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We not only teach the fundamental skills of reading but also nurture children’s reading attitudes and behaviour with the aim that all children read for pleasure. The reading book that a child is sent home with is aimed at a level which they can read independently to an adult. In guided reading sessions, children read more challenging texts with teachers and teaching assistants to support the development of their reading ability. The children also read a whole class reader in dedicated sessions where they enjoy, learn and explore a text together. Children are also taught how to read for meaning so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding of a text.



The teaching of writing is delivered in a creative, stimulating way and children apply what they have learned in their English sessions in a many cross-curricular activities.


Children are taught through a writing process where they are introduced to the different types of writing (genres) Children are able to unpick the key features in order to plan and create their own piece of writing. The teaching of grammar and punctuation is also an integral part of all English work and children are taught how to punctuate and structure their writing correctly, becoming fluent with the relevant terminology. Once a child has created a piece of writing, they then develop the skills needed to analyse and edit their work: constantly working towards taking those next steps to improve their writing.



We have a fantastic, well-resourced library, which offers a wide range of fiction non-fiction books, journals and magazines for everyone to enjoy. A dedicated group of Year Six children take the role of school librarians and support other year groups in allotted ‘library time’.



Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some sounds are represented by 1 letter, like ‘t’ and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck. Children are taught these sounds and how to match them to letters. Phonics is the building blocks of reading and writing and equips children with the skills needed to become independent readers and writers.


St Mary and St Margaret’s has a structured approach to the teaching of phonics which begins on entry to the Nursery and continues throughout the school, incorporating spelling strategies and rules. There are two elements of teaching phonics, segmenting which supports writing and blending which supports reading. Throughout the teaching of phonics, children are also introduced to tricky words, words which do not follow the conventions taught, like ‘the’ and ‘said’. For more information see the Curriculum Section 'How  We Teach Phonics at St Mary & St Margaret's'.

Purpose of the Curriculum:

(What will a high quality English education do for our children?)


  • Use all subjects to teach reading and directly support to writing
  • Teach all pupils to read fluently including short and extended texts (both fiction and non-fiction)
  • Encourage reading for pleasure
  • Set ambitious expectations for reading at home.
  • Pupils must be surrounded by a learning area that is rich in reading opportunities.
  • Our reading curriculum will give pupils the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.’
  • Pupils should have the opportunity to write in different genres for different purposes and audiences
  • Pupils must be taught to plan, revise and evaluate their learning.
  • Pupils must learn to write down their ideas fluently and effectively.
  • Pupils must understand the link between letters and sounds. Also understand the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure).
  • Pupils must learn how to articulate and communicate their ideas and organise them for their readers
  • Pupils must be aware of their audience, purpose and context demonstrating a wide understanding of vocabulary and grammar
  • Their improving writing is also dependent on fluent and legible handwriting.


Aim of the Curriculum:

  • The teaching of reading must ensure that pupils are taught the meaning of new vocabulary they encounter in all subjects
  • Pupils must be taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they will meet in examination questions.
  • Read easily, fluently with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • 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.