English Curriculum

We love English at St Erth!
Our children learn how to tell stories as soon as they join us and we continue to use 'Talk for Writing' throughout the school. The children use text maps and actions to tell whole texts which has huge benefits to their working memory and developing vocabulary and sentence structures to use in their own writing. We link our texts to our Topics to fully immerse the children into their themes of our two-year rolling topic cycle. 
We follow St Erth Phonics: Letters and Sounds, Phonics and Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1 to teach early reading. This is a bespoke, systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) linked to Guided Reading, nursery rhymes and songs and offering further opportunities for the children to be immersed into their daily phonics enveloping the seven areas of reading. Children are taught phonics from day one and this knowledge is supported, developed and progressed systematically using daily assessments to identify the individual needs of our children. See our Phonics at St Erth page for more detail about phonics at our school. 
The children are encouraged to use a cursive script from Reception which helps the children to join and the presentation of learning at St Erth is beautiful! 
English is taught through topics with good quality texts to support - we are a group of teachers and adults who love books and this is evident in all classrooms with rich texts available for the children to share. 

St Erth Reading Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement



At St Erth, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through systematic, synthetic phonics, shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.   We recognise that some children need extra help to achieve their full potential in reading, and where pupils’ have identified educational needs in this area, thought and care is taken to ensure that they are able to access the full curriculum and achieve their potential. Special consideration is made to ensure that pupils with educational needs in this area are given all the help, strategies and support they need to become good readers, both in decoding and comprehending.  Furthermore, careful thought is taken to ensure that books that are utilised with learners with special needs are enjoyable and at the right level to motivate them and help foster a love of reading which can be harder to acquire when there are extra barriers to overcome.

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. We work hard to foster a love of independent reading. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. 

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too linking our shared texts to our termly topics.



Implementation (Early Reading and Phonics)

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. Our bespoke systematic synthetic phonics programme has links for each sound to a high-quality shared reading text to enthuse each child.

We start by teaching phonics in the Foundation Stage (Reception) and Key stage 1. At St Erth, we follow our bespoke Systematic, synthetic phonics programme: St Erth Letters and Sounds: Phonics and Reading. This is based on the principles of Letters and Sounds and the practice of high quality phonics.  The five phases of St Erth Letters and Sound: Phonics and Reading document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s daily and phased assessments allow for early intervention to take place.

Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for at least 20 minutes and there are also extended phonics activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day to further embed their phonics learning in Early Years and where appropriate in KS1.

Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities. Each phoneme is linked to a nursery rhyme or song to further embed each sound.

Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books.  This is in addition to the books that they bring home which are decodable relating to the sounds the children know. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. All classrooms have a reading area. In key Stage 1 this is a book corner with books that are frequently changed for interest. In Key Stage 2, classrooms have a class library as space is limited in classrooms. The school library is a dedicated space that children can enjoy and share books in a comfortable environment where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading and the school library is also constantly being developed.

For some, reading is a hard skill to master and careful consideration is made for those who have special educational needs in this area.  Strategies and interventions used to help a child reach their potential in reading may differ according to need.  Screening helps us identify particular needs such a processing time, spelling, working memory, phonological awareness and this understanding allows us to put the right strategies in place to help the pupil make progress. Having a close working relationship with parents also helps progress in this area so that strategies and methods used in school can also be implemented at home.



We believe that reading is key to all learning and the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Our reading curriculum ensures children enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is created and this is demonstrated through daily, lively and meaningful discussion about reading. Alongside this, children show enthusiasm and are able to talk in detail about the variety of books they have read as a class, as a group and as an increasingly confident, independent reader making informed choices about their reading.

Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through daily and phased- phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing. Through these, teachers identify the graphemes that need to be addressed and quick and effective interventions take place as well as celebrating the children’s progress. In June, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken for Year 1, to confirm that the children have learned to decode to an age appropriate standard and determines what level of provision they will require the following year. There are clear expectations for each year group in our Systematic, Systematic Phonics Programme and this is continue to be used into Key Stage 2 for intervention.

Throughout the school, progress is mapped on an online school tracker which allows us to monitor and track our reading curriculum. This includes all statements from our Reading curriculum (based on the National Curriculum) and we directly assess what we teach and progress is tracked. Evidence for this is recorded in Floor Books with examples of children’s work and notes made by Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Termly assessments in Key Stage 2 (NFER) offer a standardised score which allows teachers to track progress against a National scale and these help to inform Teacher Assessments in termly pupil progress meetings. We have termly moderations to ensure good progress is made and for opportunities to share good practice and resources.

The English Lead has monitored the implementation and impact of our bespoke Phonics scheme and weekly catch ups monitor the impact of our programme which is viewed very positively and all staff are proud of and dedicated to embedding, developing and celebrating our scheme.

For pupils with SEND in this area, impact will be seen both formally and informally, assessment through marking of work will inform progress, and those on the SEND register have their own bespoke targets.  However, impact is also seen informally; when a pupil is making progress in reading they are motivated to engage in their work and enjoy their learning. 

