Wilby Primary

'I can do all things through Him who gives me strength' (Philippians 4:13*) Wilby CE Primary School
  • Wilby is an awesome school packed full of caring students and teachers Gracie
  • We are all different but all equally important at Wilby Alfie
  • Wilby makes learning fun! Jonty
  • Wilby is just the most amazing school in the entire world! Harvey
  • We have a positive attitude towards being ourselves here. We know making mistakes is fine! It is how we learn Wren
  • Being a part of Wilby is like being part of a big family Alex
  • We have faith that everyone will do well and we make sure no one is left behind
  • I love Wilby because no one is left out
  • You are supported so you can achieve the very best at Wilby-it is a great place to be
Life at Wilby Primary Life at Wilby Primary Life at Wilby Primary Life at Wilby Primary Life at Wilby Primary


Access our skills progression charts and additional resources below

  • Y1-Y6 writing skills progression overview HERE
  • Year Group Recommended Reading Lists HERE
  • How to support your child as they learn cursive handwriting HERE
  • V.I.P.E.R.S Reading Skills Progression Document  HERE


Our English Curriculum

At Wilby School we have developed a curriculum which ensures children spend longer being taught the common features and skills in reading and writing in order to have a more coherent English curriculum and therefore be able to develop mastery in English. Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in English




At Wilby School we have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to teaching writing which has been created by teacher and leading English consultant, Jane Considine 

As a school, all children from Reception to Year 4 learn to write through The Write Stuff approach. It is a fun, creative and rigorous approach to develop children’s writing. This approach allows children to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to their writing. It helps them to write effective sentences, which are full of impact and keep the reader interested.

In The Write Stuff approach to writing, the children explore high level, rich vocabulary and are taught grammar in context through use of the writing lenses of the Writing Rainbow. There are three of these 'lenses' which used to support children with their writing:

Fantastics – ideas for writing
Grammaristics – tools for writing
Boomtastics – writing techniques

As part of each teaching sequence, teachers plan: experience days which are followed by sentence stacking lessons and finally the children plan and create their own independent writing.

Experience days are when the literacy hour that day is devoted to providing the children with experiences that they can refer to in the next group of writing lessons. We aim to immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and drench them in vocabulary linked to the lenses in ‘The Writing Rainbow’. After the experience day, children then take part in the sentence stacking lessons.

Each sentence stacking lesson focuses on writing three sentences using a writing technique taken from the lenses of the Writing Rainbow.

The term  ‘Sentence Stacking’  refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.

An individual sentence stacking lesson is based on one plot point from the book/video/topic that the children are studying. Each lesson is broken in to three learning chunks:

  • 1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  • 2. Model section – the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
  • 3. Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the teacher’s model.

This part of the teaching sequence is heavily scaffolded with lots of teacher input and modelling of vocabulary use, sentence construction and use of grammar.

During the initiate section of each learning chunk children ‘chot’ (chat and jot) down their ideas/vocabulary from stimulating resources, such as pictures, music and drama. The children are then encouraged to call out examples of vocabulary, adverbs, onomatopoeia etc to share with others and help to build up a rich vocabulary bank which everyone can use when they write their own sentences in the 'Enable' section of that chunk of learning. 

During the Model section the teacher prepares children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing taken from the writing rainbow. This section is so important because the teacher will model how a writer chooses the most suitable vocabulary and punctuation etc. to really clearly/most effectively express their ideas.

In the Enable section pupils write their own sentences making use of the skills that they have been taught. 

Following the sentence stacking lessons, children are given the opportunity to show what they have learnt by planning and writing their own independent piece of writing.

After they have written their independent piece and edited it themselves, their work is marked by the class teacher who identifies different aspects of their written piece to be edited/further developed. 

In UKS2 the writing curriculum has been adapted using a Big Writing approach where the children write more extended pieces as a culmination of a three or four-week cycle of work.

Pupils are provided with  experiences (high quality texts, film clips, research etc) and taught a range of spelling and grammar skills which they then utilise  independently, in their writing. A Slow Writing approach to writing is also used to reinforce grammar skills taught. This uses a step-by-step structure to create a short text or paragraph. The teacher will give specific writing prompts or instructions as to what grammar, language or punctuation features to include in each sentence 


Phonics and Spelling

Phonics teaching

At Wilby we use 'Essential Letters and Sounds' which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). Phonics is taught daily and we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represents sounds and that these are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise the different graphemes that they will see when they are reading or writing.

Our phonics teaching programme is divided into 6 phases which are taught in discrete daily lessons from Pre School through to Year 2.

Phonic teaching starts as soon as the children begin in Pre-school. In Pre School Phase 1 of our phonics programme concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills. The emphasis in getting children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

In Reception year the children will begin Phase 2. The teaching of phonics follows a specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they progress through phases 2-6. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they encounter in their reading. 

At Wilby we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum.

