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St Louis Catholic Academy

St Louis
Catholic Academy



English is a high priority because the skills are transferable to all areas of the curriculum. Our English curriculum has been developed as part of the OLOW MAT working with Greenfield Education. We work in partnership with the child’s home to ensure that reading, writing, speaking and listening is developed and children have a positive view of themselves as readers and writers. As a school in the OLOW MAT, we moderate our progress in teaching phonics, reading and writing across schools to develop our skills and work to raise standards by working within a supportive network of teachers.

As a school with an Artsmark Silver Award, we use drama and creative art to encourage creativity in writing. We host an annual festival of writing to inspire all our children to mark-make and write.

We also use the CUSP spelling scheme and for handwriting, we use Letter Join. Letter-join is a whole school handwriting scheme offering a combination of traditional and digital resources. These include classroom presentations, handwriting activities, online games and hundreds of worksheets using either a printed font, or a cursive font with or without a lead-in line. This online resource also provides free handwriting resources for use by children in the home.


At St Louis, our Reading curriculum is underpinned by a range of high quality texts, exposing children to a variety of authors and characters from different backgrounds and dealing with different themes. Our reading curriculum is then supplemented with a variety of additional literature, such as non-fiction model examples or poetry, to expose our children to a breadth of genres of writing. Our curriculum ensures that children are exposed to a range of text types across the year, allowing them opportunities to explore, analyse and produce their own pieces of writing in these different genres. This aims to broaden their whole child experiences. At St Louis, we are focussed upon exposing children to vocabulary that they can use in their spoken and written language. Every reading lesson, begins with a focus on vocabulary that will be explored in their key text or key extract for that session. We have a different vocabulary focus each day, to ensure that children can be exposed to vocabulary in a multitude of ways. Additionally, children have lots of speaking and listening opportunities, to develop their communication skills.

Along with this, we aim to ensure that children are explicitly taught the punctuation, grammar and spelling (SPAG) that fits in with the text types being taught. Both the text types and the SPAG that are taught are then repeated throughout the years, to ensure optimum coverage. In school, we are committed to teaching to embed understanding and recognise the need for children to revisit and revise their skills and understanding, so that they are able to apply their learning across all areas of the curriculum, thus enabling them to consolidate their literacy skills. Alongside this, our aim is that children are taught the specific reading skills that they need, in order to fully comprehend texts.

By exposing children to a variety of different genres and text types, we aim to instil a life-long love of reading, writing and literature. Alongside this, we aim to achieve this by:

  • Enabling children to develop and explore their English skills with confidence and an awareness of their audience.
  • Encouraging children to work in groups, pairs and independently in their subject through various activities; drama, debates, writing for an audience
  • Teaching basic reading and writing skills, enabling them to apply these across the wider curriculum
  • Building on their understanding and comprehension skills
  • Exposing them to a high quality key text as our centre focus
  • Modelling examples of good quality sample texts to children, enabling them to use this to effectively edit and improve their own written work.
  • Teaching the skills to edit and improve their work. 
  • Celebrating and encouraging reading and writing across the wider curriculum.


As our curriculum is rooted in exposing children to high quality texts in reading, this enables literacy to be supported across our broad and balanced curriculum. Our writing can then be supplemented with a model piece of additional literature, linked with the focus text type for writing. Where possible, these are linked across our wider curriculum. Our high quality text, ensures that children are exposed to a vocabulary-rich curriculum. Alongside this, we have ensured that vocabulary is at the forefront of our reading lessons, by having focused vocabulary sessions at the beginning of each reading lesson.

Our Writing curriculum has been mapped out, to ensure optimum coverage of a range of text types, as well as the relevant SPAG linked with this. There are then opportunities across the school for revisiting and consolidation. For reading, our reading lessons are specifically focused on a reading skill (Retrieval, Inference, Summarising, Predicting, Language, Authorial Intent). These are explicitly taught to children so they are aware what the skill is, allowing them to then apply this learnt skill, in all areas of our curriculum. Throughout each week, children will learn to apply these reading skills to both their key text and the supplementary extracts. Reading is essential in order for children to access our curriculum and wider life, so we are passionate in ensuring that reading underpins our whole curriculum.

The children take part in class and whole school assemblies, class masses, parish mass and whole school masses, performances, harvest festival, speeches, debates, School Council, Chaplain Leaders and performance to family and community. These all enable children to apply their speaking and listening skills. These further link with our school drivers of community, communication and whole child.

Parents/carers are informed of our topics and areas of coverage at the beginning of term, which enables them to support their children with appropriate experiences. Parents/carers are provided with resources on how to effectively read with their children and question them. Parents in KS1 and Early Years are offered Phonics and Early reading training to further support them with this.

Teaching assistants and class teachers are provided with the necessary CPD in order to enable them to effectively embed our English curriculum. This is then monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership.

Additionally, children are also exposed to:

  • Daily story time in all classes, where children listen to an adult reading aloud
  • Daily phonics sessions in EYFS & KS1
  • Whole class reading sessions for KS2
  • 5 reading sessions every 2 weeks, for KS1
  • Access to the school library where children can borrow high quality texts to read for pleasure
  • Access to class book corners, which promote a love of reading.
  • Book related activities yearly for World Book Day
  • Book fairs
  • Live theatre and drama in school (Part of our Artsmark Silver Commitment to teaching writing).
  • Visits/experiences linked to writing or reading.
  • EYFS & KS1 children heard reading on a 1:1 basis weekly.
  • EYFS & KS1 children have access to Phonics bug e-books (phonetically decodable), in addition to a physical reading book.
  • Interventions are in place across the school, for identified pupils, for both reading and writing.


This will be seen in our daily English lessons, with teachers adapting as they see fit to the needs of the children in their class.

Our impact will be demonstrated by the children in the class, as to how they talk about their English lessons.

Our impact will be clear by the progress made by our children at all the assessment points throughout the year. Alongside how many children leave St Louis having achieved the expected standard.

Children will enjoy listening to adults read and in turn develop a love of reading for pleasure.

Children will produce pieces of writing in a range of different forms.

Children will be exposed to experiences that will develop them as a whole child.

Half-termly, teachers will assess a piece of children’s writing against the National Curriculum ‘Expected’ levels for that year group or Key Stage. Teachers will use this to inform their judgement for future lessons and support individual pupils.

Termly, children from Y2-6 take part in a PIXL reading assessment to assess their comprehension. These will also be used to assess gaps in pupils' learning and teachers will use this to plan future lessons for children.

The subject leader will monitor the standards of children’s work and the quality of teaching in English. Feedback from this will be given to ensure improvements are made or consistency