At St Mary’s, every child is given the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become analytical readers and competent authors. We promote the enjoyment of reading by carefully selecting high-quality texts that are used as a vehicle for learning across the curriculum. By providing our children with the skills to read, they can broaden their knowledge in a range of subject disciplines. Children are exposed to a word-rich curriculum. Through immersion in high-quality texts, teachers identify and explicitly teach rich and varied vocabulary, providing them with the tools to become confident communicators, readers, and writers. By doing this, we will close the vocabulary gap for our most disadvantaged children.

Carefully planned writing lessons allow our children to develop their skills, by adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes, and audiences. They are given the opportunity to apply their skills across the curriculum and they are encouraged to use language effectively to create a desired effect on the reader. Our children will leave St Maryis having had the opportunity to master skills in speaking, reading, and writing that will prepare them for secondary education and life beyond the school gates.

At St Mary’s, we believe that beautiful picture books should be at the core of our English curriculum. ’Our curriculum ensures that children are exposed to and immersed in a range of texts each year. Each book is studied in-depth with children producing extended, independent writing every half term. This ensures children have studied a breadth of texts and experienced writing in a range of genres, forms, and styles.


These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum, which provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers ensure that cross curricular links are woven into the programme of study. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils: 

• read easily, fluently and with good understanding
 • develop the habitat of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information 
• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language 
• appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage 
• write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style, in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
• use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas 
• are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. 


We use a research-informed ‘read to write’ approach to our teaching of English, drawing on both reading and writing skills. We use carefully selected, vocabulary-rich texts as a vehicle for teaching reading and writing.

Children follow sequential episodes of learning based around an ambitious model text, that allows for the development of vocabulary, punctuation, and grammar and contextualised spelling. Our aim  is to engage children in a variety of reading activities, so that they fully understand the text and are able to ‘read as a writer’. Reading as a writer is a key component of our approach and involves children analysing the model text to understand the techniques the author has used and the subsequent effect on the reader. Throughout the writing process, the teacher models writing and undertakes shared writing and guided writing to develop the children’s knowledge and skills, in readiness for independent writing. By providing children with a range of writing opportunities, they are given the chance to draw on their reading and to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes, and audiences. We follow the structure outlined below (timings vary):

English Intent













Discrete Teaching of Spelling

At St Mary’s. we teach spelling across the whole curriculum.  We also use a spelling scheme to ensure coverage and progression. This scheme helps us deliver the full breadth of spelling patterns appropriate to each year group and age phase in accordance with the National Curriculum. We use Spelling Shed/EdShed throughout the school to ensure progression. Children are taught through etymology and morphology to further study and look for patterns in words. They are taught to understand word in context through the use of cloze sentences and to break words down into syllable components and Elkonin Boxes to understand the phonic make-uo of words as they progress through the school.


The Teaching of Reading

At St Mary's we teach systematic synthetic phonics using Pearson Bug Club phonics. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent. Children start to read words by blending the sounds together to make a word. Children are taught to apply the skill of segmenting words into phonemes to spell and that blending and segmenting is a reversible process. We do this through daily teaching sessions in Reception, year 1 and year 2 alongside integrating phonics in cross curricular activities throughout the day.

For the reading scheme we use: Pearson Phonics Bug and Collins Big Cat Books as reading progresses.

We identify children who need support and provide reading intervention in both Key Stage 1 and 2. We also run a Reading Buddies club for Year 1, run by the Head teacher and supported by our Year 5 children. We plan whole class reading as part of the curriculum where carefully planned analytical discussion of the text and illustrations is a key focus. Alongside, we teach Reading VIPERS for teaching reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. We employ whole class reading; however, children will continue to be heard individually on a regular basis where there an identified need. In addition, guided reading sessions and individual interventions are used to support small groups who need additional reading support, within each class. 

Children in Key Stage 2 engage with Accelerated Reader, which enables staff to guide and monitor pupils reading growth. Children enjoy the reading quizzes which enables staff to track mastery of focus skills aligned to learning standards.


Modelling and fluency

In Reception and Key Stage 1, the children will practise their reading with a teacher or experienced teaching assistant 3 times per week. All children are asked to spend 20 minutes reading at home, every night. In Year 2 and Key Stage 2, as the children are ready, we use Accelerated Reader to encourage children to read and to help us monitor each child’s reading. We expect that children will choose from a wide variety of books at an appropriate level and to cover a range of genres and authors. Children will be read to by their teacher and will practise reading aloud to improve.

At St. Mary’s we recognise the acquisition of language as key to learning. In Reception, we use Language Link to assist with the identification and assessment of children and how well they are understanding English in comparison to English speaking children of the same age. Language Link is particularly helpful in identifying gaps and learning needs, particularly for those for whom English is a additional language.

We have an ‘Author of the Month’ to bring knowledge of different authors and their books to our families. Author of the Month is available to parents, both via the website and the school newsletter. We proudly display our Author of the Month in the front entrance of school.

We run parent information sessions for phonics and reading for Early Years Foundation Stage parents, each year. We also run sessions for Year 2 and Year 6 parents so that they are able to understand age-related expectations.

We love to celebrate the success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals. The subject of English is celebrated throughout the school where our bright and colourful displays celebrate children’s writing across the curriculum. Reading achievements are regularly a feature on the newsletter. Pupils often receive Star Pupil Awards for reading achievements.

Each year, we celebrate World Book Day, by dressing as book characters and sharing our love of reading in a special assembly where we share our love of reading and our favourite stories. We also benefit from drama group visits and Young Shakespeare Theatre Company, who are professional actors who involve the children in participating in the plays. 


 The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained interest and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and thoroughly taught in both key stages, the vast majority of children are becoming more confident writers by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2. Most genres of writing are more are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation. 

Day-to-day assessment of each child’s achievements helps inform each teacher’s planning for individuals. Progress is formally assessed on a termly basis in each attainment area of the subject. Each year, the vast majority of pupils meet the standards at the end of each key stage, whilst some achieve at greater depth in reading and writing. All children have their progress discussed at termly pupil progress meetings and strategies are put in place for those who may not have made as much progress as expected. 

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum. Writing skills are transferrable and applied across the range of subjects taught. Thus, children get opportunity to consolidate and deepen their understanding of how and when to use specific vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills. 

We hope that as children move on through the year groups at St. Mary’s and eventually on to secondary education, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop.



English Curriculum Plan 2023-2024

Reading - Curriculum Progression Map 

Writing - Curriculum Progression Map 

Spoken Language - Curriculum Progression Map

Grammar and Punctuation - Curriculum Progression Map

English Policy

English Curriculum Plan 2023-2024

Handwriting Policy

Phonics and Early Reading Policy