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Ballytober Primary School, Bushmills


The development of pupils’ literacy skills is at the centre of Ballytober Primary School’s curriculum provision. The three key elements of literacy are Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing.


Talking and Listening

Our pupils’ talking and listening skills are nurtured through activities such as paired and group work, drama, circle time, role play, and debates. Stories, Poems and Values for Thinking (by Robert Fisher) are also used to develop talking and listening skills and pupils learn the building blocks of effective discussion based on Philosophy for Children (P4C). Co-operative learning strategies known as Kagan Structures are used in all classes.



We seek to provide pupils with the core skills that enable them to read with fluency and understanding. We also endeavour to ensure that children derive pleasure and enjoyment from reading both fiction and non-fiction texts. Through FS and KS1 pupils are taught to decode through the implementation of a systematic phonics programme and comprehension skills are developed in shared and guided reading sessions. Each classroom has an extensive library and the school’s central library houses and wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. The online Accelerated Reader programme is used to monitor and reward pupils’ reading achievements. Our comprehensive approach to reading is summarised diagrammatically in the “Reading Rope” beside.



Pupils are provided with the opportunity to write for a variety of audiences and purposes.  Examples of the range of writing opportunities provided for our pupils are shown below.

The “Write from the Beginning and Beyond” programme, which uses Thinking maps as planning tools for writing is used throughout the school. Through this programme pupils are introduced to the essential criteria for effective writing and are taught how to effectively plan, organise, draft, edit and assess their writing. Pupils are also taught the basic conventions of writing through lessons on spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting.