English 2023 - 2024

At St. Stephen's, our vision is to foster a love of language and literature through the use of quality texts and books; this inspires, excites and engages our children.


In English as a whole, we aim to achieve consistently high levels of progress and attainment. We will do this through providing our children with a broad, bespoke and challenging curriculum that begins from the day the children first walk through our doors. Our goal is to catch our children’s curiosity and interest and foster these skills to allow our children to become articulate and enthusiastic learners with high aspirations and levels of attainment in phonics, handwriting, spelling, reading and writing. We also plan to allow this love of literacy to transfer over into every aspect of the curriculum as a whole.

We also aim for our children with different needs to make equally good progress by ensuring that each child has the correct level of support to allow them to succeed as independent learners – whilst supporting them when it is required to allow them to access the correct level of age-related curriculum.

We expect all of the above to have a great impact on our children. They will be exposed to a wide-range of authors and genres – opening their eyes to the world around them and the magical kingdoms that lie in their minds waiting to be discovered. Our rigorous phonics work will ensure that our children can decode and read well as they transition into Key Stage 2. All of this will be combined with a curriculum that takes them places they have never been and do and see things they have never seen. Our goal is for our children to have experienced so much by the time they leave for high school that they will have a mountain of words and knowledge on which to embark on their next literacy adventure.

Children at St Stephen’s C of E Primary School will:

  • Be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
  • Be able to read fluently both for pleasure and to further their learning.
  • Enjoy writing across a range of genres.
  • Succeed in all literacy lessons with all work being appropriately scaffolded.
  • Have a wide vocabulary and be adventurous with their lexical choices within their writing.
  • Have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on their context and audience.
  • Leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
  • Achieve their full potential.
  • Have fun!


At St. Stephen's, our English curriculum is taught on a two-year cycle and through this, we offer a wealth of stimulating and challenging experiences. A broad variety of rich texts from every genre are studied, allowing the children to be enthused and immersed into a literary world. This will allow children to enjoy reading for knowledge, as well as for pleasure and enjoyment, and write with a sense of purpose and audience.

As a school, we:

  • Model reading through teachers reading different genres out loud regularly to their class.
  • Teach daily phonics sessions in EYFS and KS1 following the ‘Phonics Bug’ programme.
  • Teach Years 2 – 6 spelling several times a week using the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme.
  • Provide daily Guided Reading sessions in all classes using the carousel approach.
  • Use working walls in all classes to aid pupils and guide them through the process of reading, analysing, gathering content, planning and writing.
  • Ensure vocabulary is promoted through displays in class and in all curriculum areas - enhancing and encouraging a wider use of ever-more complex vocabulary.
  • Provide children with vocabulary mats, thesauruses and dictionaries when required.
  • Teach a range of genres across the school (progressing in difficulty) both in literacy and other curriculum areas; resulting in pupils being exposed to - and knowledgeable about - literary styles, authors and genres.
  • Promote reading and writing events (throughout the year) to encourage and promote enjoyment and opportunities to develop lifelong learning.

Through coherently planned and sequenced lessons, children learn the essentials of the English language such as phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence construction, coupled with the skills to help shape, structure and organise texts. These fundamental skills, including handwriting, are developed purposefully and integrated into word and sentence level work. We endeavour to create a language-rich environment that promotes a culture of writing – every class includes a ‘word wall’ to help develop a sophisticated bank of vocabulary across all subject areas. English is not taught solely as a discreet subject, but instead, permeated and consolidated in a cross-curricular approach allowing transferable skills to be applied to the wider curriculum. For example, the children can be taught the formalities of letter writing from the perspective of an evacuee in a History lesson. Children at St. Stephen’s are recognised as ‘authors’, and are given ample opportunities to re-read, edit and improve their writing so that every piece of writing they produce is to the best of their ability and is work they are proud of.

We aim to provide access to a wide variety of differentiated reading materials to ensure our children become competent and confident readers. As well as having our own school library, all of our classrooms have a vibrant and inviting reading corner to encourage reading. Whole class and guided reading sessions take place on a regular basis which include a combination of teacher-led work, follow on activities, independent reading and sometimes to simply read for pleasure.

