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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Growing Together in the Friendship of Faith

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It is our intent at St Mary's Catholic Primary School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach them to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.



The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, topic days, school council stimulus, assemblies, clubs and sports. Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term. Quality texts are used to enhance the particular topics the children are studying. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are then developed into medium term plans. Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units – weekly, daily plans where the specific needs of the learners are addressed. We are continuously reflecting on how we assess children’s development and skills and measuring impact on progress and attainment and, as such, teaching is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all the children.


Phonics teaching takes place daily across EYFS and KS1 and all pupils in school will take part in English lessons during morning sessions. A variety of text types and genres are used in lessons where the focus in teaching and learning  is  on speaking and listening, reading and writing. 


Reading is a key tool for life. Teaching children to become excellent readers is a large and exciting part of what we do at St Mary's. We have lots of opportunities for reading exciting books and materials. We use incentive schemes to carefully track progress and practice at home. Each week, parents and carers are encouraged to listen to children read at home and in school we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability.


Writing is an essential and important part of our curriculum offer at St Mary's. We have lots of wonderful opportunities to inspire pupils, which makes sure they enjoy writing, and excellent teaching and support to ensure children make excellent progress. In EYFS children learn how to hold a pencil correctly and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting daily and our Handwriting Heroes, every Friday, promote those who have improved their handwriting. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose.


Pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment/pleasure.

Pupils discuss books with excitement and interest.

Pupils enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles.

Pupils are proud of their writing.

Pupils use their phonics skills confidently that build throughout school.

Pupils are adventurous with vocabulary choices.

Pupils express themselves through confidently speaking and listening to what others say.

Skills progress (grammar and punctuation) throughout the school is evident in children’s books.

Writing across the curriculum is in line with that subject and the skills required to write as a Geographer, Historian or Scientist.

A range of genres are taught across the school.

Next steps marking provides positive support and directs the pupil on their next steps to improve their writing.

Pupils are ready for the next stages in their learning.

Teachers track pupils’ progress each half term in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This informs planning and any intervention needed.

Pupil progress meetings with Headteacher and teachers ensure different groups and individual progress is monitored and interventions organised to support progress.

Intervention sessions enable a greater proportion of pupils to be on track to meet year group expectations or in the case of those working significantly below expectations to make better than expected progress.

Subject leader conducts learning walks, lesson observations, pupil interviews and book monitoring throughout the year. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.



English - National Curriculum