At Martello we are passionate about and dedicated to ensuring that every child will be a proficient reader and have an intrinsic love of reading regardless of their background, needs or abilities, from the moment they start school.

The reading programme at Martello matches the National Curriculum but at the same time pushes children to break down barriers to their success in reading and exceed age related expectations.

As a school we will ensure that every child will be secure in their phonics knowledge from the earliest opportunity – a fundamental element needed for reading and as a prerequisite for success across the curriculum.

Our reading curriculum has clear expectations of pupils’ reading progress term by term, from Year R to Year Six, and our school’s approach is frequently adapted to align with these expectations.

We provide children with a choice of a wide range of reading books that enable a cumulative progression in both word reading and comprehension skills.


Phonics, Reading and Spelling

To ensure the delivery of high quality, systematic phonic work for all children, we use the Read Write Inc. programme developed by Ruth Miskin (https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/programmes/phonics/).

In Reception and Year 1, this facilitates a robust and rigorous approach to learning phonics and development as early readers, spellers and writers. This strategy delivers consistent practice, progression and continuity in the teaching and learning of phonics and spelling right up to Year 6.

Our spelling program begins in Year 2, where children build on their prior phonic knowledge from year 1. SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) is taught daily through our Talk 4 Writing programme, Whole Class Reading programme and the online Bedrock Vocabulary Programme.

Reading at Martello is implemented through:

  • Discrete RWinc phonic lessons, taught daily in Key Stage 1.

  • 1:1 interventions carried out according to need, and at least 3 times a week, to target children with specific gaps in knowledge.

  • Daily readers are targeted to ensure regular practice, and opportunities to decode and consolidate sounds from Reception to Year 6. Assessment information and pupil premium eligibility is used to determine the frequency of 1:1 reading sessions.

  • Reading Support Assistant role (facilitated through Catch-Up Funding/Pupil Led Tutoring Grant) deployed to Benchmark children, ensuring reading books are closely aligned with pupils’ stage of learning to read, as well as daily 1:1 and precision teaching for identified children to support pupils to catch up and keep up, and develop fluency and confidence.

  • Whole class texts chosen to be ambitious and contextually relevant to the school i.e. The Boy at the Back of the Class.

  • Daily whole class reading lessons develop vocabulary, comprehension, deductive reasoning and immersion in the class text.

  • All Talk 4 Writing units planned using the whole class text to build an in-depth knowledge of a text and its features, and including opportunities to develop oracy and exposure to high quality model/ exemplar texts.

  • A whole school focus on developing a love of reading: displays in every corridor, book corners in every classroom and daily story time built into class timetables.

  • A newly built library that follows seasonal termly themes to encourage curiosity and the exploration of what inspires a love of reading.

  • Termly reading challenges to complete during school holidays and ongoing class incentives to encourage the continuation of daily reading (at home).

  • A recent investment of over £2000 in additional reading scheme books and reading for pleasure books across the academic year.

  • Involving parents in being a partner in their child’s reading journey through regular opportunities for in-school reading as well as active strategies to support reading with their child at home.


As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

In addition to this:

Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.

The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children.

There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)


‘Everyone deserves the taste of success.’

We believe that every child that comes to school deserves to flourish, and it is this which leads our drive to empower children as readers and writers through Talk 4 Writing.

Talk 4 Writing, developed by Pie Corbett, is the structure which is used as the basis for all English teaching across Martello Primary School. Text choices ensure that children access high quality literature representing a range of authors and genres, and which are appropriate for the needs of the children and local context. The underlying principle of this method of English teaching is that children’s ability to write independently in a particular style and genre is scaffolded through exposure to a high quality model/exemplar text and through the stages of ‘imitation’, ‘innovation’ and ‘invention’. Opportunities to analyse texts in detail, retell texts orally and ‘hug closely’ to the high quality exemplar text all feature prominently

English teaching typically follows a three-week cycle, and consists of the following phases: imitation, invention and independent practice. The specific activities and balance between the three areas are decided by each year group. At the start of each unit, a ‘Cold Task’ is completed which enables teachers to assess pupils’ writing in relation to the expected knowledge and skills for each year group. Teachers use this assessment information to inform subsequent teaching and learning..

Imitation Week

Children are given the opportunity to learn, read and analyse a model text. They will learn sections orally and may be asked to perform it to their peers using actions or other resources. Following this, they will have opportunities to ‘read as a reader’ in which vocabulary and comprehension will be explored before ‘reading as a writer’ in which composition and effect will be analysed and writing toolkits generated.

Innovation Week

Using the language, structures and ideas generated during imitation week, the children will then start applying these through making increasingly complex changes to a model text. In EYFS and KS1 children may be asked to change a character or setting, whilst in KS2, children will explore shifts in viewpoint, prequels/sequels and flashbacks. Boxing up is used to compare, contrast and structure extended pieces of writing.

Independent Application

During the final week of each cycle, children are given the opportunity to fully embed all that they have learned throughout the previous weeks by planning, writing and editing their own independent piece of writing based on the genre which has been taught. These are referred to as ‘Hot Tasks.’


Poetry is used as a recurring theme throughout all fiction and non-fiction writing. Children explore key language through thematic poetry which is regularly performed in class.

Glossary of Terms

For further information, please read Martello Primary’s approach to writing.