Peter Gladwin Primary School, Brighton and Hove

English (including writing, reading and phonics)

The teaching and learning of English is an integral part of our curriculum at Peter Gladwin.  We believe that effective communication is the basis of successful learning across all curriculum subjects. As well as carefully planned opportunities to develop English skills, knowledge and understanding, (following the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2020, Development Matters 2020 and the National Curriculum for English 2013), our creative approach allows the teaching and learning of English to span all other subjects through our topic-based approach, creating exciting opportunities to further the children’s understanding. We base our teaching of reading and writing around high-quality texts that promote equality and diversity, along with a rich vocabulary to help provide the cultural capital our children need to succeed in life. Alongside their reading and writing, children develop their speaking and listening skills; wide-ranging cross-curricular opportunities for discussion, role-play and drama enhance this key element of learning.

Peter Gladwin children are provided with a world of rich opportunities through which to develop a love of reading, writing and the dramatic arts. They benefit from a wide variety of first-hand experiences, in and beyond the classroom, such as Brighton Festival ‘Young City Reads’, ‘Adopt-an-Author’ initiatives, visits from aspirational speakers and theatre companies, school performances and productions, assemblies and educational visits.

  Please use the following links to find out more information about writing, reading & phonics.

Phonics and Reading


At Peter Gladwin, we value reading as a key life skill and believe it is the foundation of learning. We are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. Children’s reading journeys begin from when they enter EYFS through the teaching of phonics and exposure to high quality age-appropriate texts. An interest in books is developed by sharing songs, stories and rhymes, fostering opportunities to talk and re-enact stories or follow children’s interests through information books. Books are shared with the children daily; children are motivated to look at and talk about story and information books in their child-initiated play by utilising books in all areas of the provision. Moving into KS1, children continue to build on their reading skills and begin to develop greater independence when accessing a variety of texts. As they enter KS2, children build and develop their comprehension skills, further enabling them to appreciate a wide range of high-quality texts. Through these carefully-selected texts, they develop a love and appreciation of reading across fiction and non-fiction, poetry, traditional tales, plays and texts which reflect our children's different realities, enabling them to develop fluency and confidence, seeing themselves as readers and as writers.

By adopting a consistent approach to the teaching of reading, linked to the EYFS and National Curriculum, we aim for all our children to develop the skills and confidence to read across all subject areas.


At Peter Gladwin our motto is ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’. We believe reading is key for academic and future life success and so, to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading, we implement the following:

  • We teach phonics through 'Twinkl Phonics' -  a DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programme whereby children learn letter sounds and learn to blend them together to read and write words. As part of this, children have daily phonics lessons where they participate in speaking, listening, reading and spelling activities. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.
  • IN EYFS/KS1 the children take home a levelled book (Rhino Readers) that matches the phonic stage they are being taught in school and the child is encouraged to read this independently. They also take a home a book which they can share with their family at home on a regular basis.
  • Through quality first teaching, children learn in daily reading lessons, where they engage with a range of high quality books and demonstrate their understanding and thinking about the texts
  • We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school. All children from EYFS to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home. We place high value on reading for pleasure.
  • Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could mean sharing a whole-class book, a topic-related text or a child-selected book, depending on year group.
  • Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading ages. The reading area is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
  • Throughout the school high quality books linked to termly topics are used to create a series of engaging lessons.
    Within each class, the children are encouraged to develop their key and subject-specific vocabulary through focused discussions. Class assemblies take place regularly, giving children the opportunity to share and celebrate their learning.

At Peter Gladwin, we understand that children have different learning needs, therefore throughout the school children are exposed to a wide range of reading strategies to support their reading development. We use elements of the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) ‘Power of Reading’ teaching sequences in our English lessons. This resource uses quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to support teachers in developing a high quality literacy curriculum and fostering a whole-school love of reading and writing. 

