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English Curriculum

Language is the creation, communication, interpretation and understanding of meaning. We believe that literacy and communication are key life skills and that through the English curriculum we should help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken and written language. We also intend to help children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.

At St Mary's, our aims in teaching literacy are:

  • To provide a rich and stimulating language environment, where speaking and listening, reading and writing are integrated.
  • To provide an environment where pupils are encouraged to construct and convey meaning, both in speech and writing, of factual, imaginary and personal experiences.
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to become confident, competent and expressive users of the language with a developing knowledge of how it works.
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to be reflective users of language, able to analyse and evaluate its main features.
  • To foster an enthusiasm for and love of reading for life.
  • To encourage pupils to have fluent and legible handwriting.
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to communicate ideas through the use of ICT.
  • To provide opportunities for role play and drama.

A daily literacy lesson of 40-60 minutes is taught in Y1-Y6 and there is a high proportion of whole-class and group teaching. During these lessons children usually experience a whole-class shared reading or writing activity, a whole-class focused grammar or sentence activity, a guided group or independent activity and a whole-class session to review progress and learning. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses and phonic strategies to support their work.

By providing the children with active and stimulating learning experiences, we hope that pupils will:

  • Be able to participate in a conversation, listening to others, responding appropriately and taking turns to speak.
  • Develop the confidence and ability to speak appropriately and perform in front of varying sizes of audience.
  • Know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot.
  • Know, understand and be able to write in a range of non- fiction genres and structure text in a style suited to its purpose.
  • Use grammar and punctuation accurately.
  • Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing.
  • Understand the phonic system and spelling conventions and use them to read and spell accurately.
  • Be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes.
  • Have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing.
  • Express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts.
  • Be interested in books, read for enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences.


Literacy Working Walls

In every classroom, there are working walls which support and scaffold the children in their development of particular writing genre they are focusing on. Teachers also display an example of writing that demonstrates all the features of the genre being taught so that the children can understand what they need to include in their own writing.

Talk for Writing

Children love to tell stories and at St Mary's, we ensure that they are exposed to a range of different stories through talk for writing activities. The children use specific actions for key vocabulary and are orally taught a story, using the actions to help them remember the structure. Story-mapping, paired story-telling, hot-seating, conscience alley and story strings are just some of the many ways in which children internalise these stories and learn more about characterisation and plot. Furthermore, the actions are also used to learn non-fiction texts such as non-chronological reports and instruction writing.

World Book Day

Roald Dahl Day

For more information about our english curriculum, please download our english policy from the documents folder above.



The primary National Curriculum documents and Policies for English: