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The National Curriculum 2014 sets out programmes of study and attainment targets for English: spoken language, reading, writing and spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. 


Spoken language is fundamental to learning in all subjects and underpins the development of reading and writing.  Reading consists of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension and writing consists of two dimensions: transcription ( spelling and handwriting) and composition. Our objectives are to encourage confident, clear and fluent self-expression in speech and writing, to cultivate listening, to stimulate interest and enjoyment of literature, and to teach children to read thoughtfully and critically. 


At Key Stage 1 the school builds on the language developed at home. It extends children’s vocabulary and develops basic reading and writing skills. There is a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books to encourage enjoyment of reading.


Early recognition of letter and word shapes underpins secure understanding and application of phonics as children grow in confidence and fluency. Written work is often descriptive, drawing on personal experiences and interests of the children. Writing is developed through stories, poetry, letters, plays, projects, narrative and creative work. Spelling and punctuation are developed by structured schemes. Handwriting starts with a simple print style leading to joined writing.


In lower key stage two children's reading focuses on understanding of the text and developing vocabulary, depth and breadth of reading and reading enthusiastically, frequently and silently. The children learn to justify their views about what they have read. Children learn to write with accuracy and good sentence punctuation and enhance the effectiveness of their writing. Joined handwriting is strongly encouraged and is expected to be fluent by this stage.


In upper key stage two children should be reading widely, frequently and for pleasure both inside and outside of school. Spelling of most words, grammar and punctuation should be broadly accurate.Children are taught to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar.

Phonics and Reading


The school uses Letters and Sounds accompanied with Jolly Phonics to teach phonics across the school. The following Reading Schemes are used to teach reading in key stage one and key stage two:

Oxford Reading Tree



Project X

Hero Academy


And many more... we are in the process of fully updating our reading scheme, the new reading scheme will be launched in Autumn 2019 and will include books up to reading level 20.


There will be a parents meeting to introduce and discuss the new reading scheme early in the Autumn Term 2019.

English Policies


Our English policies are currently being reviewed.  They will be back online shortly.

Reading Open Afternoon - September 2019

Thank you to everyone who came to our reading afternoon.  Hopefully you gained a good idea of how we teach reading at Motcombe.


Please find the presentation below along with some documents you may find useful.


Please do pop in if you have any questions.


Kelly McCall

English Subject Lead

Joffre White - Author Visit June 2019


We had the most fantastic day enjoying the company of Joffre White - author of the ‘Frog’ Series.  We had a brilliant reading workshop in the morning, with the whole of KS2 involved.  Then years 4 and 5 were lucky to have creative writing workshops.


The children were buzzing with excitement during the day and by the end of the day were inspired to keep writing, knowing that they all had stories to tell.


We can’t wait to invite Joffre back again, hopefully next year, to work with us again.  It was a truly memorable day for pupils and staff.

Joffre White - Author Visit June 2019

World Book Day 2018

Every classroom has a writing progression wall. This shows a sample of children's literacy work across the term.

Summer Reading Challenge 2017

We were lucky enough to have a whole-school assembly with Suzi the librarian from Shaftesbury. She came in to tell us all about the Summer Reading Challenge and what we can do in the library. It was wonderful to hear that so many of the children at Motcombe plan to take part in this event. Happy reading to all! 

Magical shrinking spray! This will inspire Year 1 to write exciting recounts this week.

World Book Day 2017

We all had a wonderful time dressing up as our favourite book characters, doing various book-related activities and celebrating how much we like to read! 

We had an assembly, where we paraded around the hall to share our costumes, and book token prizes and certificates were given to both KS1 ans KS2 for: best poster celebrating a book, best model celebrating a book and best character costume. 



Librarian Visit

We were visited by Katie Wyatt who is the librarian from Shaftesbury Upper School during whole-school assembly. She is an expert on all things Harry Potter and had come in to share her love of reading and to hear about ours. 

She read us an extract from the first book in the series, showed us items she has collected linked to the storyline (sorting hat, flags, wands etc.) and helped us play a game where we guessed the characters based on a short description. 

We really enjoyed taking part and learning a little more about what goes on in the Upper School library...especially as that is where some of us will go when we leave for year 7! 

Wrens Class went to The Lighthouse Theatre to watch a live performance of 'The Gruffalo's Child'

Well done to our 'reading in usual places' photograph winners! We received so many amazing, creative photographs of the most unusual places. You can see most of them on display in the hall!

A few entries for the Reading In Unusual places competition!

Whole School Performance Poetry Week

Reception class perform a poem from memory...

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Year 1 perform a poem to the whole school and parents...

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The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch - Year 2/3

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Throughout the school, we use a Pie Corbett approach for both fiction and non fiction units of work. This often involves learning actions alongside retelling a story. This helps children internalise the story and the story language being used.
Here is a snippet of the beginning of our narrative unit of work on The Lighthouse Keepers lunch.

Poetry inspired by music...

Autumn 2015 displays! Look at all the exciting Literacy happening in our school!

A visit from an author: Steven Burnside

Stories from other cultures: The Willow Pattern Plate

Sorting and grouping facts, adding subheadings and catching the reader's attention!

Learning about commas and clauses by breaking up complex sentences.

Dress as your favourite book character day!

Gruffalo unit of work

Making a Gruffalo setting to explore the text further

Study of a well known author - Roald Dahl

Whole school book focus - Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne


Drama on the outdoor stage

Acting out 'Billy Goats Gruff'