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At St Cuthbert Mayne, we believe English is at the core of all learning. The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.



At St Cuthbert Mayne, our main objective is to foster in children a love of reading. The children are encouraged to value books and read for learning and enjoyment, from a wide range of texts. Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer. Through reading, children develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables children both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. We are committed to enabling our children to become confident, critical readers. with a life long love of books, through our teaching and through their exposure to varied and challenging material.

For more information about our teaching of Reading and Phonics, please refer to Reading at St Cuthbert Mayne.


At St Cuthbert Mayne, we want our children to develop a passion and skill for writing in which they feel comfortable in experimenting with different styles and formats. From the Foundation Stage, all children’s attempts at writing, including emergent writing, are valued and built upon, so that children appreciate the importance of English at St Cuthbert Mayne their writing in conveying meaning to the reader. During Key Stage 2, pupils learn to write more independently and alter the way they write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences.

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed: transcription (spelling and handwriting), composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). Teaching at our school develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and form, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We aim for all pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting.


Learning how to spell is a useful lifelong skill. Correct spelling makes a child's work easier to read and understand, and children themselves take pride in being able to spell words accurately. If children are confident in their ability to spell, they are more likely to use more ambitious vocabulary in their writing rather than avoiding less familiar words simply because they are unable to spell them.

Read Write Inc.

This year we will be using the Read, Write Inc. Spelling programme to teach spelling from Years 2-6. This is an interactive and engaging programme, which teaches children the rules and patterns of spelling; there is also a focus on irregular spelling patterns which need to be memorised. Pupils are taught spelling in regular sessions, across the week, of approximately 15 minutes.

Spoken Language Oral language has a key role in classroom teaching and learning. Discussion and interaction can engage children’s imagination and foster creativity. Children’s oral rehearsal of sentences supports their development of sentence structures for writing.

Talk is an underlying factor in the development of literacy, with children engaging by responding to text and explaining their choices and rehearsing their ideas in advance of writing. Furthermore, talk for learning is promoted across the curriculum to support rehearsal of concepts and opportunities to use vocabulary in context.

In our school the key areas are:

  • Speaking: being able to speak clearly and to develop and sustain ideas in talk.
  • Listening: developing active listening strategies and critical skills of analysis.
  • Group discussion and interaction: taking different roles in groups, making a range of contributions and working collaboratively.
  • Drama: improvising and working in role, performing and responding to performances.


At St Cuthbert Mayne, we teach cursive handwriting from a young age as children need to be able to write quickly and fluently as time goes on. In the Foundation Stage, children are taught to form the basic letter shapes correctly. This is continued in Year 1. Once the children are confident forming their letter shapes, they will begin to adopt a cursive script. From Year 2 onwards, the children are encouraged to use continuous cursive handwriting. Handwriting is taught regularly and the children are given time to practise this skill independently. Children are encouraged to take pride in their handwriting and presentation, particularly when they are publishing a piece of their work.


Marking of success criteria in books is focused on addressing academic knowledge and practical skills. A use of both formative and summative assessment allows teachers to observe whether learning is embedded through carefully chosen questioning which in turn informs future planning. Through careful data analysis, misconceptions are addressed either at an individual, class or cohort level by adjusting teaching as necessary. Adults in lessons provide pupils with verbal and written feedback, which is tailored to support the pupil in achieving the learning objective. Clear skill progression statements are in place for each year group, allowing pupils to demonstrate their mastery of English. Assessment is planned for key points in the academic year. Teacher assessments are moderated in partnership with other schools across our multi-academy trust (MAT).


The impact of our English Curriculum can be seen in the pupils’ ability to speak, discuss, read and write confidently and effectively.

All pupils learn to read confidently with accuracy and fluency so that they are able to access all areas of the curriculum.

All pupils develop a love of reading.

Pupils can produce successful, meaningful and accurate writing.

Pupils are able to communicate confidently, verbally or written, and are able to use and develop a wide vocabulary.

Pupils develop the confidence to access the next stage in their education and are positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

English Curriculum Map - find out more about your child's learning in English throughout their time at St. Cuthbert Mayne.