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Subject Leader: Mrs S Stevenson.


At St. Mary's C of E Primary Academy we want all our children in English to:

  • Learn as much as possible, so all children are fluent confident readers and writers. 
  • We want all our students to develop into well-read confident speakers therefore our curriculum is driven by high quality engaging texts that children can explore and study. 
  • Ignite Curiosity by building strong links in English to the Geography, History or Science that the children are learning.  



As we develop this approach, time will be given for staff to reflect on the strategies effectiveness in raising levels of attainment across school. We want our children to develop into confident readers and successful writers who have a secure knowledge of and can apply grammar and punctuation skills in their written work consistently.




Our English curriculum follows the Literacy Tree approach.  This is a book based approach with carefully chosen texts including a wide range of rich children’s literature.    

Our writing roots lessons embed complete coverage of the National Curriculum objectives and engage children to write with clear audience and purpose.  The Literacy Tree’s ‘Teach Through a Text’ pedagogy is the backbone of each sequence.  This approach contains the following: 

Thematic Link – Links are made through themes and conventions within significant literature. 

Discovery Point – Dramatic conventions support immersion and create a hook with the book to create resonance. 

Embedded Comprehension – Reading comprehension explicitly embedded through prediction and inference. 

Embedded grammar – Explicit grammar skills for writing taught in context to be applied purposefully. 

Spelling and Vocabulary – Explicit spelling skills are explored and linked to vocabulary acquisition. 

Literary Language – Literary language explicitly taught and applied in writing. 

Purpose and audience – Distinct shorter and longer writing opportunities rather than genre – led. 

See long term plan for an over view of the texts used. 



Following our teaching of spelling the  validated SSP programme Little Wandle scheme, pupils who have finished this programme (within year 2) move on to the Literacy Tree Spelling Seeds scheme of work.  This provides a sequence for teaching spelling and vocabulary in context.   Spelling is taught through investigation and at the point of application.  Spelling seeds complements our Writing Roots lessons and uses the same text to provide further short writing opportunities and embed spelling content. 


Following our teaching of reading through the the Little Wandle phonics and fluency scheme, pupils who have finished this programme (within year 2) move on to the Literacy leaves scheme of work.  This provides a range of sequenced activities that take children through whole books to teach reading comprehension and create critical readers.  Literary Leaves use novels, poetry collections and high- quality , non fiction books.   


From September 2023, the handwriting policy for children in years 1 to 6 will be followed. 

Sequenced teaching units are provided  and include warm ups, a unit focus, and word banks. 

Children will be encouraged to use good posture and be sat at a table whenever possible. 

By the end of year 2, pupils will have been taught all of the joins required to successfully write in a joined manner providing letter formation is secure and consistent.


Teacher assessment will form termly data submission checkpoints in reading and writing. These will then be used to inform future planning and provide provision planning for children with specific gaps in learning.  

Readingà Assessment in reading will be mainly gathered through teacher assessment. Lessons will provide children with the opportunities to develop reading skills in line with age-related expectations. Children will then be able to apply these skills on a daily basis, through a range of subjects. In addition, teachers will use other formative assessment resources such as past SAT’s papers and NFER assessment tools to form an overall picture of progress and attainment. Early reading and phonics will be assessed using separate tracking documents. 

Writingà Assessment opportunities in writing will be planned into the English unit on a regular basis. Teachers understand the need to provide assessment opportunities at a distance from learning (one week for KS1 pupils and up to two weeks for KS2 pupils). Whilst the assessed piece of writing will be at a distance from learning, the genre will remain similar to the previous unit. Moderation processes will quality assure judgements made as well as provide teachers with the opportunity for high quality, developmental professional dialogue.   


Our new English strategy was introduced in January 2024. This book based approach was introduced to ensure all pupils are inspired by literacy as the scheme uses highly engaging and rich texts.  The detailed and rigorous planning ensures pupils are taught the key objectives needed to reach their full potential.  We will be reviewing this over the spring term and finalising our approach in summer 2024.   Please see our English Policy for full details of our approach.  Please also see our Early Reading and our Phonics Policy  to see in detail how we teach pupils at the beginning of their journey to become fluent and inspired readers and writers.