Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

'Living, Loving, Learning Together'


Primary English Policy

English Programmes of Study: KS1 and KS2

Quality Texts Overview

Holy Cross English Curriculum Intent



It is our intent that the writing curriculum at Holy Cross will enable children to develop and thrive with the transcription and compositional elements of writing. Children will write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Children will find writing engaging and enjoyable by basing their writing on a range of quality texts that underpin the English curriculum and they will understand the importance of writing as a life-long skill.




It is our intent that our reading curriculum will ignite and instill a personal love of reading for all children. They will become fluent and confident readers whilst engaging with a stimulating range of texts from a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. Children will be presented with ample opportunity to read for both knowledge and pleasure across this curriculum and through it, they will continue to develop and nurture the essential skills of word reading and comprehension.


Holy Cross English Curriculum Implementation


The aims of our English curriculum are embedded in all of our English lessons and across the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well-structured English curriculum and framework which provides a generous amount of purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our English Genre and Skills Map, which is specific to our school and our pupils' needs, provides our pupils with a wide and diverse variety of quality texts that have been carefully selected and planned for. This is in order to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with topic work are woven into the English programme of study.


At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, we use the Read Write Inc programme to support the children in developing early reading and writing skills and to give them confidence in  English lessons. Read Write Inc is a method of learning, centred on letter sounds and phonics.

Using Read Write Inc, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their effort into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell easily so they can focus on the composition and content of their writing.


When using Read Write Inc to read the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds
  • learn to read words using ‘Fred Talk’
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions

When using Read Write Inc to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in ‘Fred Talk’
  • write simple sentences


As the children move through the school, they are taught a variety of skills to support their reading confidence. These include strategies such as: reading with expression, predicting what might happen next, retrieving information from the page to answer comprehension questions. Higher order reading skills are also taught and help the children to infer and deduce meaning from the text.


The implementation of ‘Quality text based writing’ and ‘Talk for Writing’ ensures a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts.  This also means that children know what to expect when they move year group/key stage.. 


Early writing is taught through early mark making. When the children begin RWI Phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing (whether with a writing tool or in the air) CVC words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision. We use the same phonics programme across the school providing continuity and a vehicle for guaranteed progression. RWI sessions take place four times a week for one hour. Pupils are taught in ability groups from Reception to Year 2, thus enabling them to be taught according to their reading level and not their age. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child, irrespective of year group.


As children progress through the school, we continue to use quality first texts and Talk for Write strategies to engage the children. There is also a strong focus on handwriting, spelling and grammar. To support the teaching of new and ambitious vocabulary, all year groups have access to, and make full use of, a range of quality texts. All children are read to regularly in class and high quality texts are used for whole class reading sessions. 


There is an expectation that grammar will be modelled and used correctly by all teachers. To ensure progression in grammar skills, all teachers use the English Genre and Skills map, which identifies the grammar skills to be taught and/or revisited for each of the quality texts they study. Any areas for development are identified during independent ‘Extended Write’ sessions and are then taught as part of the next modelled text or in focused grammar lessons.


At Holy Cross, we follow the 'Read Write Inc’ spelling scheme. The children take part in whole class spelling sessions and are encouraged to complete spelling activities related to these for homework. The Read Write Inc spelling scheme builds on the phonics knowledge, children have gained in previous years.

Holy Cross English Curriculum Impact



The impact of our English Curriculum on children’s learning is evident in the progress they make and in their transferable skills.  The implementation of reading and writing based on quality texts is well established and taught thoroughly in all key stages thus, children become confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, confidence, sustained writing, use of grammar and punctuation skills and the continued development of vocabulary.


We hope that as children move on from Holy Cross, to further their education and learning, their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations will travel with them and continue to grow and develop as a life long skill.



Parent Reader Prompts


Here are a few prompts to help you when reading with your child:


  • Discuss the book's cover and title
  • Make predictions about the story
  • Ask the child to sound out letters/sounds of the words and then combine them
  • Use the pictures to help the child make sense of the meaning
  • Ask questions of who, what, when, where and why.
  • What did they enjoy least and most?
  • Always give praise and encouragement
  • Make the story come to life by encouraging them to read with expression
  • Remind children to pause at full stops and commas.
  • Ask the child to retell the story in their own words.


Key Stage 2 Readers

  • Discuss the Author- have you read any of their other books?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • Can you describe the personality of the characters, referring to the text?
  • What is the setting?
  • What is the author trying to tell you?
  • Can you relate it to a real experience?
  • What is your opinion of what you have just read?
  • What question would you like to ask the author?
  • Why did you pick this book?
  • Is it similar to any other stories you have read? If so, how?

United Editing


At Holy Cross, we are always looking to develop and improve our editing skills further, to be the best writers we can be. We have begun working in our 'editing trios' which has proven to be extremely useful, particularly in helping us to read our work aloud to one another and then discuss it with our friends. Our friends are able to help us spot and correct any mistakes we might have made and they help us to find any words, phrases or sentences that we could improve.  

Ruth Miskin 'Fresh Start'


Some of our EAL pupils in year 6 have been working on the Ruth Miskin Fresh Start phonics programme. They are using the school chrome books daily to access lessons in reading, spelling and 'speedy minutes'. 

Alongside these lessons, they are reading the corresponding Read Write Inc books to practise their phonic knowledge in context and develop their reading comprehension skills, both orally and written.

Reading for pleasure


Our pupils enjoy choosing their own reading books from either their classroom libraries or one of our school libraries. All of our children are provided with time, each week, to select a book and spend some time simply reading it for pleasure. 


Any reading our children participate in, outside of English and reading lessons, should be recorded in their individual reading records.