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Holly Mount Roman Catholic Primary School

Nurture, Encourage, Love

English Curriculum

We are readers and writers!


We want our children to love English. Living in a world where the fundamentals of reading and writing lay the foundations of all learning, we believe that English should be at the heart of all aspects of school life. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be poets, authors, journalists or bloggers. 

English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.


Our English curriculum promotes enjoyment of literature and a sense of awe and wonder about the wonderful texts we explore. We use engaging, relevant, high quality texts to empower our children to appreciate our rich and varied literature heritage. We want to develop in our pupils a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives. By the time children leave Holly Mount in Year 6, their vocabulary will have expanded enormously, giving them the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.


English subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared. These characteristics underpin all work in English and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and children.


These characteristics are:

  • Creating a whole school reading ethos that allows children to engage with and progress in reading and writing.
  • High quality children’s literature at the heart of the English curriculum.
  • Creative approaches to enrich teaching and learning.
  • Orally articulate children who can perform and communicate clearly and confidently to a range of audiences and can express well-balanced opinions.
  • Children who listen carefully and respond appropriately to what is being said and ask questions with increasing relevance and insight.
  • Writers who can develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness and have suitable technical skills to structure their responses.



Phonics & Reading 

At Holly Mount, we are passionate about reading. The teaching of reading begins by developing a love of books and understanding that print carries meaning. Early reading is taught through the DfE Approved Bug Club Phonics programme, alongside other stimulating visual and multi-sensory resources that provide variety and keep motivation high. Children are taught to use their phonetic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading. The teaching of phonemes and corresponding graphemes helps them to decode words when reading and they are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonetic rules. Our children enjoy shared reading with an adult daily and access the class and school libraries. Bug Club decodable home reading books are introduced at the appropriate time matched to reading ability. They include a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. We want all of our children to develop a love and enjoyment of reading. 

We also use a range of colour-banded reading books predominantly from Oxford Reading Tree as the children progress.


High quality books are chosen to link with our RESPECT Curriculum.


Shared Reading and Guided Reading are vitally important and take place in each class.

Guided reading books and texts are chosen a band higher than home reading books to challenge the children through adult-led discussions which develop reading and grammar skills.


Home/School Reading is a partnership and enables parents and children to enjoy the reading process together. In KS2, through monitoring and continuous teacher assessment, children who are judged to be beyond the reading scheme are presented with a Reading Diary as their ‘right of passage’ to choose their own reading material.



English Policy