Amherst Primary, Guernsey

Amherst is a three-form entry primary school in Guernsey, Channel Islands. We started our journey with Literacy Tree in January 2023. After a change in leadership in September 2022, we reflected on our literacy provision and realised we had gotten a bit ‘lost.’ There had been several initiatives that had been trialled in the school which resulted in, despite the best intentions of all our teachers, bitty planning without clear direction or intent. To cut a long story short, we needed to start again!

Some year groups had trialled Literacy Tree as stand-alone units and were impressed with the planning quality and resources provided. Hence, we investigated Writing Roots, Literary Leaves, and Spelling Seeds for the whole school. The English Subject leader and Deputy Head attended a free webinar to learn more, and after that, we decided to purchase a school license, and we haven’t looked back! We are so impressed with the range, quality, and standard of the books coupled with the well-structured, clear planning documents. And nothing beats the buzz in a classroom on the first day of a new unit with the hook lesson.

We have very quickly brought into our school the continuity, progression, and purpose that we desperately needed without teachers being required to plan from scratch. The time that we save by not having to scour the internet for good ideas or cross-referencing documents means that our sole focus is the adaptation of lessons to meet the range of needs in our school. We know that our children are being immersed in high-quality literature as well as completing tasks that are accessible and purposeful. We could see the planning was aspirational, but our children meet the high standards, showing real pride in their writing. By using the tracking document, it is clear that we are delivering exactly what the children need, covering the relevant objectives several times during each academic year.

Danielle Rowe

Literacy Lead

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