By the time children leave Shirley Manor, we have created children who not only can read, but want to read, choose to read and love to read. By providing language rich, quality texts, we inspire our children to read for pleasure and to a high standard. We aim to develop independence and fluency in all readers to ensure we learn to read and then read to learn. All children achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum, because of the reading opportunities we provide. At Shirley Manor, we are enthusiastic, motivated readers.

Early readers read decodable books matched to their phonic ability. All other children access a book banded reading scheme. When phonics is secure, when reading is fluent and automatic, comprehension is taught during whole-class REPICS reading lessons. REPICS is also used during the “Hook” element of the English cycle. Objectives are closely matched to the reading content domains. Reading skills are used as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum.

Things we do to promote the love of reading:

Reading areas/class libraries stocked with a variety of language rich, quality texts

Reading for enjoyment sessions – daily class reading time

Recommended reading lists – year group book lists

Reading competitions and Reading events – termly and annual

Reading displays – identifies high quality texts

Curriculum Overview


At Shirley Manor, we deliver a bespoke writing curriculum, aimed at increasing skills and vocabulary in a way that will interest and motivate children.  The children are provided with opportunities to engage, analyse and imitate whole class texts based on class themes. After gaining a thorough understanding of plot, character and setting, the children disseminate the text to collect a range of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.


Oracy means, in its simplest form, the ability to speak well.

 Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. It is to speaking what numeracy is to mathematics or literacy to reading and writing.  In short, it’s nothing more than being able to express yourself well. It’s about having the vocabulary to say what you want to say and the ability to structure your thoughts so that they make sense to others.

Oracy at Shirley Manor

Our Oracy journey is still relatively new at Shirley Manor, but it is proving successful and worthwhile! Unfortunately, the pandemic stalled our progress somewhat but we are striving to continue the improvement of our pupils’ oracy skills.  One focus is VOCABULARY – we want to improve the range of words all our children use, especially when using subject specific vocabulary in curriculum lessons. We provide children with a range of stem sentences to do this whenever they answer a question or join in a conversation.

How we help our pupils

We continue to develop the use of Dialogic Teaching, which means using talk more effectively in lessons, for our teaching and learning. It involves ongoing talk between adults and children, rather than just teacher talk. It is proven to engage children more in their learning, by working together and not being afraid of making mistakes. Children are less afraid to speak in class now, than when we started the project as they have a range of tools to help them contribute. They also know that their peers will not laugh or point out their errors. Instead, they help each other to ensure their spoken words make sense – they offer a better word or phrase to improve an answer and point out the bits that impress them.

All teachers at SMPA have been trained in the use of Dialogic Teaching and Oracy, so we can provide children with the tools they need to speak well in a variety of situations – to reason, discuss, argue and explain to name a few.

Each class has developed their own set of Talk Rules that must be followed whenever we are talking together. We have been playing a number of Talk Games to improve our Oracy skills and we are already seeing an improvement in speaking and listening skills!!

It is a delight to see improved Oracy skills throughout school. This is an ongoing journey in which the skills need to be practised weekly, to ensure our learnt skills are not forgotten.