At Woodlands Primary School we believe that literacy and oracy are essential life skills. We
aim to develop children who are confident speakers, listeners, readers and writers and who
can utilise their skills to communicate effectively. English is at the heart of our curriculum.

Spoken Language

“Reading and writing float on a sea of talk” – James Britton, 1970

Spoken language is a pre-cursor to the development of reading and writing. Teachers strive
to introduce children to new vocabulary by modelling its use, and correct grammatical usage,
in their own talk.
Children are given frequent opportunities to talk through their thinking and to discuss books
and their own ideas for writing. Older children are taught how to discuss and debate ideas
Opportunities for drama, both watching and writing/performing in role-play etc. are provided
across the school.

English as an additional language
We are fortunate to benefit from a wide and varied number of languages spoken by the
pupils, families and staff at Woodlands Primary School. Whilst we speak English in school,
we encourage parents to continue to provide opportunities for their children to continue
developing an understanding of their family’s first language.


The 2014 English curriculum divides reading into word reading and comprehension (both
listening and reading).
Word reading (decoding) is where children apply their understanding of phonics to enable
them to blend individual sounds in order to read the whole word. This is called ‘learning to
Understanding (comprehension) what they read is also important. This is called ‘reading to
We use the following acronym to develop questions that challenge and support children’s

Vocabulary: this allows children to understand why the author has made
certain word choices and explore what words mean thus
expanding vocabulary

Inference: this encourages children to use clues from the text and their

understanding of the world to answer a question

Prediction: these questions encourage children to make predictions about

what will happen next based on clues in the text

Explain: these questions encourage children to explore how the content

is related to each other, themes and patterns or how
information contributes to the overall effect

Retrieve: the answers to these questions will be found within the text.
These questions encourage use of scanning and skimming

Summarise/Sequence: this asks children to summarise information from more than

one paragraph or sequence events in a text

In addition to teaching reading at Woodlands we also believe in the power of reading for
pleasure. We learn through books in English lessons as part of our talk for writing and the
Power of Reading teaching – this is where our writing is led by a powerful text to engage and
inspire writing. At Woodlands we value reading; understanding the importance of this life skill
and the joy it can bring.

At Woodlands Primary School we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent
readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination
of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach
that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.
We follow the Letters and Sounds document’s principles and practice across the EYFS and
Key Stage One – this is supported by teachers using elements from Jolly Phonics and
Phonics Play to support the effective delivery of phonics lessons by catering for all children’s
needs. In Key Stage Two interventions are based around the use of No Nonsense Phonics.
All Year One children take the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ - a statutory assessment required
by legislation. Those who do not meet the pass mark are given support and intervention
programmes in Year Two, to provide them with sufficient knowledge and understanding to
re-take the Phonics Screening Check and obtain a pass mark. Those children who do not
obtain the required level set by the Phonics Screening Check will receive phonics
intervention as required in Key Stage 2.
Children in Nursery are taught Phase 1 though a differentiated approach within the setting
on a daily basis. As children enter Reception from various pre-school settings, Phase 1
continues in the first weeks of the Autumn Term in Reception. As the children become
confident in Phase 1, Phase 2 sounds are introduced.
Children in Reception are taught a discrete phonics session daily. The driving ethos is for all
children to complete Phase 4 by the end of Reception and have a sound understanding in
order to start Phase 5 by the start of Autumn Term 2 in Year 1. Children are introduced to
the “tricky words” and aim to read and write the high frequency words for Phases 2 to 4
before they enter Year 1.
Children in Year 1 have access to high quality daily phonics sessions for twenty minutes.
The underlying aim of Year 1 should be to ensure all children have completed Phases 4 and
5 and be ready to begin Phase 6 upon entry into Year 2. The focus in year 2 shifts to spelling
and applying phonic knowledge. Children should aim to read and write all the common
exception words for Years 1 and 2.

We have now set up a scheme that our parents can access at home

Follow this link to  Oxford Owl 

To login click on the button labeled 'My Class Login'

Login is: woodlandsyear (followed by your childs year group eg. woodlandsyear4)

Password is: Woodlands

Files to Download

Contact the School

Woodlands Community Primary School

Hollybank Road, Birkenhead


CH41 2SY

Mrs B. Baker (Office Manager)

Tel: 0151 647 8406

Student Login