“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”

- William Shakespeare

Includes: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling and handwriting


English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.


The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding

  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

  • 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

  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate


At St Michael’s our main aim is to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We strive to ensure that every single child becomes primary literate and progresses to the best of their ability in speaking and listening, reading and writing. We recognise that every child has their own starting point upon entry into every year group and progress is measured inline with these starting points to ensure that every child can achieve. We believe that a secure and embedded understanding of basic skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to ‘shine brightly’ in their futures. Our use of high-quality texts, vocabulary-rich learning environments and a varied and engaging curriculum ensure the English progression of skills are met whilst developing a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.


The 2014 National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum aims are embedded not only through our English curriculum, but also across the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of core quality texts and resources, and immerse children in vocabulary rich environments, to not only motivate but also to inspire our children. Cross-curricular links with topic are also woven into and throughout the programme of study. As a school, we have invested in high quality training for staff in the synthetic phonics programme Sounds Write which forms the foundation for children learning to read and write in the Early Years, and is continued to be reinforced throughout their education. Learning is reinforced at home in EYFS, year 1 and tear 2 where by children have access to reading books to consolidate the code they are currently learning.

As an inclusive school, teachers at St Michael’s plan and teach English lessons which meet the needs of all children and help them to maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent learners equipping them with the confidence, tools and strategies they need. The structure of the lessons are carefully considered, including opportunities for returning to, and expanding on prior knowledge, teaching, modelling and discussion to aid understanding and support children in their independent tasks. Each session starts with a spelling, punctuation and grammar starter task using the yearly objectives specified in the national curriculum.

At St Michael’s we aim to inspire our pupils to become confident, enthusiastic and reflective readers, who appreciate the importance of reading as a life-long skill in the wider world, but also value books as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. Guided reading is taught with a whole class approach, studying a text in depth and focusing on ‘looking’, ‘thinking’ and ‘clue’ questions to drive children curiosity and infer meaning from the text. Books are widely celebrated in the classroom, and a love for reading is fostered through daily sharing of a class text, a book rich environment with a range of quality texts and displays to model the reading journey children have been on throughout the year.


The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills as lifelong learners.

With the consistent approach to the teaching of writing throughout the school, children are becoming more confident writers who will have accessed a range of genres and by the end of Key Stage 2. Teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. Consolidation of these skills can be identified in cross-curricular work which demonstrates a deeper understanding of how and when specific grammar and punctuation skills are to be used.

As readers, with the excellent foundation of Sounds Write, children can comprehend what they have read, form opinions, ask questions and predict what may happen next. They have the opportunity to interact with to a wide variety of rich texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, allowing them to become successful, fluent and confident readers forming transferrable skills to cross-curricular activities.

The quality and effectiveness of English will be continually monitored and evaluated using PIRA reading tests at the end of each term and regular writing moderations. The YARC reading test is also used as an additional assessment tool for the more vulnerable children. 

As children leave the St Michael’s family to go on to further their education and learning, we hope that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they shine brightly and stand out.


Page Downloads Date  
Reading provision 19th Jun 2023 Download
Reading spine (whole school) 19th Jun 2023 Download
Phonics subject overview 19th Jun 2023 Download
Grammar punctuation and spelling overview 19th Jun 2023 Download
Grammar punctuation and spelling coverage 19th Jun 2023 Download
Year 1 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Year 2 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Year 3 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Year 4 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Year 5 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Year 6 Reading List 06th Feb 2024 Download
Writing provision 19th Jun 2023 Download