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Northmead Junior School

Northmead Junior School


Using language expressively is central to all learning.


   Mrs Backhurst is the subject lead for writing.


Through high quality teaching of writing at Northmead, we strive to develop our learners into articulate and imaginative communicators who speak, read and write fluently. While exploring non-fiction, fiction and poetry units, we aim to ensure all our children develop a love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach. We use elements from ‘Talk for Writing’ in our non-fiction units, as this approach enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic, before writing their own version. In each unit of literacy, immersion in reading, and talk and preparation for writing, are developed through three key stages: imitation, innovation and independent application. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how important writing is in everyday life and they are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. 


Whole class writing lessons are planned around a high-quality model text. The topic for writing is carefully considered so that it is engaging, age and interest appropriate, can be linked if needed to foundation work, the genre can be applied in context. An inspiring ‘hook’ or stimulus is used to engage and enthuse the children and immerse them in the topic.  

There is a strong focus on vocabulary with pre-teaching, a daily vocab focus, higher level word choice, links to Yr3/4 word lists and spellings, a consideration of vocabulary tiers and visual resources such as word mats etc. SPaG is taught within units as well as discreetly. Writing is completed from a plan and teacher modelling of good practise is implemented as they demonstrate how to innovate from the original text. Children edit and improve their writing within each unit through ‘sentence doctor’ starters or designated editing days.    

The outcome of each unit is carefully considered to ensure that the children have a clear end goal and are writing for a purpose. A published result is celebrated and shared.    

Handwriting lessons are taught discreetly in the lower school and as intervention in the upper school. 

At Northmead, we use the Oxford Read Write Inc. spelling programme to teach spelling. It covers all of the spelling requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum and uses a proven approach underpinned by phonics, which includes preparation for the statutory spelling assessments in England. Each child works within their spelling group at their appropriate level, as identified by their teacher. Spelling rules and concepts are introduced by aliens from an exciting online spelling planet, and children take part in a range of fun spelling activities. As well as learning spelling rules, there are also statutory lists of words for year 3&4 and year 5&6 to learn.

Children will bring home spellings to learn on a weekly basis. In addition, children take a half termly test, following the style of the statutory spelling assessment which they will take in year six.




   Miss Lewis is the subject lead for reading.


At Northmead we believe children should have access to high quality, inspirational children’s literature in order that they develop a joy of and interest in the written word.  Reading, with understanding, is a fundamental skill, which opens up learning for children and has impact on every area of the curriculum, so it is our intention for all children to become fluent and effective readers. Reading is given a high priority when timetabling to ensure children are involved in a range of reading activities every day. Opportunities for less formal interactions with books and reading are being encouraged as we further develop a rich reading environment within our school.


Do click on the links in the table below to find out more.

In class



Additional activities

Home school Liaison

Whole class daily reading lesson 

Ongoing teacher assessment

Project X

Year 3/4


Home reading record.  

Independent reading


Termly star reader test

Year 5/6 comprehension express

Author visits

Parent reading workshops

Teacher reading aloud to children daily

Termly comprehension test- PIRA



Book week

Monthly reading newsletter

Book corner available



Regular Book Fayres


Accelerated reader-

quiz with termly rewards



Staff CPD




book club




















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