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Whole School Writing Day - School on Saturdays!

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The Big Reveal

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Watch the children's reactions to the Big Reveal!

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Extreme Reading Competition

Wow! What an amazing response to our "Extreme reading" competition with over 80 fabulous entries. Mrs Wain, the chair of the Governing body, had a tough job judging!

So in 1st place it was Evie Jones, 2nd Paige Elliot, 3rd Liam Hill who each received a book voucher

Runners up included: Amelia Meakin-Troke, Lincoln Ashley, Poppii Argyle and Kacey Hartin who received an Easter egg. 

All the entrants received a certificate and a creme egg. Thank you so much for your participation in this competition. We clearly do have lots of children who are passionate about reading! Here are the winning entries along with the fabulous display.

Congratulations to these children – this year’s "Reading Champions". They have been nominated in recognition of their reading.


Aliya Jones-Golding - FS1

Aliya loves reading and sharing stories with everyone. She always tells really interesting stories using the pictures in the books, and her story knowledge to help her. The stories she tells always have a beginning, middle and an end.


Alfie Green - FS1

Alfie enjoys reading to his friends. He encourages others to join in and read with him. He uses the pictures and his imagination when he is reading to us. Great work, Alfie!


Abdullah Bilal -Lions

Abdullah reads a lot at home and is making fantastic progress. He can confidently blend words and sentences and is enjoying talking about the stories he reads.


Jack Swann – Lions

Jack has made lots of progress with his reading since September. He doesn’t always find it easy but he is eager to keep practising both at home and at school.


Elliott Douglas – Tigers

Elliott is working really hard with his reading and reads lots at home. He is eager to learn and uses his phonics skills well. Elliott shows good understanding of what we has read and can tell you about the stories.


Paige Rodgers – Tigers

Paige is starting to blossom with her reading. She is building her confidence with sounding and blending and always reads at home. She loves to listen to stories and can answer questions on what has happened.


Lola Guest – Bobcats

Lola reads with so much enthusiasm and confidence. She uses great expression and is always wanting to challenge herself. She enjoys talking about the story and asks interesting questions.


Lewis Redfern - Bobcats

Lewis is a very confident and fluent reader. He enjoys reading lots of different stories at home and finding out new information. Lewis loves to read and this really shows in school. This is reflected in his outstanding progress.


Isabelle Spencer – Pumas

Isabelle shows great enthusiasm in her independent reading. She reads almost every day at home and is making excellent progress.


Aiva Bino – Pumas

Aiva has made fantastic progress with her reading this year. We are very proud of her!


Alexander Kelly – Panthers

Alexander is always a pleasure to hear read because he reads with great enthusiasm. He enjoys talking about the books he has read in a lot of detail.


Thomas Baker – Panthers

Thomas loves reading independently and is engrossed in the story during guided reading sessions. He reads with expression and makes characters come alive.


Lyla Hill – Wildcats

Lyla is a wonderful reader, I could listen to her all day. She really brings stories to life with her character voices. She appreciates humour in stories and makes me laugh with her comments.


Oscar Garton -Wildcats

Miss Adams is so impressed with Oscar’s reading skills! He has lovely expression and enjoys talking about books he has read. What a super enthusiastic reader he is!


Poppii Argyle - Lynx

Poppii is our champion because of the tremendous effort she always puts into her reading. She reads every day at school and then practises even more when she gets home each day. She might not always find it easy but always put 100% effort into it!


Heidi Taylor - Lynx

Heidi is our champion as she works so hard at reading all of the time. She reads a lot at home and really tries hard to discuss what she reads in a thoughtful and interesting way. She asks lots of questions to find out more about what she has read and is a super reading role model!


Eva Sweeting - Cougars

Eva has a real passion for reading. She reads for pleasure in her free time and really enjoys reading a wide range of books. She also helps others with their reading.


Pacha Feetham - Cougars

Pacha reads a lot during the week. She has a natural reading voice and is very expressive when reading. Her contributions in guided reading are exemplary.


Ethan Toon – Jaguars

Over the first term of year 5 I have watched Ethan’s love of books grow and grow. He will now ask to read a book in class and moans at the end of a reading session! Ethan loves anything linked to pirates and would read about them all day if he could!


Heidi Dallison - Jaguars

Heidi is one of the first people in class to come and tell me about the books she is reading. Her enthusiasm for reading is infectious and she often recommends books for me to read myself. This love of reading is turning her into a creative writer. Nevers lose your passion, Heidi.


Amber Wyatt – Leopards

Amber has such a love for books and passion for reading - she would read all day if she could! Amber uses her reading to enable her to write amazing stories and poems inspired by her favourite authors.


Sarah Holland – Leopards

Sarah works so hard on her reading and has made great progress so far this year. She enjoys regular visits to the library, especially choosing animal stories.

English is one of the core subjects and is broken down into components, these will familiar to you. They are: Writing, Reading, Grammar & Punctuation, Spelling and Handwriting.

