01438 352863  I  admin@clitherow.herts.sch.uk

St Margaret Clitherow

RC Primary School, Stevenage

Jesus is our guide, let us follow him

Our Learning / English

English at St. Margaret Clitherow School

English is an integral and fundamental component of the whole Primary Curriculum. A good literacy education is pivotal for all learning in every curriculum area.Developing good communication skills are at the core of our English curriculum and ensure that children are able to function effectively in everyday life.  

The National Curriculum for English divides the subject up into the following areas:

How do we teach reading at St. Margaret Clitherow School?

Developing a love of reading is key to achieving excellence. For this reason we treat reading as a treasure to be enjoyed and cherished, and encourage our children to do the same.

We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our scheme for teaching phonics and early reading. In the Early Years, children begin to read by developing their ability to differentiate between the range of sounds they hear around them, before being introduced to letter/sound correspondences in Reception through a daily phonics session. We use strategies including pictures and phrases to help children remember these letter/sound correspondences. Daily phonics sessions continue throughout Reception and Year One. In Year Two, children learn to apply more complex spelling rules. Alongside their phonics sessions, children also participate in reading practice sessions three times a week, where they read a book matched to their ability. This is a crucial part of developing their love of reading. Each session has a different focus. The first session works on decoding the text, the second on prosody (reading with expression) and the third on comprehension, or understanding.

As children move into key stage two, these reading skills are further developed through their English lessons, as well as additional reading practice sessions. Children are exposed to high quality texts and encouraged to think about the audience, purpose and effect on the reader, before learning more about the features of the different text types. The children notice interesting vocabulary, recall information, make inferences about characters and events, make predictions and sequence events. In key stage two, children also learn how to explain authorial choices, as well as summarise information found in texts. Children are given opportunities to enjoy reading aloud to others in an expressive way which show understanding, as well as having the opportunity to listen to their teacher reading to them each day.

Please find below a powerpoint that was shared in our parent information session about Little Wandle earlier this year.
Learning to Read at SMC

How do we teach writing at St. Margaret Clitherow School?

All writing begins with reading. At. St. Margaret Clitherow School we follow a Mastery approach to English through the programme ‘Pathways to Write.’ Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for writing. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the writing activities provided.  Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Write approach and this builds on the extensive work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary.  

From Early Years onwards, we provide our children with opportunities to develop their spoken and written language and to record their ideas through speech, role play, drawing, writing and photographs. As the children become more confident and skilled, we aim to develop an evaluative approach to writing, encouraging our children to plan, draft, and edit their work. This opportunity for self- reflection and feedback, whether in spoken or written form, is key to the development of confident and creative writers.

Children begin to learn to spell during their phonics lessons in Reception and Year One, as they apply their knowledge of phoneme/grapheme correspondences. In Year Two, children begin to learn the spelling rules foreach year group as outlined in the National Curriculum.

How can you help at home?



English Learning

Please scroll through the gallery below for a flavour of English learning at our school