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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 language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


At Holy Family, this begins in Early Years Foundation Stage, with the development of a high quality programme planned within Communication, Language and Literacy.


Spoken Language

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.  The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar, and their understanding for reading and writing.  At Holy Family, with an increasing intake of children who are bilingual, this is particularly important and is an everyday part of the teaching and learning process.  Our aim is that every child is a competent speaker, listener and that this is evident in their writing.  Some examples of spoken language are drama, paired work, group and class discussion and delivering presentations. 


Public speaking

At Holy Family we believe that it is our job to equip our young people with the confidence and skill to speak in public. Through our programme of public speaking, children are taught how to speak with passion, clarity and impact, equipping them with life-long skills that will take them far beyond the classroom setting.



At Holy Family teaching focuses on developing pupils’ ability in both word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). In the Early Years Foundation Stage and in KS1 the teaching of phonics supports children to develop their reading skills.


Writing Focus





Year 1

Books explored

Brave Bitsy Bear

Pumpkin Soup


Whatever Next!

The Darkest Dark

A Bad Day for Santa

Books explored

The Enormous Turnip

The Selfish Giant

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Snail and the Whale

Dr Seuss: Horton hears a who


Books explored

The Ugly Duckling

Chicken Little

The Owl who was afraid of the Dark

Bee & Me

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

An egg is quiet


Year 2

Narrative, recount, instructions

Books explored

Silly Billy

Three Little Pigs

Fire of London



Recount, book review, reports, narrative

Books explored


The Whole Truth

Penny Dreadful and the Rat


Poetry, letters, postcards

reports, narrative

Books explored

The Mousehole Cat



Guess who I am

Wombat Goes Walkabout

Year 3

Narrative, report, recount, poetry

Books explored


Pattan's Pumpkin

Hermelin the detective mouse

Report, narrative, instruction, poetry

Books explored

Stone Age Boy

Stig of the Dump


Report, recount, narrative, poetry

Books explored

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

Year 4

Narrative, reports, recounts, poetry

Books explored

The Queen’s Token

The Prince

The Cook and the Cunning King

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Narrative, diary, letters, explanation, recount, narrative poetry

Books explored

How to Train your Dragon


Narrative, non-chronological report, narrative poems

Books explored

Iron Man

Year 5

Narrative and rhyming poetry, report, diary, instructions, narrative, explanation.

Books explored

War Horse


Private Peaceful

War Games

The Promise

War Poetry

Coming Home


Poetry- free verse, report, instructions, explanation, persuasion, narrative.

Books explored

Street Child

The Selfish Giant

The Lost Happy Endings

King Kong

Playscripts, report, instructions, discussion, explanation, persuasion, narrative

Books explored

Who Let the God’s Out

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

The Tempest/Macbeth


Year 6

Recount, persuasion, narrative, explanation.

Books explored

I am David



Reports, instructions, explanation, persuasion, narrative.


Playscripts, poetry, reports,  narrative

Books explored




Spelling is an integral part of the English curriculum. At Holy Family we teach spelling based on spelling patterns and lessons supported by the EdShed Spellings program.


2014 National Curriculum

The programmes of study for English are set out year-by-year for key stage 1 and two-yearly for key stage 2. The single year blocks at key stage 1 reflect the rapid pace of development in word reading during these 2 years.


Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.