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Whinless Down Academy

Whinless Down Academy



At The WDAT we believe the ability to read, write and communicate is fundamental to our children developing as life-long learners and succeeding in life.  


As reading is the key to unlocking future success, we aim to inculcate in our pupils   

  • a love of literature  
  • an appreciation of our literary heritage  
  • a repertoire of significant authors 

As a result, this will lead to a life-long passion for reading.   

Vocabulary and Spoken Language  
It is our mission to ensure that every pupil leaves our academy as an articulate user of rich and varied vocabulary.   
Our approach to teaching the English curriculum will stimulate an interest and enjoyment of the English language to support our pupils’ continual growth as well-rounded communicators. We will provide our children with the skills to become competent in the use of a range of speaking and listening strategies though well-chosen cross-curricular opportunities.   

Our English curriculum approach to teaching writing ensures that pupils develop the skills to become creative, fluent writers with the ability to write clearly and coherently for a range of purposes and audiences. 



To foster a love of reading, English lessons are taught in connection with a class text which allows children to become fully immersed in discussions about books.   

Carefully chosen class texts form the basis of the whole English journey for the term and where possible are linked to the creative curriculum topic, to enhance the children’s understanding of topic learning.    

Weekly explicit reading sessions allow children to develop skills in both word reading and language comprehension.   

During reading sessions, the learning focuses on the key reading skills or NC PoS, usually in relation to the class text. Further to this, skills such as précising, comparing or analysing text types’ structure, language and layout are also taught during explicit reading sessions. Through the promotion of the Academy Reading Challenge books, children are encouraged to read independently, read for pleasure and build up their reading stamina with individual or paired reading time.   


For early readers, a systematic approach to phonics is taught in line with Little Wandle phonics scheme.   

Vocabulary & Spoken language  

An embedded approach of clear and direct teaching of vocabulary throughout the curriculum enables pupils to communicate their knowledge, views and thinking with confidence and respect.   

Children are taught to explore and investigate rules, patterns and origins of words and spellings as well as practising and applying them in context, using a range of effective strategies. Through a variety of cross-curricular opportunities, children are taught to express themselves clearly, using rich vocabulary, and convey ideas confidently for different purposes.   

All speaking and listening opportunities are planned for to ensure a progression of skills throughout the school.   


All writing opportunities are also carefully planned for to ensure a progression of skills; key non-fiction, fiction and poetry text types foci are outlined in the medium-term plans and are linked to the class text or topic learning.   

Writing will be taught in a ‘learn about’, plan, write, review cycle and explicit editing processes will be taught. Handwriting is taught through a progressive approach: EYFS/KS1 begin with securing letter formation before moving on to secure correct joins in KS2 and developing their own handwriting style.   



Pupils leave our WDAT Academy schools as confident readers who can discuss a range of texts and significant authors. They can retell famous literary stories, myths, poems and rhymes that show their developed cultural capital and understanding of diversity in its many forms. Reading enables pupils to become aspirational and they can express the impact reading has had on their lives and their future.  

Vocabulary & Spoken Language 

Pupil conferencing shows that children are using rich and varied vocabulary to communicate and share ideas both orally and in writing tasks, using spelling and grammar conventions correctly with good effect.  


As effective writers, children demonstrate their secure knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling throughout their writing and demonstrate accuracy in using and applying suitable conventions in all writing genres and text types.  Our children develop skills for life that will ensure success in their future.