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At Greystoke School, we believe that reading is at the centre of learning.

We strive for children to learn to love books through daily storytelling sessions, drawing upon books from different genres, cultures and religions. Teachers nurture a love of reading by introducing books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored which inspires the children and evokes excitement, allowing children to become immersed in a huge range of literature. 

Teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning.

World Book Day 2022

Today we have had a wonderful day celebrating and exploring our favourite books. The children arrived at school this morning dressed in a variety of fantastic costumes from Harry Potter and the BFG to Stick Man and Cinderella- all of the children looked brilliant and it was great to see such a fantastic effort from everyone. Throughout the day children from Pre-school to Year 6 have enjoyed sharing and discussing their favourite books together.

What a lovely time we have had enjoying such a range of books and characters.


At Greystoke School, we believe that a high quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We seek to inspire all pupils in English, encouraging them to view it as a source of enjoyment and information and a tool that will empower them to share ideas and interact with others. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum to enable all children to: 

  • Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • Be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes
  • Understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately
  • Have fluent and legible handwriting
  • Have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary
  • Know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry
  • understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot
  • Understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts
  • Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing
  • Have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing
  • Be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences
  • Through reading and writing develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
  • Be fluent and confident speakers and careful listeners.

Greystoke Primary School pupils,in addition to having their 4th Annual Handwriting Competition sponsored by Lord Melvyn Bragg of Wigton, has also been kindly donated graphite and coloured pencils by Keswick Pencil Museum. This donation is very much appreciated and will enable the pupils to use locally made pencils to write their handwriting entries on locally made paper. I have seen a huge improvement in the children’s handwriting since the competition started in 2019.

The skill of handwriting is being lost due to the multitude of electronic devices using keypads. The ability to write a legible letter in one’s own handwriting is becoming much more important in todays highly competitive jobs market.

A huge well done to our children for receiving awards from the annual handwriting competition.

We believe that reading can open doors for our pupils and can help them to gain experiences, improve language and vocabulary skills and stimulate their imaginations.

We aim to create confident readers who have good independent learning skills and develop a range of interests through reading. The active encouragement of reading for pleasure is a core part of every child’s educational entitlement at Greystoke School, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts makes a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement and develops a life- long love for reading.


Early reading is supported through the EYFS Statutory Framework and Development Matters statements for the prime areas of the EYFS curriculum – these include; Communication and Language (listening, attention, understanding & Speaking) and English (Comprehension, word reading and writing).

Whole school staff training and ensure that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. Each class has an inviting reading area to encourage a love of reading, and a well stocked school library at the heart of the school helps children see the value and status we put on books and reading.


The organisation of the English curriculum has realised a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing English knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Children’s work is published on ‘Pobble’ to enable other staff members and parents to view children’s work.  Outcomes of work in both English and topic books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose and audience.

To enrich the English curriculum, the school takes part in a wide range of enrichment activities.  These include author visits, celebrating World Book Day or National Poetry Day and author focus events.  Children also take part in poetry and creative writing competitions, which are celebrated in whole school assemblies.

Our school has adopted the ELS (Essential Letters and Sounds) synthetic phonics programme. This DfE validated, essential phonics programme aims to  get all children to read well, quickly. 

What is Synthetic Phonics?

Synthetic phonics is a way of teaching children to read. It teaches children how sounds are represented by written letters. Children are taught to read words by blending these sounds together to make words.

For example, they will be taught that the letters ‘m-a-t’ blend together to make ‘mat’. A synthetic phonics programme, such as ELS, is a structure for teaching these sounds in a certain order to build up children’s learning gradually. It is used daily during Reception and Year 1 to teach all the sounds in the English language.

How is ELS taught in schools?

With ELS, there is a daily phonics lesson where the teacher teaches a new sound, or reviews sounds learned earlier in the week. This is shown to the class on the whiteboard.

Children learn the letters that represent the sounds. They are then asked to read words and sentences with the new sounds in. Children will also practise writing the letters that represent the sounds. 

What order are the sounds taught in?

New sounds are taught each day, with some review days and weeks to help children practise what they’ve learned. Click below to reveal the sounds your child will learn in ELS.