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St. Helen's C.E. Primary School



The approach of using literature, at the core of English

Teaching, at St. Helen’s CE Primary School



Aims and Objectives

Speaking and Listening

We aim that children will:

• Think critically and logically.

• Order their thoughts and express them clearly.

• Develop skills of oracy, giving the children confidence and understanding.

• Express and justify their feelings and opinions with increasing clarity and effectiveness and respect the opinions of others.

• Communicate with ease in many varied circumstances for different audiences and purpose.



We aim that children will:

• Have experience of group, shared and individual reading.

• Read with confidence, fluency and understanding.

• Be able to use a full range of reading strategies e.g. phonics, word recognition, graphic knowledge, picture and context clues, prediction and inference.

• Show their understanding of a wide variety of text types.

• Have an interest in a range of books and read for enjoyment, which will provide them with a wealth of text ideas and story patterns for their own writing.

• Develop imagination and critical awareness through reading experiences of the best examples of traditional and modern literature.

  • Develop a wide range of vocabulary from books they read.



We aim that children will:

• Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.

• Understand a range of text types and genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.

• Develop their imagination, creativeness and critical awareness.

• Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.

• Produce independent pieces of writing using correct punctuation and sentence construction.

• Write extended pieces of text for a range of curriculum areas.

• Have a knowledge of the work from a range of authors and poets.

• Be taught to form letters of the correct size and orientation, in order to develop a fluent and legible style of handwriting.


Speaking and Listening

The Speaking and Listening aims are developed through:

• Questioning and taking risks with language – Children are actively encouraged to raise and answer questions. They are also encouraged to use specialist and new vocabulary within an atmosphere where mistakes are welcomed as a milestone on the path to learning.

• Collaborative work and reporting back, using Learning to Learn strategies including Talking Partners; Think, Pair, Share;

• Debate – Through class discussion and debates on topical issues. The school council provides a forum for debate both in and out of school.

• Whole Class Shared Reading – promoting discussion and dialogue through different forms of literature.

• Pupil Leadership Team meetings and pupil voice – encouraging children to discuss how and why improvements can be made to the school, developing confidence in talking with peers and talking for purpose.



The Importance of Reading

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular, vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.

All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.

Children should be reading widely as this will often increase their vocabulary as they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. It also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a ‘treasure house of wonder and joy’ for curious young minds.

At St Helen’s CE Primary, we follow the Ready Steady Write (Literacy Counts) English scheme of learning, which provides high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature. From Reception to Year 6, these detailed units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum. They also provide clear, sequential episodes of learning; contextualised spelling, grammar and punctuation; wider reading for the wider curriculum; curriculum enrichments for all year groups; model texts linked to writing outcomes and a wealth of supporting resources.

Every half-term, each year group will use one of these high-quality texts as the basis for all of their English lessons (see English Long-Term Plan and individual class schemes of learning). Each new book will be taught in a sequential way, as set out in the relevant Ready Steady Write scheme of learning. All documents for each book have been uploaded to SharePoint to ensure they are accessible to all teachers.

Teachers should use the Ready Steady Write scheme of learning to plan and deliver creative English lessons that motivate the children to read and write. Teachers should also use their English working walls to model, exemplify and celebrate the learning from the unit; each working wall should mirror what has been taught so far and the work completed in pupils’ English books. Working walls should feature resources which support and inspire the children’s writing.

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Contact Us

Birch Road, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6JS

Telephone: 0161 775 2935