St Martin and St Mary Church of England Primary School



St Martin and St Mary’s CE Primary School believes that all elements of the English Curriculum are important in providing a foundation for learning. We know that through spoken and written language work, children develop a confidence and ability that will not only give them access to the whole curriculum but will also enable them to communicate effectively as they move out into the wider world.

It is therefore vital that we provide our children with the very best experiences and opportunities in order for them to develop their speaking and listening, reading and writing skills fully. 

The English Curriculum focuses on these Key areas:

Speaking and Listening:

Children are encouraged to share their ideas and communicate clearly, with confidence and recognise the importance of listening to others and respond appropriately. We aim to provide a wide variety of platforms for children to express themselves and recognise that language is a tool for both thinking and learning. In our English lessons and in all curriculum areas we try to give pupils opportunities to talk and listen in a wide range of contexts.


Here at St Martin and St Mary Church of England Primary School we know that reading is the key to success for children.  If a child reads fluently and enjoys reading (and therefore reads widely) a whole world will open up for them.  They will improve their vocabulary, sentence structures and knowledge of the world. We aim to teach the children to read fluently and with understanding. We promote a love of books and an enjoyment of reading to nurture life-long learners.

The school aims to:

  • Provide the children with the skills and strategies necessary to develop into competent and fluent readers.
  • Encourage the enjoyment of books and reading so that the children develop a life-long love of books.
  • Develop study skills so that the children can find appropriate fiction and non-fiction books from the library.
  • Develop research skills, using library and class texts, in conjunction with the computing system.
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the work of authors, poets and illustrators in order to emulate these skills in their own writing.
  • Encourage care and ownership of books.
  • Make sure children are familiar with a large bank of rhymes and stories including nursery rhymes, traditional tales and stories from other cultures.
  • Provide a rich and varied diet with a range of authors and books to suit different interests.


Here at St Martin and St Mary C.E. Primary School, we are committed to providing pupils with the two core competencies of writing – transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (structuring and articulating ideas) – as set out in the National Curriculum (2014) guidelines, so they are able to communicate and structure their ideas in a correct and coherent manner. We are driven by the need to develop each learner’s writing ability, thus enabling them to play a full part in society.

From mark-making in Nursery to extended writing across the curriculum in Year Six, the teaching and learning of writing at St Martin and St Mary C.E. Primary School is an engaging developmental process.

The school aims to:

  • To foster an enjoyment of writing amongst pupils, and a recognition of its value through:

- Providing a stimulating curriculum and school environment which places the development of Writing skills at its heart.

- Providing meaningful experiences and quality texts as the inspiration for writing.

  • To ensure the teaching of Writing is effectively planned, and responsive to learners’ needs, through:

- Planning the teaching of both Writing composition and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) in line with the National Curriculum.

- Employing effective assessment procedures (both formative and summative)


  • To best enable the development of writing skills, through preceding Writing with quality Speaking and Listening / Drama activities.
  • To maximise the progress of pupils through teaching Writing to learning-focussed objectives, with related success criteria.
  • To provide pupils with a clear model for how to meet lesson objectives and thereby become effective writers through delivering:

- Clear and regular teacher modelling of the thought processes and standards required.

- Interactive and engaging Shared Writing sessions

- Guided Writing sessions targeted to the needs of groups of learners.

  • To enable pupils to understand how to improve their writing through timely and effective feedback.
  • To be a “Writing School” in which:

- Pupils engage in a wide variety of opportunities to write throughout the curriculum and beyond.

- The importance of Writing is promoted by all adults, and quality writing is routinely celebrated.

Throughout the year, staff will reinforce the fundamental writing skills with pupils whenever they are engaged in writing tasks, ensuring sufficient development. We will base our writing on high quality texts or real life events to enthuse children in the writing process. The children will have a wide opportunity to take part in speaking and listening activities, rehearsing ideas and planning their writing.


Staff will encourage pupils to use a neat handwriting style and insist on a good presentation and care of written work. Pupils will be expected to develop fluent legible and eventually, speedy handwriting. Those struggling to grasp handwriting skills and those unable to formulate letters on the page should be referred to the SENCO who will liaise with the appropriate staff to implement support. Also, as required by the national curriculum, left-handed pupils will receive the proper teaching to meet their needs as they develop writing skills.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the spelling, punctuation and grammar system of the English language.

The national curriculum guidance for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Understand the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within their work.
  • Are able to read and spell with accuracy and confidence, the statutory words lists from their applicable year group.

In addition to this, at St Martin and St Mary CE Primary School we aim to:

  • Show pupils how to understand the relationships between words.
  • Demonstrate how to understand nuances in meaning.
  • Provide guidance on how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.
  • Teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.
  • Teach pupils to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed in the National Curriculum.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is embedded in daily English lessons through starters as well as taught discrete sessions. Pupils are given the opportunity to use and apply skills developed in SPaG within their written work to enable them to express themselves clearly, accurately and effectively.