reading, phonics, writing and spelling.

How we teach phonics and reading:

Phonics is taught daily throughout EYFS and Years 1 and 2 and later if required, in a systematic, multi-sensory way.  Our pupils learn sounds, (phonics) by singing, moving, listening, writing, repeating, using letters, making shapes in the air, looking at pictures, playing games, using computers and many other ways using their 5 senses. Close monitoring and continuous regrouping ensures continual diagnostic assessment.  If children fall behind, they are given specific small group or 1:1 support.  We use the validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme - Twinkl Phonics This ensures that our approach is rigorous, systemic and endeavours to achieve strong results for all pupils.  Our reading scheme, “Phonics Bug”, follows the same format and progression as Twinkl Phonics. 

Phonics is only the first step to cracking the code of reading and writing.  Children also need to be able to recall words that cannot be sounded out and be able to understand what they read even when reading at speed. (fluency)  This is also recorded (as common exception words and words per minute) in Supporting Learning Books.

Comprehension skills are developed through discussion, with adults, individually and in small groups or as a class.  Group and Whole Class Reading sessions take place regularly for younger pupils with at least weekly Whole Class Reading sessions (often using “VIPERS” as a text analysis tool) as children move through years 3 to 6.

Individual reading takes place daily and adults listen to children read throughout the week. at Collingwood with “Reading Buddies” for some children.  For younger pupils reading books is closely matched to phonics ability (Coloured band books).  Older children are encouraged to read a range of genres and authors and record these in their Supporting Learning Books.  Library books are completely free choice, aimed at fostering personal interest and enjoyment, so may not be something the child is able to read alone.

Our 3 O’Clock Read happens across the school every day (unless a P.E. day) and is specifically aimed at widening and developing pupils understanding of vocabulary and encouraging a love of reading.

Over the course of each term children read many different genres of text and learn at least one, one off by heart using actions, sound effects and drama.

The reading statements your child is currently working on and other personalised assessments can be found in your child’s "Supporting Learning Book" which should be kept in their book bag.


for older pupils


what to ask your child


100 best books!


word lists Yrs (1-2)


word lists (Yrs 1-5)

How we teach writing.

Writing is taught in many lessons as well as English.  We use “Cold tasks” at the beginning of a new genre of to assess what children can already do and “hot tasks” at the end to evidence how much progress they have made.   In between, we analyse texts, looking at structure, vocabulary,  grammar, spelling, punctuation, genre specific features and effectiveness.  Children generate then use “success criteria” to self-assess and “purple polish” (improve) their own and each other’s writing noting what is “tickled pink” (good) and “green for growth” (needs developing).  

Over the course of each term children write many different genres of text and are often given the opportunities to writing their own text based on what they have read.

How we teach Handwriting.  Pupils are taught “upstroke” from EYFS, enabling easier joining in later years. “Letterjoin” is used in KS1.

Which genre you child is currently working on can be found in your child’s "Supporting Learning Book" which should be kept in their book bag.

How we teach spelling.

Spelling patterns are taught and used in lessons throughout the week.  (“No Nonsense Spelling” and National Curriculum exception words and age related spelling lists).  Pupils from Yr 1 upwards complete weekly spelling tests containing a number of words relating to both the current pattern and high frequency/exception words. There is an emphasis on pupils ability to recall and retain spellings.

Your child's spelling tests can be found in your child’s "Supporting Learning Book" which should be kept in their book bag, so that you can see the progress they are making and support them with any that are incorrect.




spelling lists 

(Yrs 1-2)


How to help your child with spelling


word lists (Yrs 1-6)

Writing-Grammar-progression-at-Collingwood (1).pdf

What we teach (grammar and punctuation)