St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School


We aim to deliver a high quality curriculum that gives children the best possible opportunities. Teachers will have high expectations for all children to achieve the very best they can and enjoy English. Using the Literacy Tree curriculum (Reception - Year 6), quality texts are at the heart of our teaching and a love for reading and writing is promoted throughout the school.

Speaking (oracy) and listening

Children are given every opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills and they take part in drama and role play as well as discussions, debates and prayer assemblies.


Through our own passion for reading, we aim to foster a love of reading in our children.  The quality texts at the heart of our curriculum are chosen carefully to match the needs of our children and we look for a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. To promote a love of reading we all:-

  • Read aloud to children in every year group
  • Model and encourage reading for pleasure
  • Focus on quality literature, with every classroom having a dedicated book corner
  • Use our well-stocked library to support our teaching

Guided reading

Guided reading takes place in each class and is used as a teaching and assessment opportunity. We use the Accelerated Reading scheme (Year 2 - Year 6) and all children are expected to read at home daily and have their reading records signed.


The teaching of writing is embedded across our curriculum and the children write regularly for a range of purposes and in different contexts. Teachers encourage writing from its emergent start, through developmental attempts, to its final, independent stage. Our cursive writing style is modelled by all teachers and teaching assistants.

As well as encouraging reading for pleasure, we also encourage writing for pleasure and our curriculum seeks to create conditions that promote writing as a pleasurable experience. It has, at its centre, the aim of promoting a love of writing which will be continued into children’s personal and working lives long after they leave school. To promote a love of writing we will:

  • Write alongside children, sharing their writing practices
  • See all children as writers and teach strategies that lead to greater independence
  • Model and teach all components of the writing process
  • Give children ‘personal’ writing projects – giving them choice of subject, purpose and form
  • Make the connection between reading for pleasure and writing for pleasure through our use of quality texts

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Wherever possible, grammar and punctuation are taught in a contextualised way through our quality texts. This is supported by the use of the Literacy Tree curriculum which has grammar sessions embedded throughout. The teaching of spelling begins in EYFS and Year 1 through phonics (Read, Write Inc).  Spelling Shed is used to teach spellings to the other year groups and children also have access to this online teaching programme at home.

In essence, we aim to create a community of readers and writers, with all children leaving our school as life-long readers and confident and literate members of society.