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.  They also take part in a ‘Whole Class Reading’ lesson daily.  All of the children have the opportunity to study and discuss the same quality reading texts.  As well as reading these quality texts, the children will also read a selection of non-fiction texts (such as newspapers, chronological reports and diaries) that will support their understanding of the main text.  During these sessions they will have the opportunity to discuss texts and orally answer questions.

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.   In order to support the children’s understanding of these quality texts, the children will read a variety of non-fiction texts and answer questions about these.

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 and learn:

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 
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 
The Astronaut - Owen Davey 
The Tin Forest - Helen Ward 
Up And Down - Oliver Jeffers 
Into The Forest - Anthony Browne 
The Tunnel - Anthony Browne 
Knight In Training - Vivian French 
Pirate Post - Richard Dungworth 
The Pirate Picnic - Juliet Clare 
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 
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

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.

Free Writing

We constantly strive to provide opportunities for our children to write independently about what interests them. This may take the form of a letter to an important figure or a story based on a novel they have previously read. For example, during the week of World Book Day, all of our children had the opportunity to write a story in the style of an author of their choice or write a non fiction text about an author of their choice.

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.

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. Parents are invited to visit the library after school and have access to a selection of both children and adult books to borrow.



When teaching Phonic, 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.


Spellings are taught on a daily basis using our ‘speedy spellings’ booklet. This is a six minute activity which helps to improve and embed the common spelling patterns in all year groups.