All these areas are covered in a week. There is currently a strong emphasis on a child's understanding of Grammar and Punctuation in writing. Reading is a skill that children practise daily at Dalestorth we aim to instil a love of reading and books. As parents and carers your help in acting as 'reading role-models' is crucial. More detail is provided below, of all the areas of English.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 children have an English session every day and an additional 20-30 minutes of work on Letters and Sounds. Both sessions follow the objectives set down in the National Curriculum for English. Letters and Sounds is broken down into a series of phases. Children practise handwriting and work on their fine-motor skills through a range of activities. Guided reading sessions take place daily and opportunities are provided for regular 1:1 reading.


Key Stage 2

Children from Years 3 to 6 have 4 writing sessions and a Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling/ Handwriting session. Guided Reading takes place daily and includes a reading comprehension session.



Letters and Sounds

These sessions start in Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 children continue to work through the phases. These sessions take place with children, grouped by their current phonic ability. This sessions are run by both teachers and experienced Teaching Assistants. Details of the sounds and spelling patterns are provided in a link below. Many ‘Tricky’ words are looked at in these session, these are also known as common exception words and cannot be decoded using a knowledge of sounds and corresponding graphemes.


Writing work come from a range of starting points. Work linked to Topics we cover as well as work linked to events or shared texts in class. Objectives come from the National Curriculum and are specific to year groups. Talk for Writing is a feature and is the skill of drafting, editing and proof-reading work based on a model text.

We aim to provide a broad range of text types across school. Grammar and punctuation are included within the teaching of writing as they are intrinsic components to effective writing. The three areas of composition and effect, text structure and organisation and sentence structure and punctuation are developed across years and text types.


In Lower school, children have a diary to track and support reading at home. The expectation is that children will read with an adult at home at least three times a week. In addition to this reading diary, all children have a school reading record to record progress when heard at school. We aim to hear all children at least once a week in Key Stage 1. Also coming home may be Key Words, this are a limited number of words to secure.

Books that are read in class and taken home are banded following the nationally recognised progression through coloured bands (Pink through to Lime). Beyond Lime the bands continue as stories become longer and the language, punctuation and themes become more complex.

In the Key Stage 1 library we have a broad range of titles from a range of publishers. Children are expected to read a range of these from an appropriate book band before they are moved up a band by a member of staff. One of the key signals that children are confident at a given book band is fluency. Other skills are covered on the book marks provided. Children who are struggling with reading will be given additional support- this may be simple more 1:1 reading or a programme such as Switch-On Reading.

Guided Reading continues in Key Stage 1. Pupils work with an adult in ability groups to read, discuss and respond to a range of texts. Children also work independently on skills linked to reading.


In KS2, children have a diary to track and support reading at home. The expectation is that children will read with an adult at home at least once a week. Even though we encourage independence as children progress through school, it is vital that an adult at home takes an interest and supports reading at home. In addition to this reading diary, all children have a school reading record to record progress when heard at school. We aim to hear all children at every fortnight in Key Stage 2. Teaching Assistants, Students, Parent Volunteers and Teachers will all listen to children read as and when time allows.  Children should change their books as and when they finish a title. We encourage to read a broad range of titles, author and text type. Again, the children progress through the book bands.  Moving on from Lime there are six more bands to progress through; these are White through to Black. The texts  become longer and the language, punctuation and themes become more complex. The key signal that children are confident at a given book band is fluency. Children who are struggling with reading will be given additional support and will need additional reading at home.


In Key Stage 2 Guided Reading is carried out four times a week for half an hour. If a group is working with an adult then the focus is looking at key reading assessment skills related to the text they have been given. Those working independently are looking at a range of challenging and stimulating tasks linked to the book they are reading. One of the key purposes is for children to read books in completion and respond to these texts through directed discussions. The assessment points feed into the children’s understanding of how texts are structured, how and why authors write and a growing awareness of how this will allow them to develop as writers.


The books read in Guided Reading are at an instructional level and should be a band above their class reading book.

Grammar and Spelling

At Key Stage 1, much work is done through the Letters and Sounds scheme to develop children’s spelling choices. The teaching of grammar is integrated within English sessions and then consolidated during writing sessions.

The terminology of Grammar is an important aspect to the teaching of this subject. Our aim is to develop the following skills: knowledge and understanding, and ability to recognise different grammatical features and then the confidence to use these skills in their own writing. We use a range of resources to deliver these skills.

All KS2 children have a spelling lesson and a test once a week. The spelling patterns are set down in the appendices below. Spelling patterns and rules are looked at and learnt to help pupils make informed spelling choices when wishing to write an unfamiliar word.

Please see the Grammar glossary below.




At Dalestorth we follow the Pen Pals programme of handwriting, this scheme is used across school. Work starts in the Foundation Stage on letter formation and Key Stage 1 continues to secure correct letter formation and improve fine-motor control skills through a variety of activities. Joining starts in Year 1 and continues through KS1 covering a range of joins and refining previous joins. Some children benefit from additional support and intervention groups target these children. Good posture and pencil grip are continuously reinforced. Through Years 3 and 4 handwriting joins are concluded, refined and consolidated. All children should be joining  and developing their own style. They work in pencil during these sessions. They may earn a "pen license" graduating on to writing in pen . Pen is used all the time in Years 5 and 6. Support is given for those who still struggle with the control needed; this may be as simple as a different pen or pen gripper.

National English Curriculum

Letters and sounds parent's guide