Writing and Speaking & Listening


National curriculum for English Aims:

  •        Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.
  •        Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English.
  •        Teachers should develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure
  •        Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum.


At St. Erth, we teach English (Literacy) daily. The children have a writing/ English grammar lesson, spelling/ phonics and a guided reading session every morning. We recognise the importance of basic skills in reading and writing and give this high priority in our curriculum. Wherever possible, English is taught through cross-curricular themes linked to the term’s Topic to develop and embed a broad and balanced curriculum. We value the importance of reading and telling high quality texts and use these as a cornerstone for our Topics to inspire and educate. 

We promote discussion and language acquisition through Talk for Writing and throughout the curriculum, talk partners are encouraged to clarify, engage, develop and ignite imaginations and teachers use adventurous language to develop children’s understanding of vocabulary. Key writing structures are introduced through talk for writing and children are given opportunities to explore sentence structure and language before writing independently. We want all our children to be confident and informed writers inspired by their reading and love for stories as well as their growing knowledge of sentence structure, grammar and topics studied.  It is our belief that every child should achieve their full potential in Literacy.  Thought and care is taken to ensure that learners with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities are able to access the full curriculum in this subject.


Writing and Speaking & Listening Implementation

When reviewing our curriculum and the teacher’s assessments, we realised the importance of ensuring spelling and reading were given stand-alone lessons. With the purchase of Read, Write, Inc spelling for Years 2-6, there is a guarantee that each child has a daily spelling session and the National Curriculum spelling objectives are being taught efficiently. Our bespoke phonics scheme allows children opportunities to begin writing from day one and phonics for reading smoothly develops to phonics for spelling as the children progress through the programme. The children also have opportunities to practise these spelling words with daily handwriting practise and with specific programmes like Reading Eggs which we purchased to support children during COVID remote learning but value the positive impact so have continued this subscription.

Likewise, teachers have ensured that specific guided reading lessons are occurring daily and have moved to whole class sessions rather than groups to ensure high-quality teaching at all times incorporating speaking and listening. With the inclusion of resources like Literacy Shed, many reading objectives can be taught even with different levels of decoding in class and a big emphasis is places on speaking and listening through deep discussion in these sessions. Teachers also ensure that interventions are appropriate to support those who do need further support in Literacy areas including writing and speech and language. We have used the NTP and teachers in school to deliver COVID catch up to improve children’s writing and close any gaps. Teachers at St Erth are very aware of SEND and are quick to identify and support the needs of individual pupils. Our bespoke curriculum is assessed daily and recorded throughout the term on an online platform called Balance which is beneficial to assess gaps in learning and allows SLT to monitor progress efficiently.

We incorporate Talk for Writing when appropriate to give children the internal structures for sentences and texts and allow them to experience a variety of language structures.  Teachers compose the texts used for Talk for Writing to ensure the grammar, language for the term and sentence structures are evident and reinforced and ensuring the texts we tell are of the highest quality. Writing targets are used on a class and individual basis depending on what is appropriate for the child and activity.

Moderation takes place within key stages and as a whole school to ensure assessments are accurate and to share the good practise at St Erth. We have termly pupil progress meetings where we review the teaching and assessment to ensure progress is being made and any gaps are closing.

Pupils with SEND are carefully considered when planning the implementation of the writing and speaking curriculum.  Pupils all have their own individual needs and so how the curriculum is adapted for a certain pupil depends on their need, assessment of need identifies what help, intervention or strategies an individual may need.  For example, a pupil may have wonderful ideas for writing but their recording ability may be compromised through physical need, working memory, phonological awareness ability or other challenge. How they record their written work may be adapted to account for this allowing them to remain motivated while still providing enough challenge for them to make progress.  Targets are set for pupils to help them overcome their challenges and allow them to make progress.


Writing and Speaking & Listening Impact


The impact of having a curriculum that is rooted in Topic work ensures that the children’s work has purpose and builds on Science, History and Geography skills alongside their basic skills in English.

We have observed that children’s vocabulary is progressing and the children are becoming more confident in taking risks with language and are happy to use thesauruses and dictionaries to check their vocabulary choices in KS2. Through the use of ambitious class texts to tell, enjoy and read, the children are being offered opportunities to use heightened language throughout the school.

Read, Write, Inc. Spelling has had a positive impact on the teaching of spelling and making this more manageable for teachers workloads. We will keep reviewing this and allow the three years to trial to see the true impact of this programme. The impact of our bespoke phonics scheme is having a very positive impact on spelling too as children are more confident in using their phonics for spelling from Year 2 onwards.

As a result of the children at St Erth being given challenging texts to read, tell and write with higher level vocabulary, they are confident. This is apparent through our dramatic performances in KS1 and KS2 which are of a very high standard.

The children are becoming more confident to discuss their learning through the development of metacognition in school and using target cards to prompt. As always, teachers at St Erth discuss and adapt materials and activities to ensure the best provision is always offered to the individual pupils (including those with SEND), enabling them to be confident writers who compose a variety of engaging pieces using a variety of structures. 

See the documents below for a more detailed look at the reading and writing objectives for each year group