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New Milton Infant School

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Strong early literacy skills give children the essential foundation for future educational success, improve self-esteem and maximise life chances.



Teaching children to read and write confidently, independently and with perseverance, and to communicate effectively, is one of the core purposes of our school. At New Milton Infant School, we aim to deliver high quality teaching and learning opportunities within an ambitious and inclusive curriculum. This will enable children of all backgrounds and abilities, including those with SEND, the more able, and those with English as an additional language to make best possible progress and aspire to achieve their dreams. Our staff work tirelessly to ensure that all pupils learn to read widely, fluently and with good understanding, in order that they can then ‘read to learn’. In addition, we strive to instil a love of reading that will remain with children for life, enhance their imaginations and broaden their horizons. We want children to perceive themselves as ‘writers’ and to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently for a range of purposes and audiences.


Developing clear and confident spoken communication is a key priority at our school.  We aim to enrich the vocabulary of all our pupils, help them to articulate questions, explain themselves clearly and discuss their learning with others in order to enhance understanding.




At New Milton Infant School, we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and the Early Years Framework to teach literacy skills. Our school phonics programme has been developed around the Letters and Sounds framework to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum programme of study for English. Synthetic phonics is taught systematically throughout the school on a daily basis.  Phonics is taught as a step towards word recognition, the automatic reading of all words (both decodable and tricky) being our ultimate goal. Within both phonics and reading lessons, children are reading phonetically decodeable books matched accurately to their levels.



We use a blend of different multi-sensory strategies to support learning, including songs, actions, visual prompts, magnetic letters and a wide range of games and activities which help children to apply their learning in a fun and active way. We teach words which cannot be read or spelt phonetically (tricky words) using a range of approaches including mnemonics, visual discrimination and looking for patterns within words.  Within Key Stage One, spellings appropriate to the children’s current level are taught on a regular basis and sent home to be practised and assessed using dictation fortnightly.


If children are failing to make expected progress, we swiftly address this, through adaptions to teaching or additional interventions. The impact of these is regularly evaluated to ensure effectiveness. Teachers use ongoing formative and summative assessment to identify areas of need and select effective strategies and activities to address these. These may include pre-teaching, Precision Teaching and overlearning. Tasks may be adapted or scaffolded to make them accessible for the learner whilst ensuring depth and rigour.


In Year R, children are encouraged to experiment with writing. Opportunities are provided within ‘Let’s Learn’ continuous provision to write for a range of different purposes and audiences,.

In Key Stage 1, children are taught to compose their own ideas for writing by orally rehearsing their sentences, recording and then re-reading to check their work makes sense. We use the phrase ‘think it, say it, write it, like it’ to encourage this process. Resources such as ‘Talking Tins’ can be used to aid children who require support in getting their ideas onto paper.  Talk 4 Writing and Story Making are a key part of our literacy planning to help embed narrative structure and support the writing process.


Printed handwriting is taught in the EYFS and all text available for children to read will be shown in handwritten or typed print. In Year 1, children will be taught how to join digraphs and when ready they will be taught to move to a fully joined handwriting script.


Reading skills are taught through daily phonics lessons across the school and guided reading sessions. It is an expectation that our children enjoy a quality text read aloud to them daily. Texts read aloud are chosen with care and will include a range of genres, ambitious vocabulary and will be written by, and include characters, that reflect the diversity of our community.

We use a range of carefully chosen books from different reading schemes (colour banded according to reading ability) for the children to read both at school and at home. These include:

  • Rising Stars – Reading Planet
  • Rigby Star by Pearson
  • Collins Big Cats
  • Oxford Reading Tree including Songbirds Phonics
  • Bug Club – online reading program.


Our Library Bus promotes reading for pleasure and ensures that children have access to a wide range of different texts to read at home. In addition, we invite authors, poets or storytellers to school annually to help inspire children’s passion for literacy. We promote the use of Standard English and clear communication skills through teacher modelling, use of talk partners and drama. Poetry recitals take place once a week in assembly to develop recitation skills and we aim to enrich the children’s vocabulary through our ‘Words of the Week’ initiative.




Lesson observations, pupil surveys, data from our library bus and discussions with pupils demonstrate that our children love reading and can discuss their reading preferences. All children make the best possible progress from the starting points in reading and writing through an inclusive curriculum that provides challenge and engagement for all. By the end of Key Stage 1 our attainment data in Reading and Writing consistently exceeds national figures and is in line or exceeding County data.  Our focus upon vocabulary acquisition means that the vast majority of pupils are able to write both accurately and creatively by the end of the Key Stage. Through high quality leaching and learning in literacy, phonics and reading and a focus upon literacy skills across the whole curriculum our pupils will be well prepared for the next stage of their education and future life.