Talk for Writing

High quality literature, poetry and non-fiction texts are at the heart of our English curriculum. These texts provide an inspiration for a range of quality, extended written outcomes. We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to support the improvement of writing across school.

Talk for Writing is the developmental exploration, through talk, of the thinking and creative processes involved in being a writer. It develops pupils’ ability to 'read as writers' and enables them to explore the thinking and creative processes involved in generating and planning ideas and incorporating techniques learned from other writers into their own work.

It further allows children to rehearse the structure and sequence of a piece of writing and guides how the text should sound - its style and voice. It also encourages them to generate and rehearse appropriate language and grammar as they work collaboratively to plan, draft and improve their writing.

Children will use apply their knowledge and skills acquired throughout each writing cycle which culminates in their invention hot writing to independently showcase their progress. Throughout their time at New Hall, pupils explore and write a range of narrative story plots and poems. Also, children will develop their non-fiction writing by revisiting and building their knowledge of each text type.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

SPaG is taught within the context of English lessons wherever possible. In addition, No-Nonsense Spelling is introduced in Year 2 to support this learning. Children are taught a range of strategies to support the spelling of new vocabulary.


Teachers and children follow the Letter Join handwriting scheme from Reception. Children are taught pre-cursive handwriting from Reception and all pupils are expected to have developed a neat, cursive script by the end Year 3.

Effective teaching of handwriting can only be achieved through modelling, therefore the skill of handwriting is taught explicitly, in short, regular sessions throughout the school. Teachers must demonstrate letter formation and joins precisely and children must practice by carefully copying and repeating. High expectations of writing are needed so teachers model correctly formed handwriting at all times, for example, when writing on the whiteboard and marking books.

Pen licenses can be awarded from Year 3 for consistent fluidity and correct joins.


Our ambition at New Hall is for all pupils to love English for life. We strive to develop children’s creative minds through instilling a love of reading that will continue throughout their lives. We carefully choose a wide range of literature to support this. Reading is delivered in a variety of ways to teach our children how to become both performance readers and in the moment readers as well as to develop their understanding and comprehension.

Phonics/Early Reading

At New Hall we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme in EYFS and Key Stage 1 where phonics is taught systematically five times a week. Reception and Year 1 use the Project X phonics reading programme up to phase 5.

In addition to small group guided reading sessions, Year 1 carry out weekly whole class reading sessions where reading skills are explicitly taught.

Whole Class Reading

From Year 2, reading is taught in whole class sessions 4 times a week. Teacher use their class texts within reading sessions alongside shorter texts that are age-appropriate.

Performance Reading - Each year group uses echo reading to explicitly teach good prosody when reading aloud. Teachers model intonation, rhythm, emphasis and pace to develop fluency. This in turn enhances comprehension. Pupils practise in pairs, groups and perform their reading as a whole class.

‘In the moment’ readers – Children are taught to become active readers through developing a range of comprehension strategies that are modelled throughout all reading opportunities across the curriculum. Teachers and children use their think aloud clouds to articulate the following skills.

Comprehension Skills diagram

After the moment reading – Pupils are discretely taught the skills of reading through teacher modelling and shared reading. In these sessions children are taught to examine texts using the VIPERS skills and complete comprehension questions.

Reading Vipers diagram

Story Time

Story time is a treasured and timetabled part of our daily routine from EYFS up to Y6 in which we develop of love of literature, imagination and vocabulary. Each year group uses their year group book spine as a basis for their text selection.