At new chapter primary school we encourage all pupils to develop a love of reading and writing.


Our English curriculum is closely linked to our creative curriculum topic which enables all writing to have a purpose. An example of this is year 5’s ‘Fitness for Life’ topic. In their literacy lessons, the children are taught how to persuade, with the outcome being to write a persuasive letter to their parents on why they should keep fit. We use the three stages of Talk for Writing as a structure for our literacy lessons. The structure also ties in with the composition literacy strand in the National Curriculum.

Using the National Curriculum, we have mapped out our own half term core skills of progression in spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting. This ensures that all aspects of the curriculum are covered and ensures progression year on year. These are taught discretely and applied in literacy lessons.


We use a range of quality books by a variety of authors to immerse the children in the magic of stories and the fascination of information books. These books are mapped out in our whole school reading curriculum map. We teach reading skills through 1:1 reading, small guided group teaching and whole class teaching. Intervention programmes such as Rapid Read, Inference Training and Better Readers provide struggling readers with the extra help they need to get back on track. To support parents reading with their child at home, please visit the eSchools page where there is a document titled ‘Reading at home with your child.’ This document offers useful tips, questions to support with reading and FAQs.

At New Chapter, we follow Read Write Inc Phonics. Children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily half hour phonics lesson (in addition to whole class reading and writing lessons) where they are grouped according to stage not age. Phonics interventions are also provided for any children who are not secure on their phonics. To support parents with this, we have produced videos for each the initial sounds. These can be found on eSchools.

In Key Stage One, children use books from the Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Reading Scheme. These have been matched in accordance to the objectives in the National Curriculum. Teachers use the school’s assessment guidelines to assess the stage that each child needs to start on. These assessments are ongoing to ensure children move up to the next stage when ready. In Key Stage Two, when the child is ready, children can choose ‘free read’ books from the school’s reading room with the support of the class teacher. To help with the assessment of word reading in Key Stage Two, teachers still use the Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Reading Scheme: this helps to identify what age level the child is at reading. These age expectation book are available in the reading room for children to read.

YearTerm 1aTerm 1bTerm 2aTerm 2bTerm 3aTerm 2b
1Book Band RedBook Band YellowBook Band BlueBook Band GreenBook Band OrangeBook Band Orange/Turquoise
2Book Band TurquoiseBook Band PurpleBook Band GoldBook Band WhiteBook Band Lime/Free ReaderBook Band Free Reader
3Oxford Brown Number 8 BookOxford Brown Number 9 BookOxford Brown Number 10 BookCollins Copper BookOxford Brown Number 11 BookCollins Topaz Book
4Collins Topaz BookOxford Brown Number 12 BookOxford Brown Number 13 BookOxford Brown Number 14 BookOxford Grey Number 14 BookCollins Ruby Book
5Collins Ruby BookOxford Dark Blue Number 15 BookOxford Dark Blue Number 15 BookCollins Emerald BookOxford Dark Blue Number 16 BookCollins Sapphire Book
6Collins Sapphire BookOxford Dark Blue Number 17 BookOxford Dark Blue Number 18 BookCollins Diamond BookOxford Dark Red Number 19/20 BookCollins Pearl Book

We also spent a considerable amount of money a few years ago on redesigning and purchasing new books for the library, which we renamed the Reading Room. The Reading Room is now located at the heart of our school and is used by children regularly.

Celebrating Literacy

Throughout the school year we also organise events to promote Literacy. For example, ‘World Book Day’ where children and staff dress up as their favourite book characters to promote engagement, enjoyment and discusion. Each class often takes a theme. This theme is explored in detail and writing opportunities and links to the wider curriculum arise from it. We also regularly enter into the Young Writer’s Award competitions. Each year we also take part in Milton Keynes Summer Holiday Reading challenge. For children that take part, a winner is chosen at random where they receive a Waterstone’s book voucher. We also have author visits. For example we have had the author Luke Temple in our school to engage children in a love of reading and writing. More recently UKS2 met with Cressida Cowell to hear about the release of her new book ‘The Wizards of Once.’

Literacy Documents

Core Skills Coverage

Handwriting at New Chapter Primary School

Phonic Sounds and Rhymes

Questions to ask your child when reading at home

Reading Curriculum Map

Some great spelling strategies to use at home

T4W literacy units

Talk for Writing

Whole school word list

Reading book suggestions