At Sacred Heart R.C. Nursery and Primary school we see English as a cornerstone of all our learning. We try to ensure that our English lessons link directly to our curriculum topic so we can practise our skills with a purpose. In most year groups we follow the 2014 English Curriculum. There are three main elements within English, including:

  • Reading, including phonics, learning how to read, understanding what has been read, enjoying reading.
  • Writing, including punctuation, grammar, spelling and handwriting
  • Speaking and Listening



From Nursery to Y6 we aim to enable children to develop lifelong enjoyment and pleasure in reading. At Sacred Heart children learn to read through daily phonic lessons, shared reading of stories, poems and non-fiction texts, including e-books, guided reading, storytime, library time and one-to-one reading sessions. Children are also invited to the Bookworms reading club to develop their pleasure of reading. We follow the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme throughout the school.

At all stages we expect parents and carers to join in the reading partnership between home and school.

‘We shouldn’t teach great books we should teach a great love of reading’

B.F. Skinner




Writing From Nursery to Y6 we use a storytelling approach to writing. The stories and non-fiction texts we use relate directly to our current curriculum topic. Storytelling involves learning a story by heart using a story map for guidance. The children perform the story using actions to help them to remember the sequence of events and language used. When storytelling, we use consistent actions throughout the school and we use Makaton signs when possible. We believe that if the children cannot say it, they cannot write it and storytelling is a fantastic way to improve children’s language and their understanding of how texts are written. After learning the text the children talk about the characters and meanings and look at how and why it is written in such a way. They then box up the text- which is breaking it down into the beginning, middle and ending and use this structure to plan their own version. We recognise the value of drafting and editing work and some English sessions may be dedicated to this.     We do lots of writing at Sacred Heart and every Friday the children from Y1-6 take part in a Big Write session during which they have the opportunity to write in a variety of genres. This usually begins with a spelling and grammar warm-up, storytelling techniques and an exciting stimulus for writing.          

Speaking and Listening

At Sacred Heart we promote effective speaking and listening skills through storytelling, good modelling of Standard English and Co-operative Learning strategies. We always value the contributions from our children and encourage active listening and response. Children are encouraged to use language to express their ideas, intentions and needs and to respond clearly and audibly.