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Subject leader: Mrs A Matsutani

At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary school our intent is to provide our pupils with an English curriculum that will develop their love of reading, writing and discussion. Developing pupils’ vocabulary and oracy skills are a priority; they are a vital building block to becoming successful readers and writers and thus are at the centre of every learning experience at school. 

Reading - Curriculum Intent 

At Sacred Heart our intent is to: 

  • Recognise that reading is the core skill to everything that children do. It is integral to our school curriculum and a fundamental life skill that impacts on the acquisition of knowledge. 

  • Develop fluent, independent and reflective readers who are confident to talk about books and authors. 

  • Develop a consistent approach to reading across KS2. 

  • Encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through contact with challenging and lengthy texts. 

  • Provide strong reading provision to develop children who read independently for pleasure and purpose. 

  • Enable children to access a variety of high-quality texts that are engaging and exciting.  Enable children to appreciate their literary heritage and their own place in the modern world.  

Curriculum Implementation 

At Sacred Heart Primary School: 

  • Reading is taught in daily 30-minute sessions. The first three sessions of the week are based the class novel which links to the current History or Geography topic. 

  • The first session of the week focuses on oracy. This is a planned ‘Talk Time’ session where images are used as a stimulus to introduce new vocabulary, develop discussion skills and encourage deep thinking. 

  • Two subsequent sessions are dedicated to shared reading of the class text. In these sessions, teachers will pre-teach new vocabulary, model reading with good fluency and prosody and use echo reading and other strategies, such as text annotation, to show children how they can become more fluent readers.  

  • Pre-planned comprehension questions allow children to respond to the text and develop their reading skills. 

  • Two further reading sessions are dedicated to developing children’s reading comprehension. Using unseen texts, teachers will model the strategy for answering questions through think aloud and talk partner discussion and check for understanding through oral or written assessment.  

  • Texts to develop reading skills are well-chosen to ensure they link to wider curriculum themes and develop children’s comprehension skills. Texts are chosen to reflect and celebrate our diverse school community. 

  • Children are expected and encouraged to read at home every day. Reading diaries log reading activity, including pages read.    

  • A love of reading is promoted through vibrant and inviting book corners in classrooms, daily quiet reading sessions, staff sharing a story with the class at the end of each day and through regular library visits. 

  • Whole school themed events raise the profile, as well as promote a love of reading, e.g., National Poetry Day and World Book Day. 


Curriculum Impact 

At Sacred Heart Primary School, our pupils will: 

  • Demonstrate high levels of engagement in reading sessions and improved independence when reading. 

  • Be motivated to read for pleasure. Children enjoy reading and can link their reading with their own cultural experiences and the wider world. 

  • Develop a richer vocabulary and the tools to engage in meaningful dialogue around books. 

  • Have high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.  


Writing – Curriculum Intent 

At Sacred Heart our intent is to: 

  • Guide and nurture pupils to become successful, life-long writers. 

  • Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance all pupils. 

  • Ensure every child masters the skills of punctuation, sentence structure, transcription, spelling and redrafting so that they are able to communicate effectively through a range of text types.  

  • Develop a curiosity surrounding vocabulary and language where pupils develop a sophisticated bank of vocabulary that they are able to draw upon both within writing and conversation. 

  • Understand the power of the written word and the impact that writing can have upon others. 


Curriculum Implementation 

At Sacred Heart Primary School: 

  • Teachers have a yearly overview of what texts to teach writing skills through for each half term. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts are all included. The overview document also includes what written outcomes should be produced (usually inspired by the text being studied) by the children and what the purpose of the writing is for. 

  • Weekly English planning, leading towards an extended written outcome, is underpinned by a phased approach: Phase 1 – read and deconstruct one or more WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like) identifying features used in a specific genre, Phase 2 – explore the language, capture own ideas, plan and pre-write, Phase 3 – modelled writing, shared composition, independent writing, evaluate, edit and publish. 

  • Children have the opportunity to share ideas with their peers, during shared composition sections of modelled writing and through their independent written outcome. 

  • Evidence of this phased writing process is evident in pupils’ English books and on English working walls in classrooms. 

  • High quality presentation is strived for through following a handwriting scheme. Adults model correct letter formation, both in handwriting sessions and when writing in pupils’ books or on the whiteboard/flipchart. 

  • Teachers deliver the relevant grammar and punctuation for their year group as set out by the National Curriculum. This is taught both explicitly in stand-alone weekly lessons and applied within the context of writing for a purpose. 

  • Specific spelling rules and strategies for spelling are delivered using the Twinkl spelling scheme. 

  • Weekly spelling tests linked to the weekly spelling rule or strategy take place each week. 

  • In writing lessons, differentiation through bespoke success criteria (depending on the experience of the writer) and through teacher-led guided groups, ensures that all pupils can access the writing curriculum. 

  • Assessment is informed by observations during daily English lessons, verbal feedback and through marking of writing. 

  • Teachers use detailed writing assessment grids for their year group at half termly writing moderation meetings to record accurate summative judgements (Working Towards/Working At/Working Above age-related Expectations) each term. These are discussed at pupil progress meetings and shared in end of year reports for all KS1 and KS2 pupils. 


Curriculum Impact 

At Sacred Heart Primary School, our pupils will: 

  • Enjoy writing and view it as relevant and purposeful, and as a vehicle to communicate their ideas across a range of subjects. 

  • Enjoy talking about their writing and show enthusiasm in wanting to improve the effect of their writing on their reading audience. 

  • Be proud of their writing and have the opportunity to see it on display and shared with others in the school and with their families. 

  • Have high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.