We place a great emphasis on the development of literacy throughout the school. Children are encouraged to speak with clarity, developing a broad vocabulary in a range of situations from small informal groups to performances for a large audience. There are a range of approaches in place for the teaching of reading: a clear phonic programme (using synthetic phonics), whole - word recognition and predicting words through understanding the picture and textual context of books. The phonic programme is complemented by an emphasis on a stimulating reading environment: a love of reading is promoted through a careful choice of texts to be used within literacy lessons, other books that are read to the children and through whole school events (such as book weeks and the book fair).

We use a number of reading schemes to support developing readers and to ensure that children have a wide range of reading material. Children take their books home regularly and parents are asked to read with them every day. With pre-readers it is important to read to them; with children at an early stage of reading it is very important to hear them read a small amount each day. Repeating the reading of familiar texts is an important tool to develop confidence (though a little boring to the listener!). Parents may be invited to record the reading done at home (and add comments, where appropriate) in the child's reading diary.

As children develop towards fluency, it is important to encourage them to read with expression and to begin to discuss what they are reading. As they become fluent it becomes more important to encourage them to discuss their reading matter in more detail - to discuss character, setting, use of language or to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the different stories they have read. They will need to be able to understand beyond the literal, draw out the full meaning of what they have read, recognise and comment on different genres.

Children who are fluent readers are given many opportunities to develop their reading, both for pleasure and for learning across the curriculum. They use the library regularly which is well maintained and updated with the support of parents through an annual grant from the PSA and a dedicated team of library helpers.

In the early stages of becoming writers, children are encouraged to 'have a go'. They will develop through an emergent writing stage as they gradually learn to apply their growing knowledge of phonics and begin to use word banks and dictionaries. Spelling rules are taught alongside handwriting. Children are given the opportunity to develop their writing through a range of genres - stories, poetry, factual accounts, reporting and persuasive writing.