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English at Wolfson Hillel


At WHJPS, we believe that all children have the right to learn how to speak, listen, write and read for a wide range of purposes. We recognise that many children start our school with high levels of oracy and we aim for this to be mirrored across the English and the wider curriculum. WHJPS aims to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Through the study of high quality texts, we expect our learners to craft innovative writing pieces with purpose and audience in mind that they are proud of. We aim to create an environment that promotes reading for enjoyment, and our goal is that everyone, no matter their ability, is a reader.


At WHJPS, we follow a ‘The Writing Revolution (TWR)’ programme also known as ‘The Hochman Method’. TWR is method of teaching that enables children to master the knowledge that is essential if they are to become competent writers. In turn, this knowledge equips children to become better readers, to communicate more effectively in writing and speaking, and most importantly, to elevate their thinking.

The Hochman Method is a set of specific writing strategies that teachers use in each year group and across all subjects.

There are six principles of The Hochman Method;

  • Children need explicit instruction in writing, beginning in the early years phase .
  • Sentences are the building blocks of all writing.
  • When embedded in the content of the curriculum, writing instruction is a powerful teaching tool.
  • The content of the curriculum drives the rigor of the writing activities.
  • Grammar is best taught in the context of writing.
  • The two most important phases of the writing process are planning and revising.



Monitoring and Assessment

Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support. Teachers at WHJPS will assess children's reading using the criteria on The Reading Target Tracker alongside a range of other strategies which may include, but not be limited to, listening to them read, tests and comprehension activities.

In Phonics, daily assessment is used within class to identify children needing Keep-up support. Weekly assessment is used in review lessons to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency. Summative assessment is used every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed. This allows staff to identify any children needing additional support.

At WHJPS, Writing is assessed against the national curriculum objectives as well as the TAFS. Children’s Writing books are moderated termly by a qualified LEA moderator for both KS1 and KS2. Data is monitored and assessed and children who are flagged as needing support are placed in a bespoke and targeted intervention group in order to close any gaps in their learning.


Guided Reading at EYFS and KS1:

We aim to promote a love of reading from when children begin school. Reading for pleasure and a love of books is supported by a variety of teaching methods beginning with a structured phonics programme in the early years and Key Stage 1.

Group and one-to-one reading in school is crucial to the support of early development of skills. Our children read regularly in school.  We value the supportive role of parents when reading at home.

Guided reading is an integral part of our learning whereby children work in small groups with an adult and explore a text through lively discussion and exposure to thought-provoking questions. Our reading curriculum encompasses a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction including stories, playscripts, information books and poetry. All different types of reading material are valued including newspapers, programmes, recipe books and magazines. We have an impressive school library which stocks a comprehensive array of child-centred literature. Reading for pleasure underpins our Literacy curriculum as we prepare the children for a lifetime love of books.


At Wolfson Hillel we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery/Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

Little Wandle

At Wolfson Hillel, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Reading for Pleasure:

Reading for pleasure is central to the ethos of our school. All staff actively promote reading for pleasure to all children. At WHJPs, we have a reading and poetry spine for each year group which consists of up to 40 texts. Teachers are allocated a text per half term which they read to the class over the course over the half term. The reading and poetry spine covers a range of high quality texts including:

Archaic Texts

Narratively Complex Texts

Texts with non-linear time sequences

Complexity of Narrator

Complexity of Plot

Resistant Texts

Children are also encouraged to read one book per half term and are commended in assembly if they achieve this.

Guided Reading at KS2:

Reading session in KS2 focus each session on the eight curriculum strands of reading. These areas focus on retrieval, explanation, summary, inference, prediction, comparison and vocabulary. Teachers teach children how to answer questions on the strand they are teaching. The class text is used to support the teaching of these skills.

Children’s reading skills are taught and practised during streamed class reading sessions. Streamed reading sessions allow children to work with a high quality text at a pace they are comfortable with.  High quality fiction and non-fiction texts are chosen for each group showing clear progression in genre and skills.

Reading sessions are made up of eight parts:

Recap: Children recap the plot of the story and what they have read so far in the text.

Reading: The next part of the text is read. The text is either read by the teacher or children take part in choral reading or paired reading.

Summarising: Children summarise the plot in talk partners and teacher summarises too.

Question time:  Children are presented with up to two questions on the text focussed a particular curriculum area.

Discussion time in partners: Children are given the opportunity to form their answers verbally in talk partners.

Writing answers: Children write their answers which they have already verbally prepared.

Reporting answers: Children report answers.

Modelling answers: Teacher models process of finding the right answers for the questions and they write an answer.

Independent Reading:

Children need to be given the opportunity and encouragement to read independently in order to build confidence, stamina and fluency, as well as develop their experience of a range of books and authors. From Y1 onwards there are opportunities for periods of sustained reading during morning slots and afternoon slots. Children have access to a wide range of books including fiction and non-fiction via class libraries and wider curriculum texts.

Home Reading:

Reception and KS1

In Reception and Year 1, we teach children to read through reading practice sessions in school three times a week. Children use the same book throughout the practice sessions. The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family alongside a reading for pleasure book for parents to share and read to children.

In Year 2, children continue to access books matched to their reading ability to share at home with their parents. Children are also encouraged to take home a book of their choice from the class library to share.

Provision for SEND pupils

At WHJPS, our 3 teacher model allows for smaller learning groups which enable children to have a more bespoke learning experience for their needs. Our SENCO is also assigned a group of children from across the school that require extra help in order to access the curriculum. In KS1, extra provision is offered for SEN pupils in our ‘BASE’ learning unit which is a unique service for younger children requiring additional support from a special needs practitioner.

It is crucial that English is accessible to all pupils. The Subject Leader and teachers plan together to ensure that there is accessible work provided for SEN children for each unit. Teachers meet regularly with the SENCO to discuss practical ways to benefit the children within their classrooms. Staff are highly trained to meet the varied needs of learners with different SEN needs.

Retrieval practices are used to remind children of the key facts in each lesson. Differentiated tasks and resources are carefully planned to cater for all needs and to help all children make progress. A range of videos, texts and hands-on resources are available for our SEN children to help with their subject knowledge and understanding of concepts.



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