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For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.

Kofi Annan


All children can express themselves confidently, creatively and independently using spoken and written words. They have a thirst for reading a diverse range of books to develop their imagination and learn new things.  They develop a love of writing for a range of purposes and audiences. 


When you read, you can let your mind be free and create a whole other world in which anything is possible.

Year 6 Pupil


At Penwortham, we believe in providing all children with the skills and enthusiasm to become lifelong readers.  From the beginning of school life in Nursery to Year 6 we have a ‘WE ARE approach, where we believe that reading should be a positive and relevant experience for all children.



Our classrooms provide an environment grounded in our school values, Rights Respecting and the six principles of nurture, providing all children with a safe space to feel confident when reading individually and as a class.



Our ethos is based on a whole school determination that every child will learn to read age related texts regardless of the social and economic circumstances of their neighbourhoods, the ethnicity of the pupils, the language spoken at home or any special educational needs or disabilities.



All children will leave our school with the skills they need in order to become avid readers and communicators, to ensure they can fully access the curriculum and continue to thrive at secondary school.



Children are engaged with and feel inspired by the wide range of books available in school.  A variety of text choices (including written, audio, film and picture texts) allow children to craft writing for different purposes: to inform, to entertain, to persuade and to discuss. 



The strong reading culture across the school supports all children in becoming confident and passionate readers and communicators, and ensures language acquisition is central to learning. Children feel empowered to use their English skills to become an active citizen by addressing both global and local issues.

What do the children learn and when?

Research shows us that to become a good reader children need to practise reading regularly. At Penwortham, we ask that children read every day with an adult throughout their time with us. Children who read for pleasure go on to do better in many areas of their academic career. It is one of the most significant indicators for success in life beyond school.

The reading journey for every pupil begins at home.  Click the images below for some recommended reads, top tips, parent workshops and our virtual library.  

Children are immersed in a range of high quality text. They are encouraged to join in with stories, act them out through role play and take part in listening and rhyming activities. They have continuous access to an engaging book area and a whole school library in which they can look at a range of fiction, non- fiction and poetry books freely. They also have the opportunity to take books home to share with their families and carers. 

How do we teach reading? 

Reading is embedded throughout the curriculum at Penwortham to provide children with multiple opportunities to practice their fluency, deepen their understanding and make links between different texts and their own experiences.

Reading is also explicitly taught across the school as we aim to ensure that every child leaves Penwortham with the ability to read age related texts and beyond with confidence, enthusiasm and purpose so that they can really thrive. We understand that children need to develop a number of complex skills in order to become skilled readers.

Click on the tabs below to find out more.


Reading at home

Reciprocal Reading




Useful links

Penwortham's Top Tips for reading at home

Get Epic!

BBC Bitesize



Sounds Write

Reading Zone

Book Trust

Guess the Shelfie Competition!


I love getting my ideas down on paper – it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes, I can always edit my work.

Year 5 Pupil


At Penwortham, children’s love of reading and writing is at the heart of our curriculum.  We aim to ensure all children are equipped with the relevant skills they need to communicate their ideas with the world effectively. Throughout our English lessons, we encourage children to develop a love of writing through authentic and engaging writing projects which have a clear purpose.

What do the children learn and when?

Writing activities are embedded across the curriculum allowing pupils many opportunities to practice and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in their daily English writing lessons. 

Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) skills are embedded throughout English lessons. As the children move through the school, new aspects of grammar and punctuation are introduced and previously taught aspects are revisited and developed.

Spellings build on the foundations of Sounds Write, and lessons continue to unpick, explore and spot patterns in the complex spelling of the English language. Rules and patterns are taught during spelling lessons and revisited throughout the curriculum. Weekly homework provides further opportunities to learn these rules. 


How do we teach writing?

 Understanding the purpose of our writing is the starting point for our children.

We define purpose as:

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • Why?
  • Who is our audience?

The clearer understanding of the purpose children have, the more engaged they will be within their writing. Examples include: performances, blogs, published stories, news reports, letters, postcards, performing to another year group, sharing with the school community.  The purpose of our writing is spoken about throughout the lessons.

Language exposure - Children are immersed in rich texts, which have been carefully selected by teachers. Children are encouraged to develop their ideas throughout lessons by taking part in engaging activities. By the end of the lessons they have been fully immersed in the language of the text and developed their ideas and vocabulary.

Modelling - Modelled, shared and guided writing takes place regularly in classrooms as a whole class and in small groups. The class teacher will select on these modelling strategies  for the whole class input.  It is then used to support children’s independent writing in the development of different forms, styles and genres.

Independent work - Once the children are fully equipped with all the technical skills that they need, they spread their wings and have a go at writing independently.   

Editing - Editing is arguably one of the most important parts of the writing process. This is where children have the chance to look back at their work, reflect and make any improvements they feel are needed.

Publishing - Publishing is making sure that the purpose is fulfilled. We use different types of technology to publish, and children take pride in their finished work.

Pupil voice - This allows children to reflect on what they have learnt and share their opinions with the class and teacher.


 The writing that pupils produce throughout the year is used as evidence and assessed by class teachers against the Department for Education's Assessment Framework for Writing.

Throughout the year teachers meet in their year group teams and with other schools across Wandsworth to discuss and moderate the children's writing.  This ensures consistency and provides a forum for discussion and support.


At Penwortham our aim is for all children to develop a confident, clear and personal handwriting style. We encourage children to take pride and care in their handwriting. ‘Nelsons’ software is used to support the teaching and learning of handwriting. This allows for a consistent approach and progression of handwriting skills across the school.  

Gross and fine motor skills are practised through a wide range of activities across the school and are built into subjects across the curriculum. Movement breaks and daily exercise such as ‘Five a Day’ or the ‘Daily Mile’ are encouraged to help build children’s core muscle strength which underpins handwriting skills.


Whole School Book

Author visit – Banji Alexander

We had a fantastic visit from Banji Alexander where he made us laugh lots while talking about his book ‘Lockdown Looms’.

Wimbledon Book Fest meeting Tim Peake

Some lucky year 5 and 6 children went to listen to Tim Peake talk about his new book at the Wimbledon Book Fest. 

Click the images below to find out more:





Pupil Leaders

We love meeting every week to talk about how we can make English even better than it already is at Penwortham!

What have we done so far?

Book Fair: we helped run our autumn term book fair which raised £900 worth of books for our school!

Vote for your favourite poet: we have set up a voting station in the playground and near the school office to find out who Penwortham’s favourite poet is. The results will be announced during Book Week!

Odd Reading Competition: we chose the winners for our ‘Odd Reading Competition’ during Anti-Bullying week.

Penwortham Reading Ambassadors meet to discuss our ideas on how we can promote the love of reading in our school.  These are some of our ideas!

  • Suggestion box for new books in library.
  • Younger children to get reward stickers for reading books.
  • Make a recommendation list of books for friends in book corners. 
  • More reading competitions!
  • Older students write stories for the younger children about any topic.
  • Tokens - if you read a lot of books, you get a token for the fair or farmers market. 
  • Recommend a book, vote for it and read it.
  • More reading across classes like we do in Book Week.