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The Hermitage School

Inspire, Learn, Achieve



We aim to promote a love of writing; in order to achieve this we teach writing through a Core Text approach. Each year group has an exciting set of books that are age appropriate and related to their topic. Through these books the children will write in response to the text in a variety of different ways covering a range of genres. 

To ensure the best teaching and learning, teachers model writing strategies through whole class modelling, guided writing and one-to-one modelling.

Each classroom makes full use of a ‘writing working wall’ which promotes excellent standards of written English. These will host key vocabulary, information regarding the core text being read, genre specific information and teacher modelled pieces of writing. 


At the Hermitage School we strive to build an inspirational reading atmosphere and instil in children a desire to want to read for pleasure. Each child is given the opportunity to explore worlds, discover new information and feel a range of emotions as they delve into a wide range of texts. Daily whole class reading lessons are based on the key Destination Reader principles of: creating a quality experience; promoting enjoyment; increasing reading mileage; building firm foundations; developing thinking and understanding and making talk central. Destination Reader blends together a range of learning behaviours and reading strategies which, when bought together, allow children to explore and understand texts independently, at a deeper level.

Key learning behaviours:

  • Supporting and actively listen to others.
  • Pupils discussing and explaining their ideas.
  • Pupils taking responsibility for their own/ their group’s learning.

These learning behaviours are essential and underpin the teaching of the reading strategies and the whole school curriculum.

Reading strategies:

  • Predicting
  • Inferring
  • Asking questions
  • Evaluating
  • Clarifying
  • Making connections
  • Summarising

Each strategy is focused on one at a time, enabling teachers to support and challenge children’s skills through high expectations of oral and written use of the strategy. The skills later become combined and strategies are revisited.

As well as our Destination Reader sessions in school, children will receive a colour banded book which they will read in school and can take home to read with an adult. Below is a list of the colour bands and the levels these correspond to with the Oxford Reading programme. Progress through the bands is not automatic and it is important to ensure that children working in the early bands have secure understanding so that they remain motivated as they move on to more challenging texts.


Colour band

Oxford Reading Level

Light blue



5 - 6


7 - 8


9 - 10




12 - 13

Grey/ Silver



15 - 16

Dark Red

17 - 20


Free Reader


This guidance can only give a general idea of the reading level for your child. There will be a wide range of reading abilities in each school year. As a rough guide, children should be able to read at least 90-95% of the words on the page without any problem. If the book is too easy, they can become bored. If it’s too difficult, they can become frustrated and may have to concentrate so hard on reading the words that they lose the enjoyment of understanding the story.

Children reading rainbow level will be deemed ‘free readers’. It is not a race to get to this level, it is a journey. Children learn at different rates just as they learn to walk and dress themselves at different rates. Reading must not be treated as a competition. If children are rushed through the books they will not achieve the enjoyment and understanding necessary. Books that they find too difficult will soon put them off reading.

We also want to encourage reading for pleasure. Therefore, your child will regularly visit the library and will be given free choice of the books that they choose, so they might not be of the correct level, but your child has chosen that book and wants to read it.

Things to Remember:

  • Please continue to listen to your child read every day.
  • Little and often is more beneficial than a long session once a week.
  • Think about how long you are reading for - the amount of reading time shouldn’t exceed your child’s span of attention.
  • Pick your timing carefully - it’s best not to embark on a reading session when your child is tired.
  • Every child is an individual - try not to compare your child’s progress with other children or with brothers and sisters.
  • “Parents can instil a love of reading long before a child goes to school and deepen that love of reading as the child grows up.”
  • Enjoy reading with your child and help them become lifelong readers.
  • Try some shared reading activities e.g. 1 page each.
  • Talk about books with your child e.g. their likes and dislikes.
  • Reading doesn’t have to be books e.g. magazines, online, recipes etc.


At The Hermitage School, we implement the Read Write Inc Spelling programme to teach spellings. This is an interactive programme which teaches spellings in a fun and engaging way. It helps children to learn spellings with common patterns and uses rules in order to help them recall spellings as well as teaching exceptions to these rules. Children are encouraged to apply the spellings they have learnt within their writing and are given opportunities to identify and correct any errors.  

Read Write Inc Phonics sessions are also put in place as interventions for children who need extra support with their spellings.

Daily discrete phonics sessions are taught in The Orchard Centre by following the Phonics Play scheme.

A link to a helpful youtube clip on pronunciation of phonemes can be found here.