St Christopher's Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside , OL6 9DP
0161 330 5880

English Curriculum (Curriculum Designer: Karen Mcloughlin)

We aim 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 litery heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adaptng 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, demonstating to others and particpating in debate. 

Phonics plays a vital role in the teaching of reading and is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 following the Rocket Phonics programme. The Rocket phonics programme is used to provide a structured coverage of each Phonics phase. Our teaching staff plan and teach interactive activities that engage our pupils and provide opportunities to apply their phonics skills in reading and writing tasks. Progression in Phonics is assessed half-termly and monitored to ensure progression and provide appropriate support.

Reading is placed at the heart of our English curriculum. We have a home-school reading system where the children are given two reading books. The first book is a phonetically decodable book to match the phonic phase they are currently learning. The other book is reading for pleasure book which will challenge their comprehension. In Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1, the children use Rocket Phonics which complements the Reading Planet scheme. In Key Stage 2 the children progress through the bands to eventually reach free reading. Through Guided Reading in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 and timetabled comprehension lessons, in the rest of the school, we teach our children the skills of comprehension. We also have a member of staff who has sole responsibility for reading and she hears targeted readers every day.

At St Christopher’s we strive to promote a love of reading and literature through focused activities and reading for pleasure. Teachers read to the children for fifteen minutes every day in order to promote a love of reading. Our bright, inviting library and class reading areas encourage independence in reading and the joy of reading.

Handwriting is taught weekly from Reception to Year 6, beginning with mark making and patterns in Early Years all the way up to legible, joined handwriting in Year 6.

Spelling is taught using the ‘Pathways to Spell’ spelling scheme. It is used at St. Christopher’s from Y1-Y6 to ensure that a systematic, structured approach to spelling is followed. The scheme is a research-based series of lessons using a Review, Explain, Practise, Apply and Reflect model. ‘Pathways to Spell’ uses a Multi-Sensory approach to build the children’s phonic knowledge, understanding of spelling conventions and their understanding of the origin and historical development of words. The ‘Pathways to Spell’ scheme develops a range of independent spelling strategies that children can apply beyond spelling lessons and in their own pieces of writing.

In KS1 spelling is taught 4 times each week (Year 1 start in Spring term). In KS2 spelling is taught 3 times each week. Spellings are sent home each week as part of homework and the children are tested each week. Children from all classes undertake a spelling assessment each half-term.

Writing is taught by using "Pathways to Write" which is used to structure our teaching of English. We chose to use this scheme as it is based on high-quality texts that stimulate and develop ideas for creative writing. Over a half term, pupils become immersed in high-quality literature. Key grammar skills are introduced, discussed and explored in context with opportunities in reading and writing tasks to identify, discuss and apply these features. New vocabulary is introduced, discussed and clarified. This enables our pupils to understand the meanings of words when reading texts and use them correctly in their own pieces of writing, broadening their vocabulary.

Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1 children are taught the key principles of writing in order to lay a solid foundation for developing their skills later on. An emphasis is placed on developing a good pencil grip, and clear handwriting with finger spaces between each word. Our curriculum teaches the children to add variation and description to their work by developing their vocabulary, including the use of interesting adjectives and adverbs and developing sentence structure using conjunctions and sentence openers. By the end of Key Stage 1, the children have been taught the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar. As they progress to Year 6, children are taught to write for a range of purposes – to entertain, inform, explain, persuade and discuss – using explicit sentence models and ambitious vocabulary. They then learn to shape these sentences into coherent paragraphs before planning and creating their own original works of fiction and non-fiction.

Please read the English Long Term Plan (LTP) which details the teaching of English thoughout the school. 

English Policy 23-24.pdf .pdf
English Writing LTP 2023-24.pdf .pdf
Reading Progression and Sequence.pdf .pdf
Writing Progression and Sequence.pdf .pdf
Handwriting Policy 23-24.pdf .pdf