Literacy is an essential part of every child’s education and at Percy Shurmer Academy, we believe in striving for the best possible provision. Please read on to find out more about our Literacy curriculum. We regularly offer workshops throughout the year to support your child, so please ensure you sign up to attend.

Whole Class Reading

Reading is really important to us at Percy Shurmer Academy as it is the foundations upon which we learn everything else.  We encourage all of our children to read every day, both in school and at home.  The children are taught to read through a structured and systematic programme that develops skills upon entry to Nursery through to Key Stage 2.  

In Early Years and Year 1 the children are taught reading individually or in small groups using a variety of texts.  From Year 2 to Year 6 our children follow the ‘Whole Class Reading’ model, whereby all children have the opportunity to study and discuss the same texts. These quality texts are carefully chosen in order to meet the academic needs of each year group.  

For those children who require additional reading support, they will also take part in additional supported sessions using the ‘Whole class reading book’ or other reading materials. We have invested heavily in developing our reading materials as we want our children to develop a genuine love of reading. These programmes have been built for guided/supported reading with entertaining stories and non-fiction texts by top quality authors and illustrators. 

Here are some of the Whole Class Reading Texts that the children will have the opportunity to read:

Early Years
A selection of Traditional Tales (including: The 3 Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood)
A selection of nursery rhymes (including: Three Blind Mice, Jack and Jill and Humpty Dumpty)
Not Now Bernard - David McKee
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle
Farmyard Hullabalo - Giles Andreae
Farmer Duck - Martin Waddell
A Squash And A Squeeze - Julia Donaldson
Small Knight And George - Ronda Armitage
The Giant Of Jum - Elli Woollard and many, many, MANY more!

Key Stage 1
The Tiger who Came To Tea - Judith Kerr
Handa’s Hen - Eileen Browne
The Lion Inside - Rachel Bright
Cloudland - John Burningham
How High Is The Sky - Anna Milbourne
How To Catch A Star - Oliver Jeffers
Aliens In Underpants - Claire Freedman
Winnie In Space - Valerie Thomas
The Tiny Seed - Eric Carle
Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
On The Moon - Anna Milbourne Laika
The Astronaut - Owen Davey
The Tin Forest - Helen Ward
Up And Down - Oliver Jeffers
Into The Forest - Anthony Browne
Ace Dragon Ltd - Russell Hoban
The Tunnel - Anthony Browne
Knight In Training - Vivian French
Iggy Peck Architect - Andrea Beaty
Pirate Post - Richard Dungworth
The Pirate Picnic - Juliet Clare
Bell The Night Pirates - Peter Harris
The Day The Crayons Quit - Drew Daywalt
Fantastic Mr Fox - Roald Dahl
The Heart In The Bottle - Oliver Jeffers

Key Stage 2
The Hodgeheg - Dick King-Smith
The Iron Man - Ted Hughes
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
How To Train A Dragon - Cressida Cowell
The Firework Maker's Daughter - Phillip Pullman
Tom's Midnight garden - Philippa Pearce
Wolf Brother - Michelle Paver
Kiss Of Death - Marcus Sedgwick
The Boy In The Dress - David Walliams
Kasper Prince Of Cats - Michael Morpurgo
Street Child - Berlie Doherty
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone - J.K Rowling

Our children will also read lots of non-fiction texts to support their learning across the curriculum as well as many other books during story times and independent reading.

Talk for Writing

We teach Literacy through Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Talk for Writing is used to teach fiction, non-fiction and poetry through a multi-sensory approach. There are three main stages:
IMITATION – familiarisation
This involves retelling a story or text until it can be told fluently. It also involves analysing the text and understanding the structural and language features.
INNOVATION – adapting the text
This involves using the model from the ‘imitation’ phase and developing the text even further.
INDEPENDENT APPLICATION – creating your own text.
This involves building up a new story or text and applying the features taught throughout the unit to independent writing.
To support this we use a range of high quality texts linked closely to our ‘Connected Curriculum’ topics to engage all pupils and allow them to write for a purpose.

Spoken Language

Spoken Language is integrated throughout our curriculum. We place a high emphasis on learning vocabulary across the subject areas and weave in opportunities for application. We also link teaching closely to our ‘Talk for Writing’ units of work. This includes creating story maps, oral rehearsal of texts, drama, language games, sentence construction and grammar activities. Pupils also have the opportunity to attend after school clubs which have an emphasis on language in a range of contexts, including cookery, gardening and sports. 


Currently, we use the ‘Penpals’ scheme for handwriting. This will allow our pupils to develop a neat, joined script by the time they leave our school.


To develop decoding skills, pupils in Year 1 and the EYFS have the opportunity to read in small groups. There is a high focus on applying their phonic skills by reading a range of texts. 

We teach reading daily as a whole class across the school to develop a broad range of reading strategies and comprehension. This approach is part of an action research project for 2016-17, which aims to strengthen our practice in teaching reading. The project is evolving rapidly and pupils have already started to reap the benefits of reading high quality texts. 

Independent Reading

We want our children to develop a genuine love for reading and so strive to provide lots of opportunities during which they can do this. There are daily sessions of Independent Reading during which children have the opportunity to read with other children or in a small group or read individually with an adult.  We have a wonderful library which the children will visit weekly and have the opportunity to choose a book to take home.


In teaching Phonics we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' document and use a variety of resources to support and engage our learners. Pupils are taught in year groups by their teachers and teaching assistants.  Children in Year 1 will complete the Phonic Screening Check during the summer term.  We strive for all of our children to pass the Phonic Screening Check and additional support will be put in place for those children who require it.  The children who do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1 will take the test in the following academic year, when they are in Year 2.

Curriculum Coverage

3 Weeks: Fiction (Immersion/Imitation, Innovation, Independent application) 
2 Weeks: Non Fiction (Immersion/Imitation, Innovation, Independent application) 
1 Week: Cross Curricular Writing
Fiction Non-fiction Cross Curricular Writing
Quest tale Recount
Wishing tale Explanation
Lost/found/chased tale Persuasion
Defeat the villain/ monster Instructions
Warning tale Discussion
Problem/resolution tale Non-chronological report