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English Curriculum Intent

At St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to equip every child with the vocabulary, skills, knowledge and understanding essential to becoming confident communicators, readers and writers.  We endeavour to expose the children to a vocabulary rich learning environment and carefully select high quality age appropriate texts to engage and challenge the children with the intent of maximising progress for every child so that they may all fulfil their potential. 

We recognise the importance of developing a rich and varied vocabulary for our children, particularly the most disadvantaged, and view this as a platform from which to build essential English skills.  To further develop and embed these skills, opportunities for oral rehearsal are sought and high quality texts are selected and used to provide exposure to a range of vocabulary and a developing range of fiction and non-fiction styles.  Through immersion in text, we aim to develop a love of books as well as provide engaging and purposeful stimuli for writing to challenge even the most able children.

English Curriculum Implementation: Phonics

Phonics is taught daily in EYFS – Y1 and is streamed based on the children’s abilty so that their individual needs can be best met.  Following assessment, children from other year groups may also attend these sessions. Sessions take a systematic approach to the teaching  of grapheme phoneme correspondence (GPCs) in line with the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document.  Teachers begin all sessions by revisiting GPCs previously taught, teaching new GPCs, allowing the children time to practise and then apply these.  Sessions often involve a multi-sensory approach and aim to keep children engaged through pacey interactive learning.  Application of phonics is further supported through continuous provision and reading opportunities.  Books are selected for 1-1 and guided reading that allow GPCs taught to be reinforced from a number of schemes that include phonetically decodable texts.


English Curriculum Implementation: Reading

The use of high quality age appropriate texts is key in the teaching of reading and begins in EYFS whereby children engage in individual and group sessions through guided and shared reading.  Each session is used as an opportunity to further embed and develop the application of phonics, increase fluency and develop an increasing understanding of vocabulary, character and plot.

KS1 and KS2 teach a discreet guided reading session on a daily basis and activities are planned to enable the teacher to work with small groups of children to develop both fluency and comprehension at an appropriate level.  This also allows small groups of children to develop independence on focused tasks that are aimed at developing reading skills across each of the content domains as outlined in the national curriculum.  Further to this a weekly whole class comprehension session is delivered using the Cracking Comprehension scheme.

To expose our children to a range of books and encourage a love of reading, all classes have a timetabled story time and the educational library service is used as a resource to encourage children to read a range of texts across the wider curriculum.

English Curriculum Implementation: Writing

We believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love of reading within our children.  We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to writing.  Each English unit is taught by studying a high quality text from which a range of writing opportunities are derived.  The children first develop an understanding of the text – exploring the key themes, events and plot.  Children are encouraged to orally rehearse and use drama techniques to further embed their understanding. They are provided with the opportunity to capture content and analyse the vocabulary and grammar used by the author.  Such features are then taught to correspond with the genres being written as part of the writing process.  Children are supported in the application of the skills taught in identifying features of a high quality modelled text, before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for purpose and audience.


English Curriculum Implementation: Spelling

Discrete spelling sessions are taught from Y1-Y6 in line with the ‘No Nonsense’ Spelling scheme.  The Spelling Shed App is then used a minimum of 3 times a week as an engaging strategy to allow children to rehearse the spelling rule taught culminating in a weekly ‘Hive’ spelling test which allows progress to be tracked.  Spelling displays are also evident in every classroom to further reinforce the spelling rules taught and spelling homework is set weekly.  Children in KS2 also keep a spelling journal and all teachers maintain a high expectation of spelling across all written work.

English Curriculum Impact

Outcomes in English books evidence a clear progression of skills and an increasingly developed vocabulary.  Children engage with the context for writing through careful selection of high quality age appropriate texts, from which writing opportunities are formed.  Children are able to develop a deep understanding of text and analyse vocabulary and grammatical features which are then applied to their own writing.  Writing outcomes therefore illustrate the ability to adapt for purpose and audience with increasing effectiveness.

Children are given the opportunity to read widely and are able to apply their reading skills to a variety of situations for a variety of purposes.  At St Augustine’s this begins with a rich reading environment. Our children are able to listen, speak and discriminate between sounds. Children are confident in segmenting, blending and decoding words through each phonics phase matched to their ability level.  Progression in fluency of reading and depth of understanding of vocabulary, grammar, character and plot is evidenced on their journey through school.

Ultimately, we equip our children with the necessary skills in speaking, reading and writing that prepare them for the next phase of education and life beyond the school gates.


English at St Augustine's: What our learning looks like....

English in EYFS

English in EYFS is delivered in line with the Development Matters document.  English forms part of both the prime and more specific areas of learning.  Communication and Language is a prime area of learning that develops in response to relationships and experiences and runs through and supports learning in all other areas.  The fundamentals of this are; Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking.  Consequently, development of such skills is prioritised and evident across all learning areas.  Below are examples of what this learning looks like in practise…..

Further to this are the specific areas of learning which include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.  Literacy is one such specific area and develops skills in both reading and writing.  At this early stage children are exposed to a vocabulary rich environment and afforded opportunities to orally rehearse before learning about putting meaning to marks and developing letter formation.  Below are examples of some of this fantastic work……..

Books are drawn upon to provide an engaging context for learning and children regularly hear stories either on a 1-1, group or whole class basis.  Children learn to listen and understand key concepts as well as develop a growing knowledge of GPCs.  Phonics lessons are also delivered discretely on a daily basis to support the application of these.  Look at some of our reading experiences…….