At St. Stephen’s, children are taught to listen well, speak clearly, read enthusiastically and write effectively. Children are supported and encouraged as they express themselves creatively and imaginatively on their way to becoming enthusiastic and autonomous learners. We offer children a wealth of rich learning experiences, including outside speakers, theatre productions, drama performances and role play. These opportunities are a fundamental building block to unlocking potential and helping children to become confident in all areas of language. Each year group is involved in speaking and performing to an audience, for example class assemblies, worship assemblies and productions. Every year, we also celebrate ‘World Book Day’ and hold events within school to promote a love of reading and raise the profile.


At St. Stephen's, we aim to provide a love of language and literature. We want to develop children's literacy abilities within an integrated programme of speaking & listening, reading & writing and phonics. Our children will be given opportunities to make links between the requirements of literacy as a subject in its own right, and its importance in all subjects within our broad and balanced curriculum.

As a result, they will be provided with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills across a wide range of subjects. Through quality first teaching and using high quality texts - which are vocabulary-rich - we aim to promote our children’s self-confidence and self-expression with reading and the written word. We work towards national standards of achievement and assessment in speaking and listening, reading and writing and phonics. Our assessment for learning, along with national testing, enables us to identify any areas of strength children have or where more support is required for our children to make good progress.

We also recognise the importance of spoken language and how this underpins the development of reading and writing. With this in mind, we aim to ensure each and every one of our pupils can write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas in various forms. We also encourage our children to express themselves effectively and to listen and learn from each other. In other words, we strive for children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’.

The English curriculum is delivered using the Lancashire Literacy Planning Units and in line with the National Curriculum guidance on a two-year cycle. The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum. Pupils are taught against age-related expectations - with gaps in understanding identified and targeted for additional support through quality first teaching or intervention as necessary.

Work is differentiated through a variety of approaches - additional support, levels of work, resources and outcome. Where children are working well below age-related expectations, or have identified language needs, work will be differentiated to meet individual needs. 

What they should be able to:

  • Enjoy reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-review and correct.
  • Develop a love of books and read for enjoyment.
  • Enjoy words, discover their meanings; develop a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
  • Know about a range of text types and genres and write in a variety of styles and forms for purpose and pleasure.
  • Develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness. 
  • Know the technical vocabulary that matches the skills they are using.
  • Write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas in various forms.
  • Express themselves effectively and to listen and learn from one another.

In EYFS (Nursery and Reception), children learn to explore a range of quality texts and develop listening, attention, communication and language skills supporting storytelling, speaking and imagination.

In Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2), children learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.

In Key Stage Two (Years 3-6), children learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of high quality texts and respond to different layers of meaning within them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works.

Equality and diversity

At St Stephen's, we believe it is important for children to feel represented within their school community. We can help to address this by including books featuring a range of diverse characters in our English curriculum and in the books we have in our classroom. The books that are used to support our reading cover a diverse background with a variety of cultures, religions, beliefs, ethnicities and social backgrounds. We aim to provide children with current texts to ensure that children are able to relate themselves in the books they select to read.

Access and inclusion

Every child has access to the English curriculum and the Special Educational Needs and EAL co-ordinators assist staff to ensure that children have the necessary resources to learn their next steps in language and communication, reading and writing.  A variety of resources, including writing materials, laptops, ipads and enlarged texts, overlays and use of coloured paper are examples of what is used to support learning. The use of tried and tested reading, speaking and listening and writing interventions support our pupils as we endeavour to ensure that all children make the necessary progress to succeed in their use and application of English.

Deepening spirituality

Teachers use a variety of texts and visual aids to explore the awe and wonder in the world. Challenging children to reflect gives them the opportunity to have an understanding of themselves and others.  Empathy can be developed through use of the very best writing and poetry. Children are encouraged to think more about their place in their world and the impact they can have to make the world better for themselves and for others.


Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle. Assessment is supported by use of the following strategies:

  • Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group and in class during whole class discussions.
  • Using differentiated, open-ended questions that require children to explain and unpick their understanding.
  • Providing effective feedback, including interactive marking through red pen questions where appropriate, to engage children with their learning and to provide opportunities for self-assessment, consolidation, depth and target setting. 
  • Book moderation and monitoring of outcomes of work, to evaluate the range and balance of work and ensure that tasks meet the needs of different learners (with the acquisition of the pre-identified key knowledge of each topic and skills being evidenced through the outcomes)
  • Child and teacher review of both agreed success criteria at the end of each unit, to inform focused consolidation where this is necessary.

Useful Websites

Careers in English

 Love English? There are lots of career choices for our budding readers and writers. Check them out here... Careers in English 

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Files to Download

Aspire to Greatness