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Intent statement for English:


We can be readers and writers.


English at St. Matthew's is taught to develop the child’s love of reading, writing and discussion. Through our English curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important these skills will be in the real world. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination through our book-led curriculum.


English lessons will give children:


  • the vocabulary to express their thoughts and opinions;
  • the knowledge of how grammar shapes our language;
  • the skills to write clearly, accurately and coherently;
  • an understanding of the importance of literature;
  • an awareness of how they can shape the world through their writing

English at St. Matthew's


Our aim at St. Matthew’s, is for all our children to become confident and capable readers and writers. In doing so, children will find a world of possibilities opened up to them, from being able to escape into a book and enjoy fantastical worlds, to being able to solve problems and develop life skills.


In Reception and Year 1, children have daily phonics sessions following the Little Wandle scheme. Children in Reception and KS1 will read with an adult several times a week. A reading book matched to the child's phonics ability will be sent home for reading with a parent. Children then progress through the reading bands until the reach Black level and become a free reader. 


In writing we have developed our own phases of teaching, bespoke to our school and children. English lessons are blocked by genre of writing then delivered through the phases: Revisit & Review, Teach & Practise and finally Apply.


Teachers use varied techniques in the Teach & Practise phase, including Talk for Writing (see the actions for this below) and the St. Matthew's sentence type posters (inspired by the work of Alan Peat), to encourage children to write more creatively and produce more varied writing.

A few examples of St. Matthew's sentence type posters

Early Reading and Phonics


Since September 2022, we have used 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' as our Phonics programme. We firmly believe that every child deserves the best opportunities to secure those early skills to go on to become fluent, confident and successful readers, whilst also developing their love of reading. Through using the Little Wandle programme, our children will: 

  • gain access to excellent whole class phonics teaching, using a fact pace, progressive overview of learning;
  • a series of reading practice sessions that are carefully, appropriately and exactly matched to their individual reading level; 
  • ongoing opportunities to practise, embed and apply knowledge and skills learned, including: GPC recognition, blending, segmenting, tricky word recognition, decoding, prosody and comprehension; 
  • access quick, effective intervention, should they need it, to ensure that they 'keep up' with the progressive overview of teaching; 
  • access to extended interventions, should they need it, to secure gaps in phonemic awareness and understanding; 
  • be regularly assessed to ensure that teaching staff can continuously monitor progress. 


As a school, we have heavily invested in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and its associated resources to ensure that the children at St. Matthew's are provided with the very best opportunities to learn and love to read. This includes: 

  • high quality reading texts, ranging from foundation (wordless) books to books containing complex alternative GPCs and vocabulary;
  • both fiction and non-fiction texts, ranging in topics and themes to suit every personality; 
  • intervention materials to address and support misconceptions; 
  • appropriate word cards, perfect for 1:1 and small group work; 
  • an extensive assessment tracker to identify gaps in learning and suggestions on how to support each individual child. 

Parents/carers and families are an integral part of a child's progress within reading, and as a school, we want to hep and support this connection as much as possible. We regularly invite our parents/carers and families into school to support and provide opportunities to learn more about phonics. This typically occurs once per term, and is usually a workshop (face to face or virtual) or a parent/carer pop-in where parents are invited to watch a phonics session. 


Here are the resources that were delivered as part of the workshops. Please feel free to have a look at your leisure and do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions. 

Our Early Reading and Phonics Leader is Miss Alderson who is always very happy to talk about all things Little Wandle! Please contact her via the Year 1 email address or via the School Office.

Whole Class Reading

Across school in both Key Stages, we now teach a 'Book Led Curriculum' through texts which the children read and immerse themselves in. Some of our texts are linked to other areas of the curriculum like history and geography, but all of them allow wider opportunities to write.


Children from Year 1 to Year 6 will have weekly spelling practise, where the words for the week are introduced, then a weekly spelling test. The lists for these can be found on your child's Google Classroom page.



At St. Matthew’s, children learn cursive handwriting. In Reception and Year 1, the children are taught to print letters, making sure to start and end in the correct place. Then in Year 2, children are taught the pre-cursive letters needed to join their writing later in the year. By the end of Year 2, we expect all children to be joining most if not all of their written letters. In Year 3, children can then be awarded a Pen License if the teacher deems their writing neat enough, meaning they can from then on write in pen.

Progression of skills and knowledge in English

How to help at home


Below are some links, which you may find useful for helping your child develop fluency in reading and writing.