St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Learning to live out our calling with compassion and love.


Welcome to English

What Ofsted said about English at St. Mary's:

"Pupils apply their writing skills through well-considered activities across the curriculum. Examples of cross-curricular writing include history, geography, science and religious education. As a result, pupils are developing a better understanding of how to write for different audiences and reasons."

English Curriculum


At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we are dedicated to encouraging all children to be passionate about reading and writing. We are committed to ensuring that ALL children become highly competent readers and writers by the end of their time with us. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and confidence to explore their imagination.

During their time at St. Mary’s, all children will be exposed to a high quality education in English. This will not only teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can effectively communicate their ideas and emotions to others, but also so that through their reading and listening, others can effectively communicate with them.


At St. Mary’s, the English Curriculum consists of:


  • Carefully designed, text-led sequences of lessons which ensure progression of skills.
  • Specific skills focused on every half term to promote mastery of writing.
  • Use of high quality, language-rich texts which enthuse and challenge pupils.
  • Opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences, which inspire pupils to write.
  • Opportunities to apply taught skills in other areas of the curriculum.
  • Model a high standard of talk and writing to secure high expectations.
  • Use of Alan Peat sentence types to develop sentence structure and text composition.
  • Progression of grammar skills across the school to ensure a systematic approach.


  • Guided reading taught in ability groups in Year 1, three times a week.
  • Whole class reading taught from Y2-Y6 – a structured approach, three times a week.
  • Sequenced, progressive teaching of key reading skills across the school with language acquisition at the forefront.
  • Daily phonics is taught in EYFS and Year 1 and tailored to the needs of every individual.
  • Celebration of whole school events to promote reading and encourage reading for pleasure.
  • Home reading books in EYFS and KS1 are decodable and closely matched to each child’s phonetic knowledge and ability.
  • Home reading books for children who are secure in ‘Lime Band’ are chosen by children themselves from within their reading level band.
  • Accelerated Reader used in KS2 (and where applicable in Year 2) to develop reading fluency, comprehension and enjoyment of reading.


  • Daily phonics sessions in EYFS and Year 1, following the Letters and Sounds programme.
  • Spelling taught progressively across the school, as per spelling overview, during discrete spelling lessons, supplemented by sessions focusing on the Statutory Spelling Lists for each year group.


  • Cursive handwriting is to be used across the school. The Magic Link Handwriting Scheme is used to provide a consistent approach to handwriting. Handwriting should be taught during daily sessions in Key Stage 1. Interventions will take place in KS2, where necessary.


We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. The age related expectations are paramount when it comes to measuring attainment. We robustly and systematically track the progress and attainment of all children throughout the year, aiming for accelerated progress in all pupils. We aim for the percentage of pupils working at age related expectations and greater depth standard within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.


Children at St. Mary’s enjoy reading and this has a positive impact on reading attainment. Children have enhanced levels of text comprehension and have a good understanding of the key reading skills, which is developed progressively across the school.


As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing is of a high standard. Skills taught in English lessons are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. 


We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do. Our intentions are that our English curriculum will ensure all pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey, into adulthood.