Overall Aims of English at

St. Michael's

Overall Aims:

We aim to:

  • develop each child’s knowledge, skills and understanding of English to the highest level through speaking and listening, reading and writing

  • to produce confident, literate children, able to understand, enjoy and use appropriately the variety of language available to them.

  • give children a safe and secure environment, which provides encouragement for the development of all aspects of Literacy.

  • We aim to ensure that there is equality of access and opportunity for all children to develop their English skills.

  • We aim to develop a close partnership between school and parents in order to maximise the learning potential of our pupils.

  • We seek to ensure that all children achieve their full potential in all aspects of English by the time they move from Primary to Secondary Education.

At St. Michael’s school we strive for children to be ‘literate pupils’. We aim for children to be able to:

· Read, write and speak with confidence, fluency and understanding.

· Speak confidently and clearly, adapting what they say and how they say it to the purpose and audience.

· Listen, understand and respond appropriately to what others have to say.

· Understand the connections between the spoken and the written word.

· Be able to orchestrate a full range of strategies and cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their own reading and writing and to correct their own mistakes.

· Understand a range of text types and genres (fiction and non-fiction) and be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the audience and purpose.

· Be able to plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing.

· Develop fluent and legible handwriting.

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

· Have an interest in books, read with enjoyment and understanding, evaluating and justifying their preferences.

· Discuss reading and writing comprehensively, expressing opinions, explaining techniques and justifying choices, about a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, using suitable technical vocabulary.

· Through reading and writing, develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.

Phonics Scheme

We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme from Reception class. Please click here to be taken to the Letters and Sounds website.

In Nursery we follow the Letters and Sounds scheme, this builds children's speaking and listening skills through a range of games, music and rhymes. Activities are divided into different aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, and voice sounds. We teach both through discreet small group sessions and whole class sessions. In the Summer term we begin to introduce the children to some graphemes as we listen for the initial sounds in words.

In Reception we build upon the Letters and Sounds phonics taught in Nursery. We go over the phase one aspects before then focusing on phases 2, 3 and 4. We learn to sound and name letters, blend and segment sounds for reading and writing, learn to read and spell key words and then build up our reading and writing skills. We link our handwriting and letter formation to this, following the PenPals scheme.

Phonics is taught through whole class, small group, and one-to-one sessions. Children are able to progress through the sounds and key words at their own pace, through our personalised tracking and teaching system, allowing us to provide extra support or extension. We ensure there are lots of opportunities to use phonics throughout the day in our provision and through challenges.

In Year 1 we teach discreet phonics lessons each day. Children are taught in small, adult-led groups according to how secure they are within each phonics phase/level. Intervention groups are also taught for children who need extra support in certain areas. Letters and Sounds taught in Reception is used as the starting point for Year 1 phonics with Phonics Play used to support the teaching of these lessons.

Curriculum Highlights

The Masked Reader

Post lockdown, the whole school enjoyed taking part in The Masked Reader.

Eight school staff members read a section of their favourite childhood book under a disguise and with a different voice and the pupils had to guess which staff member was reading to them. The winning pupils were Freddie from Key Stage 1 and Libby from Key Stage 2. It was a fun event and it was great to see the teaching staff share their favourite books with the school.


Across the school, the pupils spent the day undertaking numerous word and writing challenges and learning about the etymology of words, synonyms, antonyms and played games to build their word power.

We learnt how much of the English language is heavily influenced by Latin and Greek and that we can associate many English words with Latin and Greek words. We played games to improve our vocabulary, such as Call My Bluff and Pointless, and we used thesauruses to find synonyms to create our own Word Clouds. In the afternoon we took part in the Five Sentence Challenge where we had to write creatively and finish a given story in just five creative sentences. The pupils used their senses, wh- words and figurative language to enhance their writing. There were prizes for the top three writers in each class.

The pupils learnt that in order to improve their word power, that they should read daily and should always use dictionaries and thesauruses to check their understanding of words. They should also try and use new words they learn regularly and adopt them as part of their everyday vocabulary.

Some new words that the pupils learnt on the day include:

  • hangry (adjective) - bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

  • plogging (noun) - a recreational activity, originating in Sweden, that combines jogging with picking up litter.

  • funambulist (noun) - a tightrope walker

  • gasconade (noun) - extravagant boasting

  • peterman (noun) - a safecracker

Visit from Martin Impey, Author and Illustrator

Year 6 Shakespeare Workshop, retelling the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Year 6 wrote and told Horror stories as part of their work on genre fictions.

Year 1 have been writing spaghetti poems.

Year 1 have been reading The Hungry Caterpillar.

Useful Links