Key English Documents

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, it is our intention, to develop the necessary spoken language, reading, and writing skills so that children express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and communicate with others effectively. We strive to ensure that all children are equipped with the essential tools to become enthusiastic and independent learners whilst at St Mary’s and beyond.
Intent: Our reading curriculum ensures that pupils’ vocabulary and language is developed throughout all key stages, so that they learn to read fluently and with understanding. They are immersed in high-quality texts and we aim to foster, in all our children, a love of books so that they become readers for life.
Implementation: At St. Mary’s, children are first taught to read through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. This begins in Reception and continues in Year 1 and 2 with daily lessons. As they enter Key Stage 2, any children that need additional support, including new starters, continue to receive daily Phonics teaching. All year groups, beginning in EYFS through to Year 6, have daily guided reading sessions in a small group. Guided Reading is highly-valued in our school and children practise reading skills, comprehension skills and group discussion. The questioning and discussions that take place during the course of these sessions promote, strengthen and lead to the acquisition of higher order reading skills. Children are also taught the metacognition of reading and a range of strategies that enable them to be confident, comprehensive readers. This is further developed in a weekly whole-class reading lesson. At St Mary’s, we have well-resourced and efficiently run libraries in Key Stage 1 and 2 in addition to class libraries. The borrowing section of our library is electronically logged and children can scan out their own books. We also have a growing reference section of the library which children can use for independent research during or outside lesson time. Children are supported to select books, to embrace what a library offers them and to develop their curiosity of the world. Reading for pleasure is an integral part of the reading curriculum. All adults are enthusiastic about children’s literature and recommend age-appropriate books in order to promote discussion and a love of reading in school. Every day, teachers share a story with their classes known as the ‘class reader.’ This enables teachers to model reading with fluency and expression, whilst reading texts that are often beyond the ability of the class, thus exposing children to higher level vocabulary and themes. Each year, we celebrate world book day, where pupils and teachers dress as their favourite character or come to school in their pyjamas to share a ‘bedtime story’, we share our most loved authors and books, and we hold book fayres. EYFS also host ‘bedtime stories’ where pupils come to school in their pyjamas and parents are invited to share a story with their child at the end of the day. Parents of EYFS and Key Stage 1 children are also invited to reading workshops to support parents in how to help their child read, and decode, at home. Reading underpins the work undertaken in all other areas of the curriculum. Through reading a wide range of quality texts and having meaningful discussions, we aim to create valuable, contributing members of society whilst extending and deepening pupils understanding and use of vocabulary.
Intent: At St Mary’s, our writing curriculum allows children to develop their writing skills through composing, planning, drafting and editing. They are taught to appreciate and apply ambitious vocabulary, develop a strong understand of spelling, grammar and punctuation and create and shape sentences and texts. It is important to that we give children the opportunities to be creative, imaginative writers, and enable them to write for a range of purposes.
Implementation: At St Mary’s, we follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ process in EYFS and Year 1. The aim is for the children to orally retell stories first - to help them develop their vocabulary base and understanding of story structures before they then apply this to their writing. Children in Year 2 and beyond write frequently, at length, in English lessons and in wider areas of the curriculum. This encourages children to apply their English knowledge in all lessons and high expectations are set when writing across the wider curriculum. Discrete spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons are taught across both key stages, usually at the beginning of the English lesson. This enables children to be familiar with the vocabulary needed and then apply this in their lesson. Vocabulary is also taught daily, alongside focused tasks, to enable all pupils to learn new words and use these in context.
Spoken Language: At St. Mary’s, children are taught to speak clearly, fluently and confidently to a range of audiences. All adults in school model Standard English and have high expectations when conversing with children so that pronunciation is accurate. Implementation: All children are given regular opportunities to participate in a range of discussions and performances such as, assemblies, masses, poetry performances and presentations to parents and other year groups. This helps children to develop their listening skills, give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives whilst also asking and responding to questions posed. At St Mary’s, we strive to give children the tools to become eloquent individuals, who can confidently express their ideas and opinions.