‘With Love We Grow’


English Curriculum Intent

We believe the prominence of the English language is undeniable in both education and society. Our aim is for all children to attain a high-quality education in English that equips pupils with the ability to express themselves verbally and in writing, facilitating effective communication of their thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, their adeptness in reading and listening enables seamless interactions with others. Especially through reading, our pupils are presented with opportunities for holistic growth cultural, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual. In this developmental journey, literature assumes a pivotal role. Reading not only enables the acquisition of knowledge but also the expansion of existing understanding. Proficiency in all language skills is indispensable for complete participation in society. We aim for our pupils to attain fluency and confidence in speaking, reading, and writing in order to gain full societal engagement.


Through our study of English, we aim to ensure all pupils:

read easily, fluently and with good understanding

develop the habit 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.



Curriculum structure & sequencing

We structure our English curriculum by using the National Curriculum. This allows all our children, in every year group, to have a full and in depth understanding of spoken language, reading, writing and spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

Our writing cycles vary in length; ranging from 2-5 weeks dependent on the text type being covered and they are linked to an aspect of the history or geography studied by each year group. This model allows us to link reading, writing and foundation subjects together creating a holistic model. The focus for each half-term alternates between fiction and non-fiction with the first half of each term being fiction based and the second half, non-fiction. During the second half-term we also cover our poetry unit. Teachers introduce the children to a variety of texts linked to the history and geography and to the text type being covered.

At St Joseph's we use the Talk 4 Writing model to teach writing. With this model, children are firstly given the opportunity to read and  'immerse' themselves in texts. We explore authorial style, vocabulary and sentence structures then use these to complete 'short bursts' of writing. After that, children are giving the opportunity to 'imitate' the text being studied. Here, we 'box-up' the plot of the text and complete shared writes. Finally, during the 'innovation' stage, children complete their own independent write based on all the work previously completed.

As a school we believe in developing reflective learners that can independently assess their work and 'fix' errors. Additionally, we have implemented the model of 'triads' where children come together in threes to assess the work of themselves and one another.

Content & concepts

Through using high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and high quality first teaching, we develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting. To develop writing skills, writing is modelled, shared and celebrated. Handwriting is taught regularly and high expectations of presentation and accuracy of written work is embedded not only in English lessons, but across the curriculum. In addition to daily English lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of the Red Rose Phonics programme from Early Years and through KS1 and Year 3 and continue to develop a range of reading skills. This leads onto the use of the Accelerated Reader from Year 2 to
Year 6 to give the children regular practice and immediate feedback in comprehension skills. 

Enrichment and personal development

Children have a range of enrichment opportunities. Pupils take part in public speaking, World Book Day and themed writing projects. Children’s love for reading is promoted through key stage assemblies and through daily story time within classes. Additionally, we have an annual book fair which is well attended and profits are shared with the school to purchase new books for school.

Assessment and next steps

We assess English in a variety of ways, giving pupils the opportunity to showcase their spoken language, reading and writing skills acquired. Pupils are assessed within lessons and at the end of units. Within guided reading sessions and phonics lessons children are regularly assessed and any gaps in learning are addressed through targeted interventions. From Year 2 to Year 6, children complete a termly computerised reading assessment (STAR). Writing units teach skills, building in opportunities for independent writing which are assessed and lead to end of term judgements.

English in the Early Years Foundation Stage 

In addition to the area of Literacy within the Early Years Foundation Stage, English forms important parts of various aspects of the EYFS framework. The very nature of English and it’s importance at an early age means that the skills children learn are prominent across all seven areas. However, English is taught within the teaching and learning of the following areas of EYFS:

Communication and Language,

Through the study of English in early years, the foundation for children's overall learning and development lies in the development of their spoken language. Early back-and-forth interactions serve as the building blocks for language and cognitive growth. The quality and quantity of conversations in a language-rich environment, where practitioners comment on and echo children's interests, play a crucial role. Actively engaging children in diverse reading experiences, including stories, nonfiction, rhymes, and poems, and providing ample opportunities for them to use new words, fosters language development. Additionally, cultivating a love for reading, encompassing both language comprehension and word reading dimensions, is essential for a child's lifelong learning journey. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).

During the first term in EYFS, children's language skills are assessed using the Oxford Language screening tool. This enables language intervention to take place using the NELI - Nuffield early Language Intervention - for the children whose language skills are behind those of their peers and age group.  


Links to Development Matters 

Communication and Language

  1. a) Understand how to listen carefully and why listening is important.
    b) Learn new vocabulary.
    c) Use new vocabulary through the day.
    d) Ask questions to find out more and to check they understand what has been said to them.
    e) Articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.
    f) Connect one idea or action to another using a range of connectives.
    g) Describe events in some detail.
    h) Use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities, and to explain how things work and
    why they might happen.
    i) Develop social phrases
    j) Engage in story times
    k) Listen to and talk about stories to build familiarity and understanding.
    l) Retell the story, once they have developed a deep familiarity with the text, some as exact repetition and some
    in their own words.
    m) Use new vocabulary in different contexts.
    n) Listen carefully to rhymes and songs, paying attention to how they sound.

    o) Learn rhymes, poems and songs.
    p) Engage in non-fiction books.
    q) Listen to and talk about selected non-fiction to develop a deep familiarity with new knowledge and vocabulary.


  1. a) Read individual letters by saying the sounds for them.
    b) Blend sounds into words, so that they can read short words made up of known letter– sound

    c) Read some letter groups that each represent one sound and say sounds for them.
    d) Read a few common exception words matched to the school’s phonic programme.
    e) Read simple phrases and sentences made up of words with known letter–sound correspondences and,
    where necessary, a few exception words.
    f) Re-read these books to build up their confidence in word reading, their fluency and their understanding
    and enjoyment.
    g) Form lower-case and capital letters correctly.
    h) Spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing the sound with letter/s.
    i) Write short sentences with words with known sound-letter correspondences using a capital letter and full
    j) Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense


Inclusion Within English 

We are an inclusive school and as such, do not believe in narrowing the curriculum for any learner. Our curriculum is designed with inclusion of all at heart, and our curriculum intent is therefore the same for all children. We are mindful that there are an abundance of factors which need to be considered in order for all learners to be able to access learning according to their individual needs; perhaps none more so than for those learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Therefore, whilst our curriculum intent is the same for all learners, our implementation of the curriculum may well look different for different groups of pupils. Teachers will plan, scaffold, challenge and embed learning through activities which are adapted to meet children’s needs – we call this adapted implementation. This is to ensure that our curriculum can be met by all within an inclusive environment, mindful and responsive to children’s needs.

- Consistent use of resources, i.e., use of the same sound mats across all curriculum areas.
- Reading books should match pupil’s phonic knowledge until they can read familiar words speedily and unfamiliar words accurately.
- Phonics is taught discretely, daily. Further opportunities are provided every day for pupils to practice what they have been taught.
- Follow a model writing, shared writing and finally independent writing system.
- New vocabulary should be planned for and taught in context. Model using new words in a sentence and give learners time to practise them in context.
- A working wall that is used and updated daily, alongside lessons that includes HFWs, GPCs, key skills, and new vocabulary.


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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Rothwell Road, Anderton, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 9LZ

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