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At the Cathedral School of St Mary we are committed to delivering a high quality, broad and balanced curriculum.  We understand the importance of placing high quality, language rich texts at the heart of our curriculum.  Children are encompassed by texts which allow them to explore the world, escape into magical worlds and engage with rich language in different contexts.

Children will escape, experience and explore these texts in English lessons, whole class guided reading sessions, curriculum lessons  and  dedicated times in classes where teachers read to their classes.  The texts shared with our children will remain in our classrooms so children can read them again and again. 

Intent - we aim to:

  • foster a love of reading by listening to and interacting with a variety of literature, non-fiction and poetry. 

  • provide children with necessary life-long skills to ensure they can read confidently and with secure understanding

  • build a community of engaged readers who turn to reading for meaning and pleasure by engaging with parents & other readers in our community. 

  • provide plenty of opportunities to read for pleasure

  • ensure reading is a transferable skill and that children are reading across the wider curriculum

  • develop a consistent approach to reading teaching in order to close any gaps and to target the highest number of children attaining the expected standard or higher. 

Reading with your child is the single greatest thing you can do for your child's education.  It allows you time together, has a positive impact on mental health, helps them to learn about and explore the world, extend and develop their vocabulary and learn new concepts.  
Our youngest children learn to read by following the systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme Read Write Inc (RWI).  Further information can be found on the phonics page of the website. 
Further details of how English is taught at The Cathedral School of St Mary can be found in the CSOSM Reading Curriculum attached below. 
Writing to a high standard is a key skill that all children need, but not an easy one to achieve.  Our goal is to develop a community of writers who are engaged and motivated to write for a purpose and an audience. 
Writing units from year 1 to year 6 are planned using Babcock BookWrites planning sequences.  Each unit has a clear purpose and audience, whilst being based around a high quality text and including the objectives as specified by the National Curriculum. Children are given ample opportunities to plan, draft, edit and publish their writing. Our writing curriculum will be shared on this page shortly. 
Furthermore, once a year, each year group completes a piece of writing as specified by No More Marking.  This piece is assessed nationally against children of the same age and provides us with a writing age for each child. Additionally, every three weeks, every child participates in a Big Write.   Our children look forward to this writing opportunity and enjoy creating their pieces. 
Spelling and handwriting


Writing poses a great challenge for the working memory.  Spelling is incredibly important: it facilitates communication and comprehension. When writing, children are using transcription skills (spelling & handwriting), text generation (ideas, words, sentences) and executive functions (planning, editing, motivation). The Simple View of Writing shows that children who can competently hold a pen, form letters correctly and have a key understanding of spelling rules and patterns are then able to focus their attention on the composition skills necessary to create a beautifully crafted piece of writing. 

We follow the Twinkl spelling scheme and as such each week your child is given a spelling list. This list will either consist of words from your child’s year group statutory list, exception words or specific spelling patterns. We realise that learning spelling can seem like a tiresome chore. However, a little creativity can transform the task into a fun and memorable activity and one that the whole family can participate in.  Click on the link below for some great ideas.

To find out how handwriting is taught throughout the school please read the 'Handwriting Policy' below.  You will also find the 'Handwriting Progression' document which shows the expectations for handwriting in each year group.  

Spoken Language
Whilst spoken language has it's place in the English curriculum, we believe that oracy should be placed at the heart of everything we do.  Please see our oracy page for further details. 
Supporting your child with reading at home
Children benefit hugely from listening to family members reading aloud to them. In addition, we require all children to read to an adult at least 4 times a week at home. 
If you would like more support on reading with your children at home please contact Mrs Berry, Miss Grosch or visit the links below.