We have a strong focus on the development of language and language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

How we teach phonics

At Wilby we:

  • Follow Essential Letters and Sounds which has a four part lesson structure and teaching sequence (review, teach, practise, apply) which promotes independence, resilience and success in all our learners.
  • Teach children that phonics helps us to read and write.
  • Whole class teaching allows all children to access Quality First Teaching, catch up sessions and interventions are also provided for those children who need more practice and support.
  • Ensure that all phonics teaching is delivered with pace and passion.
  • Use 100% decodable books in phonics lessons so that children can directly apply their new knowledge and phonic skills at an appropriate level. We use a range of decodable books which have been carefully organised to match the sounds your child is learning.
  • Invite all parents to attend phonics and reading workshops to support their children with the development of their child’s phonics skills.
  • Classrooms are well resourced with phonic working walls and resources which are readily available empowering children to independently make correct spelling choices.

Phonics and reading

When the children are starting to learn the phonic code it is important that the books they read are closely matched to the letter sounds they are learning. The books should give the children confidence and help develop fluency, we want our children to feel confident and have a sense of achievement. Each week children will bring home reading books which reinforce the phonic sounds that have already been taught

Assessment of phonics

We track our children throughout each Phonic Phase to monitor both achievement and progress. 

Our main emphasis on the assessment of phonics is on how effectively the children are able to apply their learning into reading and writing. This provides the evidence that the phonic learning is fully embedded.

If necessary, further support through targeted interventions is provided for children to enable them to keep up with the phonics programme.

Additional support for phonics is also put in place for those children in KS2 that still require support.

The lowest 20% of children are heard read at least once per week by a teacher or teaching assistant, in addition to the taught reading sessions. Many of these children are also supported through the NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention) programme.

Year One Children participate in the Statutory Phonic Screening Check in the Summer Term.

Teaching of Spelling from Y3

Once children progress from phonics, they follow a spelling scheme called 'No Nonsensespelling (NNS). The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.

The programme

  • delivers a manageable tool for meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum
  • has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year
  • comprehensively explains how to teach spelling effectively.

 No Nonsense Spelling Scheme learning pathway overview


Reading is delivered through books and resources from a variety of publishers including Collins and Oxford University Press-both well-established and popular reading schemes which are highly successful in teaching children how to read. These stories are carefully written using simple, natural-sounding language that children can understand. Key words are repeated throughout the storybooks so that children can gradually increase the number of words they can recognise and read.

The Oxford Reading Tree has twelve stages. Children start at Stage 1 when they arrive at Wilby C of E Primary School, and gradually progress up the tree to Stage 11 (typically in Upper Key Stage 2). When a child exceeds Stage 11, they become a ‘free reader’, and can select their own suitably-challenging reading materials from the class libraries.

In addition to this we use resources from other reading schemes to provide extension and reinforcement as appropriate to your child's needs.

Reading begins in the Foundation Stage through sharing books with simple or no text so that the children can learn how to tell a story using images. Children progress through the reading bands accordingly with each book level introducing new reading and comprehension skills. There is an emphasis on children learning to decode through daily phonics teaching and developing their sight vocabulary for common exception words. 

Guided Reading and VIPERS reading progression (See above for VIPERS reading progression document which is linked to the National Curriculum)

Reading strategies are established through individual (with teacher, teaching assistant or adult helper) and guided Reading sessions in groups with their class teacher/teaching assistants. Guided reading provides an opportunity for the teacher to teach reading in relation to the differentiated needs of the pupil groups and their level of achievement. In these groups children read age-related texts and answer V.I.P.E.R.S (Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise / Sequence) as our method to explicitly teach each skill. These whole class or group reading comprehension sessions are used as a powerful tool to allow all children to make progress in reading and provide regular and supportive opportunities for children to encounter engaging texts that will resonate with their interests and capture their imagination. Carefully graded questions allow for children to develop their comprehension skills at an appropriate level.

  • Teachers use precise questioning in class to develop the children’s thinking and explanations, helping children to make literary choices in their writing. 
  • Children are articulate in explaining and justifying their thinking when answering comprehension questions. 
  • Children have opportunities and are taught to work both collaboratively and independently. 
  • Structured high quality opportunities for speaking and listening are used to develop children’s language skills as well as to support writing and reading.

Children who fail to progress at the expected rate are supported through additional reading interventions. 

As a school we believe in providing the children with as many enrichment opportunities as we can in order to inspire their learning. A few of these opportunities include:

  • World Book Day – To help promote a love of reading and books we celebrate World Book Day. This is a celebration of reading, books, authors and illustrators and is an opportunity for the children and staff to share their favourite books and stories. Often, authors and illustrators are invited in to work with and inspire the children.

  • Reading Open Mornings where parents have opportunity to learn about how reading is taught at Wilby and then to view guided reading sessions in practice.

  • Whole school/class theme days such as a Victorian or Tudor school day and rich cross curricular topics (such as 'Africa')which lead to high quality extended writing.
  • Off by Heart Poetry Competition which encourages pupils to embrace and fully engage with a wider variety of poetry/ techniques of writing.