The English national curriculum (2014) states that:

‘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.’

  • We believe the exposure of children’s literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich
    context for learning; not only within English as a subject but to support building a reading culture
    throughout the school.
  • We aim to use high quality books that offer opportunities for empathy and can aid philosophical
    enquiry, as a means of developing the spoken language requirements through debate, drama and
    discussion using the issues raised through, and within, the text.


By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the national curriculum. The national curriculum states that:

‘‘This guidance is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, simply to provide the
structure on which they can construct exciting lessons.’

This would suggest that a context for learning is vital – and this is where our chosen approach can support teachers with ensuring that objectives for reading and writing, including those for grammar can have purpose.

We will always aim for our writing opportunities to be meaningful and to feel authentic. Whether these are short or long and that the audience is clear. Books offer this opportunity: our aim would be that that children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area. Writing in role using a range of genres is key to our approach and we would always model the tone and level of formality. This sits comfortably alongside the following statement from the English national curriculum:

‘The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils write clearly, accurately and
coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.’

Coverage and Depth

Through use of The Literary Curriculum we have mapped the coverage of the entire English Programme of Study for KS1 for Writing and Reading Comprehension, as well as meeting the needs of the
statutory 2021 Early Years Framework. In many cases objectives are covered more than once and children
have opportunities to apply these several times over the course of a year, as well as to consolidate prior
knowledge from previous years. This approach supports children to think deeply and develop skills with depth. Where needed, planning sequences are adapted, personalised and differentiated by class teachers to ensure all access arrangements can be made to support children with the requirements.


At St Denys we are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in our handwriting style. We use Letter-join’s on-line handwriting resource and Lesson Planners as the basis of our handwriting policy as it covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.


All teaching and support staff are encouraged to model the printed or pre-cursive style of handwriting chosen for each year group in our school in all their handwriting, whether on whiteboards, displays or in pupils’ books.

Consistency throughout the school

Pupils should experience coherence and continuity in the learning and teaching of handwriting across all school years and be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work. Our objective is to help pupils enjoy learning and developing their handwriting with a sense of achievement and pride.

Handwriting Frequency

Handwriting is a cross-curricular task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Formal teaching of handwriting will be carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Year group targets are met.


For children who experience handwriting difficulties due to fine motor development, including those who are left-handed and those with special educational needs, the appropriate additional support will be put into place. Letter-join’s Lesson Planners all include differentiation activities for extra practice/challenge.

Speaking and Listening

Class discussion, talking partners, circle time activities, games and drama activities all contribute to developing speaking and ensuring good listening is occuring at St Denys.

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