At St. Mary’s, achieving competence in the English language is a vital part of the education of our pupils. All members of our school community play an important role in facilitating this. We believe that all the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of modern day society.


Every child should achieve the highest standard of performance of which he or she is capable in every aspect of English. We aim to provide our pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


The English curriculum at St. Mary’s is defined by the following objectives:

  • To promote a culture of communication, reading and writing through a language rich environment
  • To develop in pupils a love of books that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also will enrich their lives
  • To value and use books as a basis for learning, pleasure, talk and play
  • To teach children the craft of writing, including handwriting, in order to develop in them the confidence and skills to write well for a range of purposes and audiences
  • To systematically teach spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation – to ensure accuracy within creativity
  • To foster in pupils, the confidence, desire and ability to express their views and opinions both orally and in writing
  • To raise the standards of communication, reading and writing so that every child makes good progress
  • To value and celebrate diversity in culture and language


English Curriculum Maps

To take a closer look at how we implement our English curriculum for each year group please click on the relevant curriculum map below:

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Literacy at the Early Years Foundation Stage

We teach Literacy in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014).

We recognise that all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected;

Communication and language development involves:

  • giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment
  • developing children’s confidence and skills in expressing themselves
  • opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations

Literacy development involves:

  • encouraging children to link sounds and letters
  • encouraging children to begin to read and write
  • ensuring access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite interest



We believe in the value of books and the pleasure they can give. By using different approaches for different children, and a range of texts we hope to inspire children’s interest and enthusiasm in books and reading.


The Teaching of Phonics

In EYFS the teacher introduces concepts of print and teaches synthetic phonics using Jolly Phonics. The emphasis is not just the ‘discrete’ teaching of sounds (phoneme/diagraph/trigraph) but the practical application of these phonemes in words, texts and spelling. Children are continually assessed and when secure with all sounds and blends they will move on to the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme (ORT).

Jolly Phonics

Oxford Reading Tree



We encourage the children to write independently from an early stage. The teaching of phonics, spelling and handwriting complement this process and are used systematically to support writing and encourage accuracy and speed.



Across the school we follow the Letter-join handwriting scheme. In the EYFS the individual letter formations are taught. In YR and throughout Year One, children are taught the graphemes in a cursive form. This progresses to practising words and full sentences in Years 2, 3 and 4 and writing paragraphs in Year 5 and 6. If parents would like to support their child with handwriting at home their child’s class teacher can provide them with a log in and password to access the home edition of the Letter-join scheme online. Click the link below:




Throughout EYFS and KS1, Jolly Phonics is the main focus when teaching spelling. In KS2 spelling objectives are drawn from the National Curriculum. Each class follows the ‘Spelling for Literacy’ scheme. The statutory spellings identified in the National Curriculum are taught in addition to this scheme.


Further information

For further information about English at St. Mary’s please read our school policy:

English Policy 2021-22

For further information about handwriting at St. Mary’s please read our school policy:

Handwriting Policy

GOV.UK provides documents from the Department for Education relating to the National Curriculum’s statutory programmes of study for English. Please click the link below to explore:

⇒ GOV.UK National Curriculum: English


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