Our Intent for Reading

At Cold Harbour, reading is a priority.  We are relentless in our approach to ensuring our pupils learn to read and keep reading.  We deliver daily reading sessions across the school between 9:15-10.00am where all children are taught to read and comprehend text.  For children who are still learning the process of decoding, we are passionate about Ruth Miskin’s RWI scheme and implement daily RWI sessions where pupils work within groups targeted to their individual needs and ability.  When children are secure with their phonic knowledge and have developed a fluent and competent pace with word reading, children are taught to further develop their comprehension skills and understanding of vocabulary.   

In addition to daily reading lessons, we use interventions for children who require further support with reading, which are implemented by Class Teachers, Teaching Assistants or HLTAs, and we have recruited reading volunteers to hear children read in the afternoons.

We are determined to ensure that all pupils at Cold Harbour gain the fundamental skills of being able to read words and understand what they have read. 

Why is this important?

  • Children who read widely and often get better at it!
  • Reading exercises our brain – it strengthens and builds new connections.
  • Reading improves concentration.
  • Reading teaches children about the world around them.
  • Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.
  • It develops a child’s imagination and helps them to develop empathy.
  • It is a great way to spend time together.
  • Studies show that children who read, achieve better in school. Reading promotes achievement in ALL subjects, therefore children who are good readers tend to achieve more across the curriculum. 

For this reason, we are working hard at Cold Harbour to motivate our pupils to read regularly at home.  We are working with our parents/carers to promote reading at home as one of the most important things children can do at home.  We use reading workshops in the Autumn and Spring Terms to provide guidance on how to read with children at home and we set the expectation that children read their school reading book aloud at least four times a week.  Individual reading records are monitored weekly and children are rewarded with class dojos for reading regularly at home.

At Cold Harbour, we are also lucky enough to have a School Librarian who is dedicated to her task of promoting a love of reading, engaging children in reading, and motivating children to read at home.  Mrs Noel delivers weekly librarian sessions to every class, where she models library practice and entices children to read new books on the shelves or try out new/different authors.  She uses our library system, ‘Reading Cloud’, to analyse the book choices of particular children and classes to share useful knowledge with Class Teachers as to what books our children may be interested in, and uses this information to motivate children to read more often and for pleasure by suggesting new material matched to their likes and interests. 

To ensure that our pupils develop from novices to expert readers throughout their time at Cold Harbour, we track their reading development through the use of a regular and robust assessment process.  We conduct reading conferences to ensure children are proficient in decoding and understanding the reading books they have been provided with and use our Reading Progression Maps to support us in teaching children towards specific end points.


Michelle Laskey

Assistant Head Teacher & English Lead 


Reading Cloud

The Reading Cloud is a fantastic new online reading community designed to engage students, parents, teachers and librarians in reading for pleasure.  Please take a look at the link for Reading Cloud

Our Intent for Writing

At Cold Harbour School, the curriculum for writing is designed to enable children to become creative, independent and motivated writers who can express their knowledge, thoughts and imagination through legible, cursive handwriting. 

Our journey begins in the EYFS where children learn the first most important skills of how to hold a pencil correctly and learn to form letters on the line.  It is here where they will learn to write their first words and how words combine to make sentences.  We strive to develop a love of writing and encourage children to write by providing purposeful writing activities. 

From Key Stage One and throughout Key Stage Two, we deliver the English National Curriculum through a Writing model that combines objectives within: writing, reading and spelling, punctuation and grammar.  The aim of this approach is to teach and embed learning techniques, providing pupils the opportunity to make links in their learning by analysing texts and practising using word/sentence level skills in a variety of contexts. 

The principles of the writing model are to:

  • Implement a structured approach to teaching writing, where children complete one piece of extended writing a week.
  • Provide opportunities for children to read and respond to texts as models for writing.
  • Plan for connections to be made across objectives to facilitate and embed new learning e.g. teaching a grammar objective that will then be analysed in a text and implemented into pupil writing.
  • Use individual writing targets to personalise learning and challenge all pupils to make progress in writing.
  • Adapt planning due to assessment of learning (AOL) and/or assessment for learning (AFL).
  • AOL/AFL supports the deployment of teacher and teaching assistant (scaffolding the writing process throughout the week).
  • Make reading and writing experiences more purposeful and cross-curricular e.g. school trip recounts, letters to Pen pals/fundraising, take advantage of real moments such as thunderstorms, snow etc.
  • Model and scaffold – to guide children through their writing and reading experiences.
  • Widen vocabulary with rich and powerful language.
  • Provide children with the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and to support their work with a variety of resources, such as dictionaries and thesauruses.


To ensure that our writing curriculum drives pupil progress, we have worked as a team to create our own Writing Progression Maps.  These maps organise learning outcomes to set clear teaching and assessment points, which build from term to term, year on year, to make certain that our pupils know more and remember more over time. 


Michelle Laskey

Assistant Head Teacher & English Lead


Our Intent for Handwriting

‘With Handwriting, good teaching lasts a lifetime!’ (NHA, 2005)

At Cold Harbour we believe that handwriting is a fundamental skill.  Children need to be able to write without thinking about how to write, this enables them to concentrate on what to write.   Handwriting is a skill like reading, spelling and mathematics, which must be taught to enable children the opportunity to become automatic writers in order to access all forms of written communication across the curriculum.  Our aim is for every child to develop a legible and fluent style of handwriting which can be used at speed.  

In order to meet our aim, cursive script is taught from the very start for the following reasons:

  • Many children who print regularly confuse capital letters and small letters in their writing: this is far less likely to happen if they write in a joined script from the start. 
  •  By making each letter or word in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’ of it, making it easier to produce the correct shape and therefore supports the learning of spelling.
  • Because letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (such as b/d or p/q).
  • The continuous flow of writing ultimately improves speed and spelling.
  • It is recommended by the British Dyslexia Foundation as the best method of handwriting for children with Dyslexia.

We understand that handwriting is a movement skill and thus best taught by demonstration, explanation and practice.  For this reason, we follow a systematic and consistent approach of good teaching, modelling and practise of Handwriting from Reception to Year Six.  


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Contact Us

For Information on how to contact us see below:

Cold Harbour School
Highland Close
Bletchley, Milton Keynes

Phone: 01908 270 377

Email: office@coldharbour.milton-keynes.sch.uk

If you have any comments or queries please contact Mrs Julie Prosser, Business Support Manager - office@coldharbour.milton-keynes.sch.uk or 01908 270377 Option 4 and she will be happy to help.


Our SENCo is Mrs Michelle Laskey, she can be contacted on office@coldharbour.milton-keynes.sch.uk or 01908 270377 Option 4


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