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Our curriculum has been designed to encourage children to become confident and enthusiastic about English. We have achieved this by listening to our children’s voices to ensure the curriculum is designed to be ambitious for all learners. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. We offer rich and vibrant opportunities for learners to be exposed to a variety of genres and authors. We intend for all learners to be able to read, write and spell to age –appropriate expectations and have provided sufficient time in the timetable to allow for this. We have a range of strategies in place for learners to develop a love for reading and to be able to read confidently and fluently. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to express their emotions and their ideas independently. We aspire to equip our children with these skills now and the tools to develop those skills in the future.


At St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Primary School we want all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer those English skills to other subjects in the curriculum and to take forward in the next stages of their educational development. Our English lessons will give all children the opportunity to hone these skills. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. We support this by providing opportunities for:

  • Daily opportunities for silent reading
  • Reading buddy time
  • Class story time
  • Reading prizes
  • Mystery reader
  • Celebrating world book day and poetry day
  • Book blankets
  • Visiting authors
  • Range of books to encourage a breadth of reading at greater depth.
  • East Sussex Library Service book awards and Summer Reading Challenge
  • For EYFS – Yr2 daily phonics sessions take place following the Read, Write Inc. programme.
  • Three units of poetry per year

Parents are given reading guidance and clear expectations about how to support their child with reading at home.

We help our children to develop writing skills so that they have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. Our school uses a range of activities to excite and support this, including film and imagery, music, ICT and discussion. Children are regularly given the opportunity to write “just for fun”. We encourage children to take ownership of, and pride in, their work and to use a range of methods to develop this including shared and guided writing, self and peer assessment and discussion in talk partners.

We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. These include World Book Day, various writing opportunities for publishing their work and the East Sussex book awards scheme.

We follow the Read Write Inc. literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin. In Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons children learn how to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.  They learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step-by- step.  Throughout the programme, children learn the English alphabetic code: the 150+ graphemes that represent 44 speech sounds. This learning is taught and consolidated every day and high frequency words that are not phonetically regular (we call them Red words) are practised frequently.

All learners take part in guided reading sessions. Children in Reception and Year 1 read books that match closely with the sounds they know.  This follows a three-day timetable focussing on accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Years 2-6 use the Project X reading scheme, which exposes them to a range of non-fiction and fiction books. Teachers plan a carousel of activities across the week incorporating this.  In Years 4 – 6 children are taught how to master comprehension skills following a whole class programme called Comprehension Express in terms 1, 2, 5 and 6.

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