“A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.” Primary National Curriculum 2014

English Curriculum Intent

At St Oswald's we  believe that English underpins and supports children’s access to the whole curriculum. It is therefore fundamental to the overall development of children. We aim to develop skills of literacy across all elements of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and provide opportunities for these skills to be practised, reinforced and consolidated across a broad and balanced curriculum. The Key Skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are outlined in the National Curriculum (2014)

Curriculum Implementation

Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting. 


The successful Read Write Inc Phonics Programme is used from Foundation Stage through KS1 and continued for children in KS2 still for individuals requiring further reinforcement. Please see Phonics page loacted in Curriculum for additional information.


“The national curriculum for English aims 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 linguistic conventions” Primary National Curriculum 2014

Reading for pleasure is heavily emphasised throughout our school. Children have a variety of different types of books from which to choose at their appropriate reading level including poetry, information books, a wide range of fiction genres and graphic novels in addition to First News ( a newspaper written for children).

English is taught through  Quality Text Based Units linking reading, writing and grammar.

In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, the children are using the Accelerated Reader programme which is designed to engage children with texts and tests their comprehension and understanding via online quizzes.


Each year group works with the spellings specified in the National Curriculum statutory appendices. These spelling patterns and rules are taught in school and practised further at home. We use a consistent approach to the teaching of spelling. Each class from Year 1- 6 uses the Babcock Spelling programme to support, alongside Assertive Mentoring spelling lists, which is based on the National Curriculum 2014. Children have access to dictionaries, word banks and working walls to asist them with spelling in independent work. Spellings are taught and sent home to learn weekly as part of homework.


The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

Writing is taught using text based units using a clear reading to writing processes incorporating the teaching of grammar in context. A range of exciting stimuli are used to engage and encourage children to become competent writers across the curriculum.  Through shared, modelled and guided writing the children develop the skills to become independent and confident writing for a range of audiences and purposes. Extended writing activites, giving children the opportunity to write independently, are planned weekly and the children have the opportunity to discuss their writing at home prior to the task during set 'Talk Homework'.

Spoken Language

According to the National Curriculum 2014:

Pupils should be taught to:

listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers

  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge

  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary

  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions

  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings

  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments

  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas

  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English

  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates

  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)

  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others

  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

Standard English is modelled by all staff at all times and children are taught the impotance of informal and formal language and the use of the appropriate register in different situations. Vocabulary is constantly developed and explored with children and they are encouraged to experiment with different words for different effects in spoken and written language, Through reading, the children develop language and are encoiraged to use new vocabulary correctly in contexts.

Throughout the year, children are given a wide range of opportunities to develop spoken language in presentation form for audiences whether in class presenting work;reading from the Bible in church or performing in a  production or lass assembly.


A joined cursive handwriting style is used consistently from Year 3 however the teaching of the joins begins in Year 1. By the end of Year 2 most children are using a joined, cursive handwriting style which continues to be taught in lower Key Stage 2 daily linked with spelling.


The assessment of reading, writing and SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) is ongoing. Teachers will ascertain the children's understanding during and at the end of each lesson, misconceptions will then be tackled and rectified, ensuring that no child is left behind. Regular revision through plenaries and starters reinforce learning too. 

The children complete end of half term tests in reading and SPaG. Writing is also assessed using KLIPS each half term with children building up a portfolio of their writing throughout the year. This assessment data is used to inform further planning  and to ensure all pupils are on track to meet end of key stage expectations.

KLIPS for Writing

Each half term, the children's writing is assessed using Lancashire KLIPS. KLIPs stands for Key Learning Indicators of Performance. They have been developed by Lancashire Professional Development Service to help schools with their summative assessment judgements for the 2014 National Curriculum year group expectations.This is a breakdown of the National Curriculum statements for writing for each year group. It is broken down into expectations for working towards the standard, at the standard and working at greater depth. Please see each year group's KLIPS in the files below. 

Mastery and Depth

The National Curriculum, which came into effect from September 2014, is underpinned by the concept of mastery and depth

The Department for Education (DfE) has added weight and focus to a child’s ability to apply their learning – this is called Mastery. Mastery is how a child can apply much of the curriculum as a whole in more complex and in‐depth, cross‐objective, multi‐modal methods. It demonstrates how skilfully a child can apply their learning. Mastery is not just knowing a fact, but it is using that fact in increasingly more complex situations.

A child with better Mastery will score higher in the DfE's new 2016 tests than a child with lower Mastery, even if they know the same content.

What is Mastery and Depth?

We suggest that mastery relates to a skill and we can develop mastery of a skill through modelling, guided practice, continued independent practice and finally application of the skill to solve a problem. 
Depth, on the other hand, is related to knowledge and understanding. We aim to teach for deep knowledge by integrating new learning into existing knowledge. We provide opportunities for depth of understanding by encouraging relational thinking and connections. The more learners see relationships and make connections, the greater their depth of understanding.  


To support KS1, the children are streamed in phonics and in the afternoon targetted children are given additional support by Mrs Chiu in a small group setting or 1:1 depending on the child's needs. 

To support KS2, the children have been targetted for additional reading and comprehension support. We have 1:1 reading weekly for specific children and we also have addtional guided reading groups daily led by Mr Murphy. 

Precision teaching is also used led by TAs. For more information see SEND information website page. 

Curriculum Impact

We strive to ensure that our children's attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always acconsidering the age-related expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment of from their starting point in Nursery. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.

British Values in English

 At St Oswald's, our values are at the heart of all we do: within our English teaching in the school, we strive to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own core values whilst instilling the Fundamental British Values in many opportunities within units of work. Here are some examples of how we consolidate our pupils' understanding of British Values hand in hand with our own English curriculum:

  • Democracy: 
    Pupils will learn about democracy through the choice of appropriate texts and also spoken language opportunities through sharing their own views in a class setting or sharing this to the whole school.
  • Individual Liberty:
    Pupils will develop their individual liberty through freedom and choice of the content, audience and purpose of their writing (including developing and justifying own opinions). 
  • Tolerance and Mutual Respect:
    Pupils will learn about mutual respect through exploring character's relationships, friendships and behaviours. Children will be provided with the opportunity to discuss, debate and justify their own views and opinions, which in turn will develop empathy for others. Children will read and write about others' personal experiences through autobiography work, non-fiction texts and narrative work.
  • Rule of Law
    Texts are chosen to provide our pupils with a chance to explore the rule of the law in an age-appropriate manner. 

Curriculum Development Opportunities

Year 2 World Book Day

Agent Author Visit

Year 2 meets Charlie Lambert

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St Oswald's CE Primary School. Ronald Ross Avenue, Netherton, Bootle L30 5RH

Tel: 0151 525 4580 | E: admin.stoswalds@schools.sefton.gov.uk