English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. 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. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

As a Christian school all we do is based on our faith and the values we hold.

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.)  This policy will record current practice and national Curriculum requirements. The new National Curriculum states that:

“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

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 English curriculum at St Oswald’s Church of England Primary School is distinctive and highly imaginative and has a clear and coherent rationale that underpins it successfully securing the active interest and enthusiasm of all groups of pupils. It provides constant opportunities for discovery and challenge and for pupils to take greater responsibility for their learning. English is mapped for the year linked to class topics when appropriate. Whole School Initiatives are planned on the English Medium and Long Term plan.

We are an inclusive school; we set high expectations and recognise the importance of accurate and regular assessment in order to support individuals at every part of their learning journey and in whatever circumstances. We plan teaching opportunities to help those for whom English is an additional language and those with disabilities outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.


The National Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it ‘pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.’ (p13 NC) Reading allows pupils to ‘acquire knowledge’ and to ‘build on what they already know.’ (p13 NC)

Schools are expected to have library facilities and support and encourage reading at home. The 2014 Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:

  • Word reading/ decoding.
  • Comprehension.

At St. Oswald’s Church of England Primary, we recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We recognise that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We also understand that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise children at every stage of it.


At St Oswald's, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in
their reading and writing. Reading opens the door to learning. Learning to read is indirectly linked to spirituality as it gives young learners a tool to express their innner thoughts and feelings. The reading process empowers children to contribute to their holistic identity, of which spirituality is part of. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out. Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they
write.When using RWI to read the children will:
* learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple
picture prompts
* learn to read words using Fred Talk
* learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
* learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
* write simple sentences

Provision for children in Nursery

Laying strong foundations to ensure children are ready to start Read, Write Inc is a priority from September in Nursery until February when many children will be ready to access the Read Write Inc. programme. The Nursery children develop a 'listening ear,' we feel that  it is very important that they are able to identify sounds, discover what makes sounds and differentiate between these sounds before embarking on the Read, Write, Inc. journey.

Read, Write, Inc - Reception and Year 1

Children take part in daily Read, Write Inc sessions. Children are grouped so that their needs can be catered for. 

Year 2 -  Phonics and Spelling

By the end of Year 1 the Read, Write, Inc programme will generally have been completed and so the majority Year 2 will move onto Spelling  Shed The scheme focuses on spelling rules and patterns and meets the requirements of the KS1 curriculum for spelling. Any children not at the standard to do this will receive intervention tailored to their requirements.


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.

See attached recommended reading lists for each year group to support quality text choice. Visit https://www.booksfortopics.com/home for more reading inspiration. 

Reading Expectations at Home


Year Group

Reading Expectations at Home


Sharing stories and rhymes together, promoting a love for stories


Reading – 5-10 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the text

Year 1

Reading – 10-15 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the text

Year 2

Reading – 10-15 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)

Year 3

Reading – 15-20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)

Year 4

Reading – 15-20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)

Year 5

Reading – 20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)

Year 6

Reading – 20 minutes +, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)



The national curriculum aims to ensure that grammar should be taught explicitly: pupils should be taught the terminology and concepts set out in English Appendix 2, and be able to apply them correctly to examples of real language, such as their own writing or books that they have read. At this stage, pupils should start to learn about some of the differences between Standard English and non-Standard English and begin to apply what they have learnt [for example, in writing dialogue for characters].

Each year group teaches both GPS through discrete lessons and through the use of high quality texts. Mini quizzes are undertaken to gain formative assessment and inform future planning. In KS2, weekly spelling assessments using dicatated sentences also provide formative assessment.


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 a developedk 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.

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 Impact

Through the thorough planning and monitoring of pupil progress all pupils should make at least good or better progress in Reading, Writing and GPS and achieve good outcomes by the end of each phase.

Pupils will see English as being relevant to everyday life as well as being something that they will need as they move on through their school life and ultimately to the world of employment. The children will develop their ability to apply their writing skills to all subjects and use their reading skills to access a range of texts across a plethora of genres.

The English curriculum (made up of reading, writing, GPS, and spoken language) ensures that pupils learn essential vocabulary and skills, which will enable them to discuss, question and debate concepts and problems.  This will prepare them with the basic English skills needed for the KS3 curriculum.

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.


The assessment of reading, writing and GPS (grammar, spelling and punctuation) 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. Every two weeks, the children complete a grammar assessment (Grammar Hammer) in which teachers complete a diagnostic to inform future planning. 

The children complete end of half term tests in GPS and termly assessments using NTS for reading. At the end of the school year, 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

All key stage 1 and 2 staff use the Lancashire KLIPs. The key learning grids for each year groups are used to ensure complete coverage of the English Curriculum. They are used to provide detailed assessment information for the teacher to use to inform their future planning of next steps. Medium term planning is supported by the No Nonsense Teaching Sequences. Short term planning is carried out weekly. These plans include the learning objectives for text, and sentence level, differentiation and guided activities.

Each half term, a piece of English written work is marked against Lancashire KLIPS writing criteria. Fiction and non-fiction pieces are assessed alternate half terms. Writing assessments are moderated every half term in school and once a year with the Horizon School Group. A grammar and reading assessment is completed each half term. NFER assessments are used in the first half term as a base line and an end of the academic year. Grammarsaurus grammar assessments and Rising Stars reading assessments are used at the end of every other half term. Data is tracked and analysed every half term and informs future planning and target setting.    



Student Login

Department for Education and Skills-School Achievement Award Logo
Arts Council Artsmark Gold Award
Church and School artnership Award Two
Children's University Logo
Healthy School Logo
Naace ICT Mark Accredited
British council International School award
British Council International School Award
UNICEF Rights Respecting School
School Games Award 2017-2018
Sure Start
Magic Breakfast Fuel for Learning
Internation School Award-2019-2022
Food Hygiene Rating Five
Arts Council England-Working Towards Artsmark
Online Safety Mark 360-Safe-Accredited Safer Online

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

Tel: 0151 525 4580 | E: [email protected]