I have had a number of messages from people looking for advice on how to fit everything in Literacy. There are 5 hours allocated to Literacy so roughly 1 hour per day.

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The strands are;

  • Oral Language
  • Reading
  • Writing

Within each strand there are many different components such as guided reading, shared writing, DEAR time, covering various genres in writing, novels, independent reading, creative writing, grammar etc.


In my class I do guided reading 3 times per week, writing twice (sometimes more) and oral language every day. I also use our reading strategies in other subjects such as History, Geography, Science etc.

Guided reading

I divide the class into 3 groups

  • Group 1: read with teacher (focus on the reading skill, answer comprehension questions orally)
  • Group 2: answer comprehension questions (I use Comprehension Quickies  – which are short passages with 10 questions on each)
  • Group 3: word work (put chosen words into sentences), grammar (capital letters, full stops, reading task cards available here.

This worked extremely well last week – each group gets 15 minutes on each activity.

Reading is also covered through other subject areas.

For writing;

I use Talk for Writing which is fantastic and the quality of work that my class has produced is very high. During the month of September, we focused on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The children learned the story – through action and a story map, then they wrote their own stories (the use of a story map ensured that the children wrote in sequence and had excellent, thought out ideas.)

I always do shared writing before the children do independent work – this helps revise grammar points (capital letters, full stops etc.), extending and improving sentences (adjectives, adverbs, time words etc.) and sets the expectation of the quality of work to be produced.

(More information on Talk 4 Writing.)


Oral Language

Oral language is covered with ‘My News’ after the weekend, ‘Show and Tell’ every day (while the children eat their lunch), and then structured oral language lessons. It also has a part to play in every lesson;

  • Following instructions (P.E.)
  • Giving instructions
  • Aware of tone of voice and use of gesture (S.P.H.E)
  • Give and take turns in speaking (All lessons)
  • Present ideas (S.E.S.E. – project work)
  • Summarise and prioritise ideas
  • Discuss issues that affect his/her life (S.P.H.E.)
  • Justify personal likes/dislikes