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How we teach English at St Mary and St Benedict



The study of English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. At St Mary and St Benedict Catholic Primary School, our goal is to inspire a love of English language and literature. We aspire to be a school where all pupils become enthusiastic and critical readers and are able to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings with confidence- both orally and in writing. We strive to create an environment where all pupils become successful masters of the English language.


English is a core subject within the National Curriculum and is the cornerstone of all learning, both in school and in the wider society. Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are set out in the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study- Key Stages 1 and 2 and in the ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’ sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. At St Mary and St Benedict Catholic Primary School, we follow these programmes of study. Children are supported to gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins, for example through grammar and spelling. Children are taught to use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking, reading and writing across a range of different situations and across the curriculum.


The aims of our English curriculum are:

  • To enable children to speak with confidence and to take account of their listeners
  • To encourage children to listen with concentration, to engage with and respond to what they have heard
  • To show children how to adapt their speech in different circumstances for different audiences
  • To help children become confident, independent and life-long readers
  • To develop enthusiastic and reflective readers who are able to engage with challenging and substantial texts
  • To promote enjoyment of reading and writing
  • To encourage a sense of audience and purpose in writing
  • To develop a secure understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • To enable children to plan, draft and edit their written work
  • To support children to produce effective, accurate and well-presented written work.


Read Write Inc.


We are a “Get Reading. Keep Reading. Change Everything.” school.

We use the highly successful Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell. Our children do well in the phonics screening check and by Year 2, the majority are fluent readers with the best chance of success in the KS1 tests.

Ruth Miskin Training recognise us for teaching the Read Write Inc. programmes with fidelity and passion – we know what it takes to make literacy pleasurable and rewarding for our children.

This badge recognises that we:

  • Raise standards in reading and writing for our children
  • Are all expertly trained by Ruth Miskin Training – including our headteacher Mrs MacDonald
  • Gain the latest programme updates through regular visits from our Ruth Miskin trainer
  • Release our reading leaders to ensure our high standards are maintained.

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The Teaching of Writing at SMSB

Range of Genre Year Group Overview