When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.

James Earl Jones

Throughout their journey at St Mary’s, we believe that every child should:

  • Have the opportunity and support to become fluent, confident and skilled communicators, irrespective of their context or starting point;
  • Be exposed to a rich and diverse range of experiences, in both Reading and Writing, and be challenged to deepen and apply their English skills and knowledge throughout the curriculum;
  • Develop conceptual fluency in Reading and Writing, through a carefully developed curriculum that encompasses the principles of cognitive neuroscience and best practice;
  • Enjoy a curriculum that places emphasis on evidence-led research: cognitive load theory, principles of instruction, making vocabulary explicit, ensuring that generative learning tasks fit together securely in a curriculum structure to develop excellence.
  • Experience a curriculum that is unapologetically ambitious, cohesive and rich in knowledge and vocabulary.

English in EYFS

In EYFS, Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS, we have ‘Over an Over’ each half term, which compromises of ten books being read over and over again, each term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension.

These ten books will be embedded in our provision through enhancements, story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories. Our curriculum is carefully constructed to prepare children and ensure that there is cohesion and consistency with our approach through:

  • The inclusion of high-quality texts which are age and stage appropriate
  • Modelled reading and re-telling opportunities across each session
  • A focus on Tier 1, 2 and 3 Vocabulary
  • Dedicated phonics sessions, employing tricky and high-frequency words
  • Cooperative learning behaviours which develop oracy and interdependence.

Children are encouraged to apply their phonics in independent and supported writing opportunities across the curriculum from letters, to recipes, short stories and information reports.

English in Key Stage 1 and 2

In Key Stage 1 and 2 we teach Reading and Writing using Curriculum by Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP).

CUSP is an evidence informed, carefully sequenced English curriculum, which maps core content in Reading and Writing across the primary journey, ensuring that learning is taught and revisited over time so that pupils commit their understanding to the long-term memory.