Literacy policy

At Berkley we want to instill a real love and passion for Literacy.  We link our Literacy work to the school topic as much as possible, and we ensure that we include ‘Wow days’ allowing the children to experience and immerse themselves in the topic.  This helps us ensure our teaching is inspirational, engaging and exciting.

Learning to read and write through Phonics, forms the core of our literacy teaching in Early Years and Key Stage One.  We use the two highly successful schemes to support our work; these are Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds as we find, both provide a strong foundation for Key Stage Two.

Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics.  With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for both children and teachers as they can see their students achieve and the children are engaged in their learning.

The letter sounds are split into seven groups.  Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues all the way through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.

The five skills taught 

  1. Learning the letter sounds

Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.

  1. Learning letter formation

Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.

  1. Blending

Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

  1. Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)

Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

  1. Tricky words

Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

The national curriculum set the following lists as words a year one and year two child should be able to read and spell.

Helping Your Child With Spelling KS1, KS

Spelling Tip Sheet Sept 2020


At Berkley we follow the Oxford Reading Tree Reading Scheme.  This is the UK’s number one reading program which has taught millions of children to read… It supports us teach children to enjoy reading and helps us encourage a real love of books.  With systematic phonics at its heart, the Oxford Reading Tree’s well-loved characters, breadth and unrivalled support gives us everything children need to become confident readers.  Once the children have finished the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme in Key Stage two they become ‘Free Readers’ and are able to choose a book from a variety of genres.  We are very lucky to have a large variety of genres including books by modern authors and older classic stories.  Each classroom has a reading corner; we carry out a library borrowing service weekly and the Headteacher commits to hearing every child in school read on a regular basis and we actively encourage as much reading at home as possible.   All enabling children to continue their love and passion for reading.

You can find more information on https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/starting-school/oxford-reading-tree-explained/

Helping With Reading 5-7

Hearing Children Read 7-11

Reading Tips For Reading Records

Reading record targets with explanation

 Websites promoting Reading
 KS2 Reading at Home bookmarks
 FS/KS1 Reading at Home bookmarks
 Essential Characteristics of Readers

•Excellent phonic knowledge and skills. We use Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics in Key Stage 1 and EYFS.

•Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

•Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

•An excellent comprehension of texts.

•The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.

•Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.



Spelling, punctuation and general grammar are taught at both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two and is supported throughout the curriculum. From the start of school Handwriting receives regular practice.

Independent writing is encouraged from the very beginning and a variety of stimuli is used to develop and inspire different writing skills, i.e. creative, descriptive and factual writing.  Regular challenges are set to encourage improvement and evaluation.

Berkley Writing at home KS1 and KS2

To help you with understanding the specific English grammar terms that your child will come to know, we have included the National Curriculum guidance.

In Key Stage 2, your child will be expected to spell the following words. They will become familiar with them over the course of their time in Years 3 and 4 and may bring them home to rehearse and learn at home.

Helping Your Child With Spelling KS1, KS2