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Phonics and Reading

At Sunnyhill, reading is feature of every lesson. Pupils begin their reading journey through phonics, which is taught daily from the first day of reception. Once pupils are able to decode and read words, they move onto reading comprehension skills. More detail about how phonics and reading are taught at Sunnyhill can be found here: 

Phonics & Reading


At Sunnyhill, we expect pupils to:

  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Incorporate writing skills into written work for all subjects
  • understand and use a wide range of vocabulary
  • apply spelling patterns and rules they learn
  • see themselves as real writers  
  • see writing as an interesting and enjoyable process  
  • edit their work effectively during and after the writing process.
  • take pride in the presentation of their work

How we teach writing at Sunnyhill:

We use The Literacy Tree scheme to place high quality children’s literature at the heart of teaching and learning. Texts that are chosen engage pupils in the learning of writing and also support their love of reading. From these texts, teachers plan opportunities for different writing compositions.


Teachers plan writing opportunities linked to termly history, geography, science or RE topics. We ensure that there is a meaningful outcome for a variety of genres so that children are given a real purpose for their writing. Teachers use texts linked to topics and stimulating first hand experiences to inspire writing.


By the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should write fluently and legibly, at speed using a cursive script. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. From reception, teachers follow the ‘Letter-join’ scheme of work to deliver handwriting lessons each week.  

Speaking and Listening

At Sunnyhill, we embed speaking and listening skills across all areas of the curriculum. We encourage pupils to use speaking and listening to solve problems, share ideas and make decisions.  As a school with high levels of English as an additional language (EAL), we follow a systematic approach using sentence starters and we keep a strong focus on the correct use of subject specific vocabulary. We expect pupils to speak and respond using full sentences, in standard English.

In the early years, staff have been trained to deliver the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).  This project is designed to improve the spoken language ability of Reception children. 

At Sunnyhill, we have identified ‘core’ words that the pupils will meet in different subjects and in different topics. These words are revisited in different contexts so that pupils are able to use them independently and apply vocabulary to their learning.  


In the Autumn term, all children have the opportunity to perform in front of their parents in our end of year shows (EYFS Winter Show and Shakespeare Festival).  Throughout the year, the children also perform in termly class assemblies. 

By giving them multiple opportunities to perform on the stage throughout their time at Sunnyhill, pupils have an opportunity to develop their confidence with public performance.  In Year 6, pupils showcase their performance skills in an end of year production, which marks the end of their primary school journey.