‘Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow.’ Lawrence Clark Powell

Subject Intent

At St John’s Church of England Academy we believe that sound English skills are essential for progress across the curriculum and to prepare pupils effectively for tasks of adult life. Our curriculum provides purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion, broadening pupils’ vocabulary through the delivery of Read into Writing materials and our curriculum enquiries.

Through adherence to this policy, St John’s Church of England Academy recognises the effect that a confident, fluent and coherent understanding of English will have on a pupil’s progress, both inside and outside of the school environment. Teachers understand how a strong grounding in English will impact the future learning and development of a pupil in all aspects of their life.

Curriculum Drivers
Through the delivery of our curriculum, we want our children to be ready for life beyond St John's Church of England Academy.
We aspire for them to be:
By teaching English, we aim:
  • To provide a balanced and broad curriculum which encompasses writing practice, including handwriting, spelling, widening vocabulary, and writing for different styles, purposes, and audiences, as well as focussing on spoken English, phonics, reading, grammar and pronunciation.
  • To ensure that all staff members are aware of planning, assessment, teaching and learning requirements for the English curriculum.  
  • To  ensure that all pupils know how to plan, practise and evaluate their work and that all pupils understand all elements of English, as per the national curriculum.
At St John's Church of England Academy we use Rising Stars Read into Writing Scheme to deliver our key text reading and writing curriculum. 

Each unit of the scheme gives curriculum coverage for Reading, Writing, Spoken Language and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling.  The Read in to Writing approach acknowledges that, ‘Talk is the sea upon which all else floats'. - James Britton, 1970,  and so progressive, open questioning and strategic pupil talk is how learning is initiated and developed across each unit.

It details the specific Writing Outcomes within the unit  as well as Themes and Cross-Curricular links and Wider Reading Opportunities. 

Being a Speaker at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught to:
  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinion
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.
To be a Writer at Key Stage 1
Writing - transcription
  • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
  • common exception words
  • the days of the week
name the letters of the alphabet:
  • naming the letters of the alphabet in order
  • using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound
add prefixes and suffixes:
  • using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es as the plural marker for nouns and the third person singular marker for verbs
  • using the prefix un–
  • using –ing, –ed, –er and –est where no change is needed in the spelling of root words [for example, helping, helped, helper, quicker, quickest]
apply simple spelling rules and guidance, as listed in Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum
write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far.
  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place 
  • form capital letters
  • form digits 0-9
  • understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these.
Writing - composition 
write sentences by:
  • saying out loud what they are going to write about
  • composing a sentence orally before writing it sequencing sentences to form short narratives
  • re-reading what they have written to check that it makes sense
  • discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils
  • read aloud their writing clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
  • develop their understanding of the concepts set out in Appendix 2 of the National Curriculum by:  leaving spaces between words o joining words and joining clauses using and o beginning to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
  • using a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’
  • learning the grammar for year 1 in English Appendix 2
  • use the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing
To be a Writer at Key Stage 2
Writing - transcription
spell by:
  • segmenting spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly learning new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones
  • learning to spell common exception words
  • learning to spell more words with contracted forms
  • learning the possessiv eapostrophe (singular) [for example, the girl’s book]
  • distinguishing between homophones and near homophones
add suffixes to spell longer words, including –ment, – ness, –ful, –less, –ly
apply spelling rules and guidance, as listed in Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum
write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs, common exception words and punctuation taught so far
form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another
start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters
use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.
Writing - composition
develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by:
  • writing narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)
  • writing about real events
  • writing poetry
  • writing for different purposes
consider what they are going to write before beginning by:
  • planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about
  • writing down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary
  • encapsulating what they want to say, sentence by sentence
make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by:
  • evaluating their writing with the teacher and other pupils o re-reading to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form
  • proof-reading to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation [for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly]
read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear.
develop their understanding of the concepts set out in Appendix 2 of the National Curriculum by:
  • learning how to use both familiar and new punctuation correctly (see English Appendix 2), including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms and the possessive (singular)
learn how to use:
  • sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation, command
  • expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly]
  • the present and past tenses correctly and consistently including the progressive form
  • subordination (using when, if, that, or because) and coordination (using or, and, or but)
  • the grammar for year 2 in English Appendix 2
  • some features of written Standard English
use and understand the grammatical terminology in English Appendix 2 in discussing their writing.


The impact and measure of our english curriculum is to ensure that children at St John’s Church of England Academy are equipped with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.

          Belonging          Perseverance          Respect          Forgiveness          Truth          Aspiration