St Wilfrid's Catholic Primary School

St Wilfrid's
Catholic Primary School



At St. Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School English and the teaching of English is embedded across the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. We believe in supporting our children to love reading and writing. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing along with setting the important foundations in spelling and grammar. We aim to inspire children in their writing by providing opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. We value reading as a key life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that through supporting our children to learn to read, they will be able to read to learn for the rest of their lives. Reading is key for academic success. We believe in developing reading fluency and all comprehension skills coupled with promoting a love of reading so all of our children can access the delights and rewards that reading provides. 

We will deliver an English Curriculum that:  

Develops in all children a love of reading and writing. 

Nurtures in all children the ability to express themselves clearly – verbally and in writing; to develop their word choice when speaking and to encourage accurate grammar when speaking in order to aid self-expression.  

Allows children to comprehend and critique what they read, and to write creatively and accurately regardless of genre or topic.  

Exposes all children to a wide range of high quality texts that explore different styles, plots, tones and cover diverse authors and characters.   

These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Rigorous assessment and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in literacy; we believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. 


Early Years Foundation Stage  

At St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, the systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Early Years and Year 1. The school has adopted Twinkl Phonics as its systematic phonics programme and phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is initially delivered to the whole class before moving to small groups based on the stage the child is at. This is reassessed regularly. Intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels. 

In the Early Years, reading is taught through shared reading, using such resources as large print books, on-screen books and picture books. Pupils are taught the process of reading; learning that words and pictures have meaning. Through a range of practical activities children learn familiar stories and explore comprehension skills such as sequencing, prediction and retrieval. The setting has an inviting reading area with age appropriate reading resources. Topic related reading materials are used in lessons as well as being available as part of the continuous provision and reading material is available for children to enjoy during outdoor play.

In the Early Years, we think it is initially important for pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary and a secure understanding of grammar and sentence structures verbally. We encourage the children to speak in full sentences and understand the meaning of words so that they are able to transfer these skills to writing as they progress through their education.  The Early Years setting has a writing area with age appropriate resources, with topic related writing resources available as part of the continuous provision and writing materials available for children to access during outdoor play. Children are given the opportunity to follow their own interests and write for their own purpose and pleasure. Engaging writing activities are planned and provided to inspire children to want to write independently. ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies are used, as appropriate, to support the writing process. 

Letter formation begins with air writing and pencil control activities, such as Funky Fingers or Dough Disco, and then moves onto regular letter formation practice. Children in the Early Years are given frequent opportunities to practise writing independently and with adult support. 

Key Stage 1

In Year 1, teachers continue to teach daily phonics lessons using Twinkl Phonics systematic phonics programme. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds. The children are heard reading individually and sometimes in groups. Reading is taught through a shared reading approach using books that are rhythmical and have repetitive patterns. In Year 2, pupils are taught reading comprehension through a whole class approach. Pupils explore vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, making inferences and retrieving information using the Totally Pawsome Reading Gang (VIPRS). 

At KS1 we aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Teachers clearly model writing skills and guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Writing is taught through a text-based approach, which allows us to choose a text that will engage, inspire and motivate. ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies are used, as appropriate, to support the writing process. The children are also given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres.  

KS1 pupils are taught to spell the Common Exception Words and to apply their phonic knowledge when spelling unknown words. Year 2 teachers use Twinkl Phonics daily to teach the different spelling rules. Pupils continue to develop the correct letter formation through regular handwriting practice and begin to develop a joined style from Year 2. 

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we teach reading through a mixture of whole class and small group teaching, focusing on the curriculum domains. We use VIPERS to ensure consistency across the Key Stage. Through ‘Book Talk’ sessions pupils explore vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, making inferences and retrieving information, ensuring that they are able to make justified responses using evidence from the text. Pupils explore a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts in their foundation lessons, which are based around age appropriate texts mostly linked to the topic being studied.  

In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross circular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. Pupils are given a language rich curriculum and are encouraged and shown how to effectively use interesting and adventurous language in their writing. 

We use high quality age-appropriate texts each book to create opportunities to 

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 

Lessons are carefully planned so that skills are taught, embedded, revisited and then developed in a sequential way which promotes learning and retention of knowledge and skills throughout the school to support the teaching of writing. 

Spelling rules are explicitly taught in the classrooms following the Twinkl Spelling programme and through modelled and shared writing. We expect and encourage children to present their work neatly so handwriting and fine motor skills are practiced throughout KS2. Pupils are expected to continue to develop a joined script in Year 4, 5 and 6.  


Our English Curriculum should ensure that children leave St Wilfrid's with:  

a love of reading. They are able to reference a wide range of different authors, from different literary traditions and genres.  

a love of writing. They should be able to express their opinions and their creativity in writing that is well structured, clear, technically accurate and interesting to read.  

the ability to express their opinions verbally; to understand how to engage – and disagree – with others clearly and articulately.  

the knowledge that they have made the best possible progress as a result of consistent, Quality First Teaching and (where appropriate) additional interventions.  

confident to try new things, experiment with their writing, take risks, and continue to expand their experience of reading.  

a feeling that their efforts were valued and their opinions heard. That they have had a chance to find their ‘voice’ and were encouraged to use it.  

When you read well, you hear how the parts work together.  Once you can do that, you can create writing from parts to a whole you couldn’t imagine before.