List – Year 5-6

The links below detail the statutory spelling work for each year group(s)

Spelling Work – Year 1

Spelling Work – Year 2

Spelling Work – Year 3-4

Spelling Work – Year 5-6