We believe the home school partnership is essential in developing a child’s reading engagement, ability and stamina. Children are encouraged to read at least three times a week at home. At the early stages of the children’s reading journey in EYFS and KS1, staff communicate with parents in Home Reading Records to ensure that the children read regularly.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of KS1. This way, children focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of each Key Stage; these results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. Teachers assess children regularly against the Reading Key Performance Indicators (Years 1-6) and against the Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify gaps in learning. Teachers also complete regular phonic assessments to track and monitor progress.

 We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds which books open up to them and actively promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors, to review books objectively and to comprehend and critique what they read. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles, and enables children to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.

By the time children leave Peter Gladwin School they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. Our reading curriculum develops the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.

Please see the links below for more information about our approach to teaching phonics and early reading and twinkl phonics scheme.



Through our core texts and topic-based learning, we aim to inspire children to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the spoken and written word. Writing tasks are purposeful, with a sense of audience at their heart. We set high expectations for all children to take pride in their work, focusing on handwriting and presentation alongside imaginative content. The children are supported in weaving their growing vocabulary, spelling and grammar knowledge into the compositional content of their writing. 

Our approaches to teaching writing ensure that all children can:

  • write creatively and accurately regardless of purpose, topic or genre.
  • expand and enrich their vocabulary.
  • develop their writing skills by learning how to plan, revisit and evaluate their own and others’ writing for different purposes and for different audiences. At least once
  • per school year, each class draft, write, design, make, illustrate and publish their own class books to be shared with the school community.  
  • develop a love for a wide range of writing genres, through access to a variety of quality texts in the school environment, in lessons and in class book nooks.
  • become reflective, motivated, curious and resilient learners.
  • develop as writers through our ‘progression of skills’ approach to oracy, composition, spelling, punctuation and grammar.


At Peter Gladwin, excellence in writing starts with reading. Every child has high-quality teacher-led reading input at least four times a week in order to accelerate progress, not only in reading but also in vocabulary, spelling and grammar as the children’s exposure to texts increases. We subscribe to the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Power of Reading initiative, and our teaching staff are trained in the use of this programme, along with multiple approaches to the teaching of writing. This resource uses quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to support teachers in developing a high quality literacy curriculum and fostering a whole-school love of reading and writing. 

Writing across the primary phase is focused around a key high-quality text as stimulus. The children immerse themselves in the text, discovering the narrative, language and organisational features. Teaching and learning then focuses on building key skills, using the text as a scaffold to support and inspire inventive and independent writing. The wide variety of text types (contemporary and classic fiction, non-fiction & information books, poetry, traditional tales, plays and other texts which reflect our children's different realities) support our children in writing for a range of purposes and in a range of styles.

Working walls and focused resources support quality-first teaching and encourage ‘give it a go’ growth mindset approaches to writing for children of all abilities. Whole-class teaching is supported by small group interventions to support and challenge writers of all abilities and to meet the needs of all learners. Our highly-skilled and knowledgeable teachers are able to formatively assess pupils’ learning and track progress through analysis of their oracy, reading and writing. A wide range of assessment information is collated and analysed by staff, enabling identification of learning gaps, and celebrations of progress, effort and success. 

We believe that home-school links are vital, and we always welcome support from families to share with us any reading and writing that happens in and around the home. Our teaching staff are knowledgeable and avid readers and are always happy to recommend and lend texts to suit and enthral your child. 


By the end of Key Stage Two, Peter Gladwin writers have developed:

  • a passion for of reading, referencing a wide range of different authors from different literary traditions and genres.
  • a love of writing, expressing their opinions, imaginations and creativity in writing that is well- structured, coherent and interesting to read.
  • the ability to express their opinions articulately, understanding how to clearly and appropriately engage with, agree with or disagree with others.
  • confidence in their writing abilities, having made the best possible progress through consistent quality-first teaching and a sense of audience. They know that they
  • are well on their way to reaching their potential as writers.
  • the confidence to make brave choices, experiment with and take risks in their writing.
  • the knowledge that their efforts are valued and their opinions valid. They have been given the opportunity to find their voice, and have been encouraged to use it.