Literacy at Hoyland Common Primary School our approach to reading, writing and speaking and listening


How do we ensure children at HCPS are competent readers that use the world of reading to enhance their learning?

In order to build on the strong foundation formed through our early reading approach where phonics is prioritised in the early teaching of reading HCPS have devised a systematic approach to the teaching of more complex reading elements. It is paramount that once skills in phonics and fluency are embedded children are exposed to comprehension skills drawing on linguistic knowledge and on knowledge of the world. In order to address this, we have developed the LIRA approach, which enriches children's experience and breadth in real text understanding.

Our Approach to LIRA

  • INTENT The LIRA approach has been devised at HCPS using both the National Curriculum objectives and a bespoke approach that meets the needs of the children we serve. LIRA sessions ensure comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Finally, we ensure children are exposed to a balanced diet of reading skills by covering age appropriate literal, inference, reader response and authorial intent objectives.
  • IMPLEMENTATION The LIRA approach takes place in years 2 to 6 where the teaching of comprehension skills is based on Literal, Inference, Readers’ response and Author’s intent questions. Through this approach pupils are supported to develop the skills needed in order to answer different types of questions. High quality texts are utilised effectively with a focus on exposing pupils to a broad range of authors and developing vocabulary.
  • IMPACT HCAT reading trackers are in place in every year group in order to build on skills progressively throughout school. Each reading tracker is segmented into the four key areas of comprehension; literal, inference, readers’ response and author’s intent. The HCAT trackers ensure teachers are carefully choosing age appropriate objectives and lessons are pitched correctly.

The HCPS Literacy Curriculum

Intent - HCAT Year on a Page and the National Curriculum

At HCPS, we endeavour to teach English with conviction, joy, skill and enthusiasm, and to feed the children with rich literature experiences at every opportunity; using the Skills and Knowledge Based Curriculum where appropriate.

We have tailored the HCPS year on a page for individual year groups that cover the three main areas of the national curriculum : Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening to ensure progressive coverage and high expectations for all.

Our teaching is based on the recommended primary English Curriculum, which has been personalised to meet the needs of our learners. However, while we acknowledge the recommendations of the English Curriculum, staff are encouraged to exercise their creative judgement and to be flexible in the teaching and learning of English through the Skills and Knowledge Based Curriculum, based on the differing needs, interests and abilities of the children.


Implementation - Gather, Skills, Apply & Accelerated Learning Cycle

Teaching at HCPS centres around the use of Gather, Skills, Apply. This approach provides pupils with the opportunity to analyse elements of high quality texts, develop new or refine existing skills linked to the text type and apply this to writing. Pupils are explicitly taught the skills required to enable them to become successful and independent writers’.

The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi-sensory learning, encourages the demonstration of understanding in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing.

Implementation of accelerated learning, supported by EEF metacognition research, has ensured the pace of learning is appropriate and has enabled pupils to secure rapid and sustained progress.



Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It judges progress and enables the teacher to make flexible adaptations to their planned teaching.

Effective formative assessment, daily marking and feedback and adult interaction within lessons is firmly embedded into our approach to teaching and learning. All pupils are supported to develop, progress and move their learning forward through support, questioning and feedback. Pupils demonstrate the impact this has on improving their learning through editing and response.

The use of clear learning objectives and success criteria ensures pupils understand their learning and become self-regulated learners who aspire to achieve to their full potential. The use of Achieve, Challenge and Aspire success criteria allows children assess their learning independently. Pupils and teachers refer to this throughout the lesson when they are assessing the progress they have made.

Reading and writing is assessed by teachers who use the HCAT trackers for their year groups to allocate a level and next steps for each pupil. We aim to produce at least 2 assessed pieces of writing per half term. Cross moderation occurs in school every term and pieces are gathered for a model portfolio. Moderation across trust and the LA support this process.

Example year on Page


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