Aims of the English curriculum

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 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 grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting 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, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

For years 1-6, our English teaching is composed of the following elements:

  • Spoken language
  • Reading - word reading and comprehension
  • Writing - transcription (spelling), handwriting and presentation, composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Spoken Language

These non-statutory statements apply to all years. The content is taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils. Pupils build on the oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years.

Pupils are taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. They have opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – in pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class.

Pupils are taught to understand how to take turns and when and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates.

We pay attention to increasing pupils’ vocabulary, ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts and a wider range of topics, and to enhancing their knowledge about language as a whole.

Pupils receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening, not only to improve their knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at primary school, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond.

Further details of the teaching of English in each year group can be found within the National curriculum in England: English programmes of study.

Phonics, Spelling and Grammar

Our phonics lessons use Read Write Inc approach to phonics and reading. For spelling and grammar lessons we use resources from 'No Nonsense Spelling' and 'No Nonsense Grammar'.

The teaching approach for each Read Write Inc session follows the structure of revisiting phonemes, teaching new phonemes followed by opportunities to practise and apply phonic/spelling knowledge in reading and writing.

Click here for more information regarding Read Write Inc.


In class we use a variety of approaches to teach reading including whole class shared and teacher modelled reading, small group guided reading (in differentiated groups) and 1:1 support/intervention reads. We follow the reciprocal reading model of 'Predict - Clarify- Question - Summarise'.

Our Reading Schemes:

A range of reading schemes and extended reading books are used across all year groups and abilities providing a variety of genre to develop understanding and enjoyment. These texts are used for shared and guided reading in class as well as for home-school reading.

In school we currently use Comics for Phonics, Storyworlds, Rigby Star, Project X, Big Cat Readers, Oxford Literacy Web, Wolf Hill, Rhymeworlds, Oxford Reading Tree, Hotlinks and PM. We also have a range of dyslexic –friendly reading books from Barrington Stoke reading scheme. Bug Club is used as home-school link.

Believe | Achieve | Serve
UrsulineCatholic Primary School
Nicholas Road, Blundellsands,
Merseryside, L23 6TT
Office Manager | Anthony Hampson
0151 924 1704