Dundee Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4BS

01782 235711




'You learn to write better by reading. You learn to read better by writing. Reading and writing work together to improve your ability to think.' Jamie Hanman


At Etruscan we teach pupils to write and speak fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, when they are reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading, writing, speaking and listening, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Children learn to read in order for them to be able to read to learn as well as reading for pleasure. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.


Reading Rationale

At Etruscan, we believe it is important for children to develop a love of reading and to become lifelong readers. We teach reading through children developing an awareness of print, systematic teaching of phonics as well as developing sight vocabulary, decoding and comprehension skills. We use a mixture of reading schemes and publishers, including Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree and Pearson as well as texts from a variety of authors to encourage a breadth of reading across poetry, fiction and non-fiction genres. Children are taught phonics through the Read, Write Inc phonics scheme. From Reception, children are provided with 1-1 reading books to take home which are matched to their phonic stage. Once they have completed the phonics programme, they take home books matched to their reading age. 

In Reception and KS1, children receive an hour phonics lesson each day. Once they have completed Read Write Inc phonics, children in Year 2 then begin Read Write Inc Comprehension and Read Write Inc Spellings. In KS2, children take part in whole class shared reading sessions which take place daily for 30 minutes and allow children  to read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each lesson has carefully planned questions linked to the year group’s National Curriculum objectives. 

Etruscan has a well-stocked school library, containing a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts written by a wide range of authors. Each class from Nursery to Year 6 has their own class reading area which contain texts from a wide variety of genres as well as texts to promote diversity, and recommended texts for each year group to ensure progression from year to year.


Characteristics of a Reader:

A good reader will demonstrate these core skills when reading in isolation and when reading across the curriculum

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and decoding and blending skills.
  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
  • Excellent comprehension of texts.
  • The motivation to read fiction, non-fiction and poetry for both study and pleasure.
  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.



Writing Rationale

At Etruscan, good quality texts are chosen as a stimulus for writing and are closely linked to the Learning Challenge Curriculum where appropriate. This allows children to make links in their learning and gives them knowledge they can include in their writing. Writing is taught in a structured way from Nursery up to Year 6 making explicit the processes and thinking involved in the writing process. This can then be internalised and applied by the children in their own writing which enables children to write for a range of purposes and for a range of audiences. The text types which are required to be covered by The National Curriculum (2014) are outlined in our long term plans for each year group to ensure that there is a breadth of coverage. Vocabulary is pre-taught before lessons across the curriculum. This provides children with the knowledge of the new vocabulary they will need in order to access their learning in all subject areas, as well as being able to include it to enhance their writing.

We follow the Penpals handwriting scheme from Year 1 to Year 6 to ensure good presentation and the Read, Write Inc spelling programme once children have finished Read, Write Inc phonics.


Characteristics of a Writer:

A good writer will demonstrate these core skills when writing across the curriculum

  • Fluent writing, with interesting detail.
  • A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy the writing.
  • A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
  • Well-organised and structured writing which includes a variety of sentence structures.
  • Excellent transcription skills that ensure writing is neat, well presented and correctly spelled and punctuated.
  • A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.


Oracy Rationale

At Etruscan we believe that children’s oracy skills are fundamental to their literacy and academic achievement.  Spoken language objectives are taught throughout the curriculum in a variety of ways, to develop children's speech and language skills. In all lessons, children are exposed and introduced to new vocabulary which they are then able to use knowledgeably and confidently when discussing various topics. Throughout the curriculum, children engage in a range of activities such as debating, discussion, role play, story retelling and storytelling to improve their oracy and allow the children to use new vocabulary purposefully in a range of contexts.


Characteristics of a good Communicator:

At Etruscan good communicators will demonstrate these core skills

  • Listen attentively so as to understand what is being said.
  • Have a rich and varied vocabulary which gives clarity and interest to conversations.
  • Clear speech which can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
  • A good grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tense and the grammatical structure of sentences.
  • An ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
  • A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
  • Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.


Applying English to other subjects:

The skills acquired during English lessons are consistently applied across all other areas of the curriculum.



Teachers set high expectations for every pupil. They plan challenging work to enable all pupils to make good progress regardless of their academic ability or background. We expect all children to make good progress albeit from different starting points.