Skip to content ↓


Speaking and Listening

Children at Preston Manor Lower use discussion daily in order to learn. In lessons, children are encouraged to elaborate and explain clearly their ideas and understanding and to become competent in the arts of speaking and listening by making presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.  The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.

In speaking and listening, pupils are taught to:

  • develop their vocabulary
  • use discussion to  speculate, hypothesise and explore ideas
  • understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate
  • adopt, create and sustain a range of roles in drama
  • use discussion to respond thoughtfully to each other's learning
  • challenge each other's views respectfully
  • justify their views with reasons
  • use discussion to develop and organise ideas for writing


The learning and teaching of reading is highly valued at Preston Manor Lower School.  We currently teach reading through Guided Reading sessions in Reception and KS1, Destination Reader in KS2, daily phonics lessons and individual reading. 

To promote a love for reading, all pupils have independent banded reading books to take home daily, make a weekly visit to the school library, take part in paired reading after lunch each day and hear their teachers model reading in story time at the end of the day. 

Destination Reader

Destination Reader lessons are held daily in KS2 classes. These sessions are based around 8 key reading skills which are essential to supporting the children in becoming confident readers. Destination Reader sessions focus around both a class text which is age appropriate and attainment level books. As part of Destination Reader, children are also encouraged to develop their collaborative learning skills.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading sessions are held daily in KS1 and Reception. Guided Reading involves planned, focused reading activities and small group guided reading sessions with an adult. Every child takes part in at least one guided reading session each week. During this time, the children focus on specific reading skills.  When children are not in the adult led group, they further consolidate their reading skills, either through a follow up task or another independent reading activity.


At Preston Manor Lower School we follow the Read Write Inc. scheme to teach phonics.

Follow this link to find more about Read Write Inc (Parents tab).

Follow this link for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check sample materials.

In reading, pupils are taught to:

  • read fluently and show a clear understanding of what they read
  • make inferences about the characters and plot of a text
  • discuss their thoughts about books with each other and their preferences
  • read widely, including poetry, non-fiction and books from different cultures and time periods
  • develop a love for reading


Writing is taught daily in classes across the school and is based upon 'Talk for Writing.' Writing lessons follow a three part model, beginning with 'Imitation' where the children become familiar with a particular type of text. This is followed by 'Innovation,' where the children have the opportunity to develop their own ideas for writing. Finally, children complete the 'Independent' stage, where they plan and write their own version of the text.

Grammar and spelling

Grammar and spelling is taught in classes across the school, according to the requirements of the National Curriculum.


At Preston Manor Lower School, we use the Nelson Thorne Handwriting Scheme. Children are taught how the individual letters are formed before learning to join.

When children are completing writing at home, use the following points to support them in developing their handwriting:

- chairs and tables should be at a comfortable height

- the table should support the forearm so that it rests lightly on the surface and is parallel to the floor

- encourage children to sit up straight and not slouch

- the height of the chair should be such that the thighs are horizontal and feet flat on the floor

- tables should be free of clutter

- rooms should be well lit

In writing, pupils are taught to:

  • widen the vocabulary they use and ensure vocabulary is used purposefully in writing
  • plan carefully before writing
  • edit and improve their own and peer learning
  • develop their stamina for writing
  • apply the range of grammar they are taught to their writing
  • write using accurate spelling and punctuation