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Thornton Primary School (Reading and Phonics) Curriculum Document

Thornton Primary School English (Writing) Curriculum Document

Autumn 2022


Well done to all of the children who entered the Young Writers' Competition. Your poems will all be published! You all wrote fabulous poems which can now help to inspire other writers. Great work!

Author Visit-Julie Neville


The children in years 1-4 had the exciting opportunity to celebrate the launch of Julie Neville's first published book 'Escape from the Cattery'. Julie shared her journey as an author with the children, and explained how she had chosen the setting and characters for her book. The children then listened to Julie reading some of the story- which they all enjoyed very much!


At the end of the assembly, the children had lots of questions to ask and Julie enjoyed answering them all! It was such a fantastic opportunity, and Julie was so impressed with all of the children in school, even asking if she could come back and visit when her second book is published.


Many children were inspired, and have since told our staff they would like to be authors, just like Julie!

                                          Our Writing 


At Thornton, we have adopted “The Write Stuff” by Jane Considine to improve the standard of writing across the school. The Write Stuff follows a method called “Sentence Stacking” which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then apply independently to their own writing. A single lesson is based on a sentence model and is broken down into three learning chunks. Each learning chunk contains three sections:

  1. Initiate- a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and gather vocabulary and ideas in pairs, and as a class through a method of ‘kind calling out’

  2. Model- the teacher models a sentence that applies the vocabulary from the first section, outlining clear writing features and technique.

  3. Enable- the children use the model as a guide to write their own independent sentence.

Children are challenged to gain a silver star through ‘deepening the moment’ using previously learnt skills and applying them to their writing during that chunk.


The Write Stuff uses 'The Three Zones of Writing': The FANTASTICs (ideas), The GRAMMARISTICs (tools), and The BOOMTASTICs (techniques) to support children's learning, precision and writing.


The FANTASTICs system allows children to identify the nine elements that all text types are comprised of. When pupils are familiar with these nine elements, they are able to ensure that they are incorporated into their writing. The FANTASTICs help children to sharpen their understanding of their own and others’ writing by encouraging them to be observant and reflective.


The 9 GRAMMARISTICs cover national curriculum requirements, capturing the broad spectrum of key grammar knowledge. Discrete grammar lessons are also taught weekly to ensure specific grammar knowledge is taught and it is revisited through short burst grammar sessions to ensure the knowledge and learning is secure.


The BOOMTASTICs capture the ten powerful ways to add drama and poetic devices to writing. They help children structure their work, teaching them to showcase their writing voice, demonstrate originality and to take risks in a bid to capture the truth of a situation.






At Thornton, our aim is that pupils will be supported to develop a handwriting style which is clear, joined and fluid. We provide regular lessons for teaching and revising handwriting skills. The frequency and length of these lessons will vary according to the age of the children.

Formal handwriting skills will be taught regularly and systematically through the use of the PENPALS Handwriting scheme (Cambridge University Press). The scheme exploits opportunities to link handwriting with Phonics and spelling work.


The scheme is organised into five stages of handwriting:

1. Readiness for writing: gross and fine motor skills leading to letter formation (Foundation)

2. Beginning to join (Lower KS1)

3. Securing joins (Upper KS1/Lower KS2)

4. Practising speed and fluency (Lower KS2)

5. Presentation skills (Upper KS2)


It is important that children hold their pencil correctly and ensure their posture is correct.

Pencil hold

  • Pencil held between finger and thumb
  •  Middle finger provides extra support


  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Head up, not resting on the desk or hand
  • Paper at the correct angle
  • Spare hand steadies the paper


World Book Day 2022

World Book Day 2020-David Walliams Theme

On March 5th we celebrated World Book Day at Thornton, by dressing up as our favourite book characters and decorating boiled eggs as characters too. All of the costumes were fantastic, ranging from David Walliams' Awful Auntie, to an Elmer in Reception and a Demon Dentist in year 4/5. Thank you for your support with our activities.


Reception enjoyed the book of The Slightly Annoying Elephant. They enjoyed reading the story, and then discussing what animal they would like to adopt to live with them. 


Year 1 read The First Hippo on the Moon. This led to a discussion as to whether Sheila had made good choices in the story, and then they designed her a brand new rocket to get back up to the moon.


Year 2 explored Gangsta Granny through both the book and the film. They had the task of producing a newspaper report based upon Granny and Ben stealing the Queen's jewels.


Year 3/4 wrote a letter to persuade the Awful Auntie to give them lots of her money. They also took part in a David Walliam's quiz.


Year 4/5 had the text Demon Dentist. They invented their own pain scale with activities such as sitting on a porcupine, or having all of your teeth pulled out whilst being bitten by a venomous snake. They also wrote lovely letters to their favourite authors, lots of which were David Walliams.


Year 6 had ownership over their learning based around Grandpa's Great Escape. They wrote acrostic poems, designed menus for Grandpa, researched the Cold War and wrote a paragraph about their favourite part of the story.

World Book Day Egg Competition Entries