Message sent from:


Intent: At St Mary’s through our English teaching, we aim to develop children’s competence as listeners, talkers, readers and writers so that they can live, work and succeed in a literate world and to enable them to participate fully as members of society.  The school’s overall objective is to nurture a love of reading for each child to become a fluent and confident reader, so that they can fully access all areas of learning..  We do this through skilled teaching and a wealth of engagement opportunites such as regular library sessions, reading buddies, reading raffles, World Book Day, author visits etc. 


Phonics: Our programme of phonics and word recognition development begins as part of our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. In Reception, phonics is initially taught through introducing the set 1 letter sounds and formation letter shapes, using the Government approved Read Write Inc. resources and materials. Once children are secure in set 1, they move onto set 2 and set 3 which contain the vowel digraphs and trigraphs. These sounds support the children in blending, encoding and de

At St Mary’s we believe that effective communication is key to successful learning across the curriculum. High-quality, rich texts that promote equality and diversity combined with a word aware focus are vital in promoting this. This helps provide the cultural capital our children need to succeed in life. 

We provide a cross-curricular experience so that the key knowledge and skills are embedded throughout daily learning. Writing tasks have purpose and audience at their heart. 

We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success.

1.)    Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure our children learn cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage.

2.)    Disciplinary knowledge is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.

3.)    Explicit teaching of vocabulary is central to children’s ability to connect new knowledge with prior learning. Teaching identifies Tier 2 words, high frequency words used across content

4.)    Spaced retrieval practice, through questioning, quizzes and peer-explanations, further consolidates the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory. Quizzing etc. are primarily learning strategies to improve retrieval practice – the bringing of information to mind.

Through our rich core texts and topic-based approach we aim to inspire children to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the spoken and written word.

At St Mary’s, we set high expectations for all children to take pride in their work employing their knowledge of vocabulary, spelling and grammar allowing their imaginations to flourish.  

We deliver an English curriculum that:

  • Develops in all children a love of reading, writing and the dramatic arts.
  • Enriches and expands their vocabulary.
  • Teaches children to comprehend and critique what they read, and to write creatively and accurately regardless of genre or topic.
  • Develops the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Encourages children to be reflective, motivated and resilient learners.
  • Enables children to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.

Offers a rich variety of experiences, inside and outside of the classroom e.g. visiting Theatre companies, speakers, school productions, assemblies and educational visits. All of these enrich the children’s first-hand experiences thus enhancing their learning.

Our curriculum is sequenced in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework (2020), Development Matters (2020) and the National Curriculum for English (2013)coding building their fluency, expression and letter formation as each set is taught. Children then practise using their letter sounds to write, focussing on using the taught sounds to spell accurately.

Reading: To complement our phonics teaching we have a wide variety of books, which provide a structured approach to reading throughout the school. Our reading materials are mainly Read Write Inc. and Oxford Reading Tree and when our children become ‘free readers’ they have well stocked fiction and non-fiction books to choose from in their classrooms and in the school library, which the children visit regularly as part of a timetabled session.

Early reading is supported within the classroom by one to one reading with an adult, class teaching lessons and phonic sessions. As a child progresses from early reading they begin to move through the reading scheme at their own pace and developmental understanding. The reading scheme book bands are structured to encourage children to read for longer periods of time and to begin to ask and answer questions about what they have read and what they have understood. The phonics scheme incorporates reading comprehensions and children are posed questions based on the text as well as discussing new words and their meanings.

As the children become more confident readers they participate in guided reading sessions. These sessions are used to teach specific reading domains, known as VIPERS and enable the children to deepen their understanding of Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising.  

Writing: Early writing begins in Reception where the children are encouraged to write the sounds that they can hear for the words they wish to write. They are also introduced to the ‘red words’ common exception words (CEW) which they are taught to read from sight as they cannot be sounded out phonetically.

The process of writing is always linked to rich texts and we teach children to plan, draft, write, edit and publish their written work.  Each class has a VCOP display, which is updated regularly and used by the children to support their writing. New vocabulary is introduced each week to enrich the children’s word choices and develop and understanding of alternative words within their writing. Grammar and punctuation is also taught regularly and linked to the specific skills for each class.

Spellings: We have a whole school spelling scheme which incorporates both the phonics sounds taught in KS1 as well as the spelling patterns stated in the National Curriculum for KS1 & KS2.

Handwriting: Our whole school handwriting scheme is modelled from Year 1 to 6. Reception children are also introduced to the scheme through learning the correct letter formation and orientation of each letter.

Impact: Children at St Mary’s will be confident speakers and listeners who have developed a love of reading and writing and are equipped with the key skills and knowledge necessary for the next stage of their learning.  

Hit enter to search