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'The expert in anything was once a beginner' - Anon

Hear from the incredible authors Jacqueline Wilson and Laura Child with tips on writing a good story.


Writing tips Jacqeline Wilson and Laura Child

Key Principles

At Appleton Thorn our teaching team inspire children by sharing our love of reading and writing.  This is key to engaing children and creating a possitive attitude by having a go, not worrying about mistakes; while having high expectations of everyone.  Our curriculum uses amazing books as drivers, which inturn really creates a buzz in the classroom.  We develop within classes a 'Can Do' attitude and 'Can’t Do Yet' . 


We encourage our children to read regularly and this is evidenced by weekly reading record checks, to ensure parents/carers are listening to pupils read.   Our children to have access to an appropriate range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry texts, both inside the classroom and corridor libraries and the KS1 and KS2 reading schemes.

A wide variety of reading sources are made available including  Active Learn Bug Club ebooks and high quality reading books stored readily in trays and children are able to access them throughout the day.

We are fortunate to have a bank of volunteer readers to listen to all children read, with appropriate questioning, this is monitored by our class teachers and English Lead. Our children are taught to tutor and support others through 'Paired Tutoring' across Year 4 and 2 and Year 5 and 3.

Stimulating reading displays are created throughout the school, for example; 'Author of the Month' displays in all classrooms and library corner reading displays. 

A good choice of class texts in KS2 and regular story time in all classes, for pupils to listen and hear extensive vocabulary, intonation and volume; promotes further discussion encourages and promotes the love of reading.  Children are rewarded for reading regularly at home as they aspire to earn their Bronze, Silver and Gold badges. 

Our after school 'Book Stop' encourages children to drop in to a story time, sharing the th enjoyment of books and gives our children an opportunity to review books together in a book club style.  


'Children enjoy reading and talk enthusiastically about the books they have read, and range of class readers studied.' - Education Consultant 2019


Our teachers use of good quality texts to inspire planning and writing in all classrooms.   The use of dictionaries and thesauruses (as appropriate) used for pupils to self-correct and enhance work independently.  Excellent modelling of language, both verbal and written by all adults in school.

An exciting stimulus is used to inspire imagination and quality writing. There are displays of writing up throughout school, with clear explanations as to what the child/class has been working on. Use of neat, legible handwriting across all year groups, appropriate to the child.  Regular practice using whole school writing scheme.  Children who are chosen for 'Star Writer' are celebrated in a whole school assembly, their writing peice displayed in the awards area.

Teachers conduct engaging and well planned 'Everybody Writes' sessions, to target reluctant writers and provide suitable challenge to all.  Proof reading and editing is modelled by teachers and early use introduced in infants.  These steps are continued throughout KS2.  Whole school writing days twice a year to promote, encourage and inspire writing and increase the status of writing within school.

'A consistently strong focus on developing and enriching children’s vocabulary and confident use of language across the curriculum is improving the quality of pupils’ writing across a range of subjects.' - School Review, Collaborative Learning Group

Spelling and Grammar (SPaG)

Our team ensures that teachers are confident in teaching SPaG terms in both current year group as well as year below and above to ensure breadth and depth of coverage.  SPaG quick starters carried out in at least 3 out of 5 English lessons a week.  There is a clear build-up of steps across each year group to show SPaG development, as well as constant revision of terminology, definitions, practice of previous year groups to help embed and consolidate understanding. We have a whole school approach to spelling, mapped out throughout the school.  Specific spelling lessons and opportunities to practice further, each week in every class.


Our teaching is based around the principles and practice of high quality phonics using the Letters and Sounds document for our learning.  Our children enjoy  using high quality resources and an excellent range of activities to keep the mind busy and active. 

Progression of learning through the years



If you require any further information or paper copies, please contact Mrs Gibbon our English lead via the school office on 01925 266764 or email appletonthorn_primary@warrington.gov.uk


Star Reader - An aspirational award for our children       Star Writer - Displayed on our school's wall of fame                'Reading is a passport to countless adventure' Mary Pope Osborne                       


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