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English - Mrs Whitehead

At Balliol Primary School, Reading is prioritised as a key tool for life.  We believe that a love of and an ability to Read is a key indicator of success in the future.  We understand that if pupils are not able to read to an age-appropriate level and fluency, they will be incapable of accessing the rest of the curriculum, and they will fall rapidly behind their peers.  Therefore, we are determined that every pupil will learn to read competently and fluently.  In addition, we believe that the pupils of Balliol Primary School have a right to read engaging texts anywhere, anytime. 


We believe that success in writing is partly determined by your experience of reading.  A child who has heard many stories and is familiar with a wide range of conventions in different text types will be able to draw on them in their own writing.  We aim to provide a wide range of high-quality model texts and a rich vocabulary, that pupils can accurately apply and creatively innovate from.  Furthermore, we aim to provide frequent, purposeful and varied opportunities to write across the curriculum, enabling the children to make judgements concerning the tone, style, format and vocabulary appropriate to the audience.   

English - Reading and Writing Intent, Implementation and Impact statement

Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening Progression Document

Our English progression document ensures that our English curriculum is well planned and sequenced so that knowledge and skills are built upon in each year group.  Our Key Stage 1 curriculum is rooted in basic skills so that all learners can access the broader Key Stage 2 curriculum.  

English Talk for Writing genre long-term plan

Our long-term English plan ensures that all fiction and non-fiction genres are mapped out across each year group.  High quality model texts, linked to class topics, model the language, vocabulary, structure, punctuation and grammar that we expect our pupils to independently apply in their own writing.  

Talk for Writing Toolkit Progression document

This guidance shows the progression of features to be covered in each year groups toolkits for fiction and non-fiction genres.  Staff use this guidance to select from and adapt, according to the needs of their pupils and particular texts that have been chosen for each unit.  Each year group's teacher will incorporate the work covered in the previous year to ensure that it is continuously used to build children's active repertoire of writer's tools over time.  These are tools and not rules, meaning that pupils understand that these tools represent choices for creating effects and the appropriateness of any of these to a piece of writing must be judged on whether or not it has the intended effect on the reader, not on whether it is present in a piece of writing.  

Language features progression guide

Balliol Primary Book Spine

Each year group can choose from a list of high quality, age appropriate texts.  With the 'Rights of a Reader' in mind, pupils are actively involved in choosing which texts are shared.  This list includes classic and contemporary literature, picture books, poetry and texts linked to their topics.  Some of these texts have been chosen to help pupils understand Britishness and our Balliol values.  These texts are used to teach specific reading skills in Reading lessons or for Reading for Pleasure lessons.

Parent/carer Reading workshop for Key stage 2 2019-20
Parent/carer Reading workshop for Key Stage 1 2019-20
Parent/carer Reading workshop for Early Years 2019-20
World Book Day 2020 parent workshop - Home-school Reading

Bring back bed time stories! Information about how sharing a book can help build excellent bedtime routines.

Balliol's Reading Ambassadors

Our Reading Ambassadors have a very important role in school.


There are two key purposes for the Reading Ambassadors: 

  • Support younger children in developing their reading skills; 

  • Promote and share a love for reading. 


Each Reading Ambassador has a younger child to read with one lunch time a week. During this time they:

  • Listen to the younger child read;

  • Ask questions about the book so that they can help the younger understand;

  • Model reading by reading a book to the younger child; 

  • Add a comment to the younger child’s home school reading record to communicate the reading from the session with staff and parents;

  • Talk positively and share their love for reading with the younger child. 


Reading Ambassadors also have time in the library one lunch time a week in order to organise books, make book recommendations and develop ideas on how to share a love for reading with the school further. 


These are the Spring 2020 book recommendations from some of our Reading Ambassadors:

Ali's book recommendation

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Emily's book recommendation

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Jessica's book recommendation

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Charlotte's book recommendation

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Reading Ambassador's bed time stories
Useful websites