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The English language is the main instrument of learning throughout the School curriculum. At Holy Innocents', we place high emphasis on literary skills. Our main aim is for children to express themselves effectively. Children need the ability to speak clearly and appropriately. They need to develop the skills of listening as well as speaking.  The children then develop their understanding of the written word. Spoken language is very different from the written word.

Children are read to at every stage of school life, so that they can experience the wide range of rich vocabulary, that stories and poetry present. We wish children to have a love of reading, and a fundamental enjoyment from exploring books. Children are taught to read using a variety of strategies that suit their differing experiences and abilities. Reading Scheme books are colour coded in levels of difficulty. Parents are encouraged to help at every stage of their child’s development.

Writing is given a high profile from the earliest days in the school. Early attempts are valued and the children encouraged to develop an easy flowing handwriting style and the school has developed a continuous, cursive style which has improved children’s handwriting considerably.  We believe that writing should be committed, enthusiastic and interesting, and it is our aim to foster these qualities in our children’s work throughout their school career.


The main aims for the pupils are as follows:


  • to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding;
  • to be able to orchestrate a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes;
  • to understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately;
  • to have fluent and legible handwriting;
  • to have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary;
  • to know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot;
  • to understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts;
  • to plan, draft, revise and edit their writing;
  • to have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing;
  • to be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences;
  • through reading and writing to develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.

All of these aspects we endeavour to teach your child. However, any help and support you are able to able to give your child with his/her literacy skills will obviously be extremely beneficial to them.


We are committed to extending children’s learning through fun and stimulating learning activities.  We have adopted the ‘Big Write’, which focuses on four main aspects of the writing process - Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation to give children the skills to improve their own writing. The bi -weekly special writing session includes learning games, sharing of work and self assessment to enable children to extend their creative writing.


The Power of Reading


This year we are really excited about the dynamic and innovative approach we are taking towards the teaching of reading and writing. As a school we have been working on a project called ‘The Power of Reading and Writing’. This is a teaching and learning approach which involves teaching Literacy through using high quality books and creative teaching approaches (such as art, music and drama) with the aim of engaging and motivating children in their literacy learning.   It also enables children to deepen their understanding of texts and provides a meaningful context for writing as well as developing deeper comprehension skills such as inference and deduction.


So how does it work?


A quality text will be used as the basis for learning over several weeks.  Children will explore and discuss the text through creative activities. They will also write in a range of genres as part of the unit. For example they might write a letter in role as a character or write a newspaper recount about the events in the text.

Class teachers will add more on our website about the areas they are covering in class but we will not be sharing book lists to ensure that children experience the text for the first time in the classroom, having not read it beforehand.

Should you wish to know any more about this programme please speak to your child’s teacher. 


Let’s get Reading!