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Hackness and Wykeham Church of England Schools' Federation

‘Living, learning and growing in God's World’

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For more information about reading and writing in EYFS, please see our EYFS page.

For information about the Federation's approach to teaching Phonics, please see our comprehensive Phonics page. 

Favourite Five (Reception and Year 1)

At Hackness and Wykeham, we recognise that young children develop their knowledge, understanding and, most importantly, love of texts through special story times with trusted adults. Opportunities to listen to carefully-selected, high-quality texts repeatedly is a vital part of supporting children to learn new vocabulary and internalise common story structures. Therefore, we bring our Reception and Year 1 children together for our ‘Favourite Five’ texts, which change each half term.

One book is read for a whole week (sometimes longer if the children love it!), with adults focusing on different aspects of reading each day. Children in Year 1 will access the same texts during Favourite Five that they enjoyed in Reception. This enables them to become very familiar with key stories so that they can retell them accurately, deepening their understanding of vocabulary and preparing them for writing in English lessons. Additionally, they access a range of non-fiction and poetry through their English lessons.

Our offer for reading for pleasure and developing comprehension sits alongside our offer for Phonics which is delivered using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. For more information about Phonics, please see the Phonics section of our website.


Whole class reading (Year 2-Year 6)

Our whole class reading offer ensures children access a diverse range of authors, texts and genres, reflecting their experiences as well as exposing them to new worlds and viewpoints. Reading lessons provide opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of vocabulary, improve fluency and expression for reading aloud, broaden their knowledge and develop deeper understanding.

As well as four lessons focusing on the chosen text each week, children have a fifth session promoting reading for pleasure. This usually takes place in our school library where the class teacher models choosing books, recommends authors relevant for the age group and children have the opportunity to engage in ‘book talk’.

Like reading, writing is a key skill for life. Alongside our spelling curriculum, our writing curriculum equips children with the skills to write fluently, accurately, creatively and with the ability to adapt their language, structure and tone for a range of contexts. We provide children with meaningful opportunities for writing to develop their awareness of audience and purpose.

The teaching of writing at Hackness and Wykeham follows a three stage process:


Immerse: Children are introduced to the stimulus for writing as well as opportunities to investigate the compositional and grammatical features of the focus genre. In narrative units, the Immerse stage includes drama and role play to support children to develop their speaking and listening as well as their understanding of plot and character.


Imitate: Children complete guided and independent practice relating to the grammar and composition of the genre. They may also complete short pieces of writing to apply their newly-gained knowledge and understanding.


Invent: Children apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to draft their own piece of writing. They may redraft their writing and at least once a half term they will publish their writing to develop their presentation skills.


Our intent is for every child to write for pleasure and to be equipped with the skills to write fluently, accurately, creatively and with the ability to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.