Literacy, Phonics and Reading


In Transition there is a strong emphasis on the acquisition of key literacy skills.  In Literacy we use a multi-sensory approach including the teaching of phonics and key word recognition.  The children have access to a wide variety of age-appropriate reading materials to aid development.  We encourage a love of literature through classroom libraries with a range of picture and information books, weekly trips to Finsbury Library and regular story sessions.  Towards the end of their time in Transition,  we consolidate the foundations established and continue to build upon these in ways which extend and enrich the learning opportunities of the children.

Middle School

From reading, developing vocabulary and learning about authors, to story writing, poetry, instructional and factual writing, we aim to help the children develop their literacy skills in an enjoyable way and instil a love of literature.  The children enjoy writing for projects and making books.  Naturally, they also have lessons in comprehension, punctuation and grammar.  

Once the children become independent readers, it is expected that our children are able to read for pleasure over sustained periods of time, whilst also being able to navigate around and locate relevant information in a range of text types. When this is not the case, we gently support children to first develop a love of literature, then gain confidence in their own reading ability.

Opportunities to read and develop reading skills occur throughout the day, as the children research topics, share literature, read prescribed texts and read for their own enjoyment.

We use the Barbican Library and we hold a weekly ‘Book Club’ in which children read aloud to others, are taught how to discuss texts and, in turn, develop a deeper understanding of what they are reading, by entering into discussions about a book’s themes and structure, with their group.  This promotes a love of literature, whilst at the same time, developing the comprehension skills needed to tackle entrance exams.


Our children become independent writers who are able to write for a range of audiences and purposes.  We assess each child’s level of ability, work alongside them, giving individual strategies to improve their writing. We provide opportunities, on a regular basis, for our children to engage in purposeful writing. We introduce them to a range of writing styles. We believe that writing should be an enjoyable activity and actively promote it as such.

Lessons in spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught; however, we believe that these skills are better developed through providing the children with purposeful writing activities, then sitting beside them, to offer support, with the editing process. We support children in developing a free-flowing cursive style of handwriting, alongside developing ability in two-handed touch typing.