English in KS1

In KS1 we build on the foundation established in EYFS.  We continue to recognise the importance of a vocabulary rich environment and prioritise opportunities for oral rehearsal.  In line with the national curriculum, we first focus on the principles of sentence construction and application of phonics before building up the stamina to write for a range of purposes.  English lessons are taught daily and each is given context through the use of an engaging age appropriate text. To see which texts are used in each year group and the writing opportunities they afford please visit the 'Important Documents' section of the page and look for the document entitled Reading into Writing. 

Further to this, the children have the opportunity to practise handwriting daily as they aim to develop a cursive style as well as practise the spelling patterns outlined in the national curriculum using the Spelling Shed App.

Just look at some of our fantatstic writing.....

In KS1 children continue to access daily phonics lessons.  This is delivered in partnership with EYFS so that all children are able to access learning at an appropriate level.  This is further reinforced through specific phonics activities delivered as part of English and guided reading lessons as appropriate.  Take a look at some of our fantastic phonics work......


In KS1 we continue to develop reading skills through daily guided reading sessions.  These provide an opportunity to apply knowledge of GPCs and develop increasing fluency.  As the children move through KS1 an increasing emphasis is placed on their ability to apply skills of deduction and inference to an increasing range of texts.  Children are challenged through a range of question stems which link to each reading domain, specific comprhension tasks called Question Maps and a weekly whole class comprehension lesson delieverd in line with the Cracking Comprehension scheme.  Examples of these can be found in the 'Important Documents' section of the page. 

Just look at some of our fantastic work.....

English in KS2

As the children move through KS2 they continue to have daily English lessons which aim to further develop the children's use of vocabulary and manipulate sentence structure for a developing range of audience and purpose.  The children have the opportunity to earn a pen license once their handwriting style is established and continue to practise the spelling patterns outlined in the national curriculum on the Spelling Shed App ensuring progression through the school.

Please see the photographs below for examples of our work.....  

In KS2 the children continue to have daily guided reading sessions.  Emphasis is very much on the children's development of comprehension skills at this stage.  Children are challenged through the question stems outlined for each year group to ensure progression and in addition to completing the Question Map activies they are familiar with from their time in KS1 they also complete a CLIMB activity.   Examples of each can be found in the Important Documents section of the page.  Children also continue to have a whole class comprehension lesson following the Cracking Comprehension scheme.

Here are some examples of our fantastic work.....

Story Time at St Augustine's

All children from EYFS to Y6 have a dedicated time slot on their timetable for story time.  This is a time where we can all enjoy a book together and further fuel our passion for books.  Take a look at some of the books we have been reading.......

Important Documents

Please find below documents pertaining to the implementation of English at St Augustine's.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Email:StAugustines_Primary@warrington.gov.uk Phone:01925633317

Long Term Plans

Each year group has a list of objectives taken from either the Development Mattters document (EYFS) or the national curriculum  (Y1-Y6) which they must cover over the course of the year.  Please find examples below...

Progression of Skills

To ensure continuity and progression it is important that teachers are aware of the learning that has taken place prior to starting the year and where it is leading.  As such, the documents below have been created for Reading, Writing and Spoken Language.....

Reading into Writing

At St Augustine's we are passionate about books and believe that reading underpins development of writing.  We want our children to be exposed to a range of quality texts and be familiar with a range of authors and poetry.  As such, all teachers have been involved in selecting key texts appropriate to their year group which provide an engaging context for a developing range of writing opportunities.  Where possible, links have been made between authors so that children are able to articulate similarities and differences in style and ofcourse, their own preferences.

Additionally teachers have made a record of additional texts that are key to their year group and can be used for incidental writing opportunities, guided reading, end of day story time and to make cross-curricular links.

All of these then form part of our reading spine and tell the story of our reading journey at St Augustines.

Please see the document below for all of this information.......

Question Stems

To ensure challenge and progression in the development of comprehension skills staff are provided with the following question stems.  Each is specific to a year group and can be used to scaffold questioning in guided reading sessions.  Where the question stem is highlighted yellow it indicates that it is new to that year group.  In year 6 there are no new question stems to allow revision of question stems already covered.  For examples of these please see the documents below......

Example Guided Reading Activities

Guided reading sessions comprise of small group activities directed by the teacher.  Some activities are completed independently and some with direct teacher support.  Teacher supported sessions are planned on either the KS1 or KS2 guided reading record and focus on developing key comprehension skills in line with the content domains and national curriculum which are highlighted on the record.  Please find a KS1 and KS2 reading record below.  Independent activities include completion of Question Maps and CLIMB activies.  Please find examples of both the Question Map and CLIMB activities used in guided reading sessions below.......

Learning at Home

As well as all the learning that takes place in school it is important to reinforce this at home.  One of the most important things that you can do at home is read regularly.  It is better to read little and often and certainly for children in EYFS and KS1 we would reccomend reading for around 10 minutes daily.  As children progress into KS2 this time can be extended but should remain just as frequent.  All reading at home should be recorded in your child's reading record so that it can be monitored by the class teacher.

Another way in which reading materials can be accessed at home is via the website ActiveLearn which is a library of ebooks for children to read and complete related comprehension questions.  This will supplement everything they learn in school and can be accessed on any platform.

The children also have access to Spelling Shed which is a great online platform to encourage the children to practise their weekly spellings through a range of games and activities.

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