English Curriculum

In line with our cross-curricular approach, children will explore a wide variety of genres both in English lessons and other curriculum areas, such as through our IPC curriculum subjects. English is based on the  National Curriculum of England and Wales which incorporates a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts.

Why Phonics is Important?

Phonics is the building blocks for teaching children how to read and write. It refers to the sounds made by individual or groups of letters, for example the sound “k” could be spelt as c, k, ck or ch. Using phonics, children learn how to blend separate sounds together to make words. We use a systematic and progressive approach to phonics which is introduced in the Early Years.  By the end of Year 2, children will develop the skills to help them read increasingly complex texts and the confidence and tools to effectively write their own thoughts in a way that is clear to others.


Reading has a high profile at St. Michael’s and books are valued. During the year we celebrate reading through our Book Week and teachers will plan guided and shared reading sessions throughout the week using regular assessments to gauge children’s learning in this area. We encourage children to read as much as possible and books will be sent home on a regular basis to strengthen reading for understanding, comprehension and fluency.

Reading skills are developed through our our various reading programmes. Guided Reading sessions are scheduled in all of the year groups as a key strategy to develop essential comprehension skills.  In these sessions children are encouraged to read, enjoy and answer questions about set books in smaller groups. In Shared Reading, texts are read as a whole-class, where comprehension skills are explored to assist in deepening understanding of a variety of texts.

Furthermore, each child has an independent reading programme, suited to the level and needs of the child. The reading scheme allows children to progress at a pace appropriate to them, helping to develop confidence and a sense of achievement and above all, a love of reading.

In Year 3  – Year 6  children read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how language works. Teaching ensures that work in speaking and listening, reading and writing is integrated wherever possible into the IPC units.


Writing is highly valued at St. Michael’s and through interactive teaching we explore all of the writing genres and their features in fiction, non-fiction and poetry, so ensuring that our children can confidently write in different styles for different audiences and purposes. Children are instructed in grammar in order to understand the construction of our language system and take control of their own writing. Central to our writing programme are the key building blocks of literacy, such as spelling, reading, grammar and language.

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