Our Lady and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Our Lady and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Searching faithfully for excellence

Congratulations to Anton Chappell, winner of the Jess Cup

Fitzwilliam Street, Rotherham,South Yorkshire S63 7HG


01709 760084



English Curriculum Intent

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.

Spoken Language

Through a range of structured, adult modelled and led opportunities, children are taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. To facilitate this, children have opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – in pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class. Across a range of curriculum and wider experiences, children are taught how to take turns and when and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates. Click here to see the overview of Spoken Language.

Writing Curriculum Intent

Our writing curriculum is ambitious and based on the understanding that the subject is an inter-connected body of knowledge. In EYFS and early KS1, transcription that is the development of unlaboured handwriting, accurate spelling and accurate and effective application of basic sentence punctuation is prioritised. As children become proficient in transcription, focus moves to successful composition, that is, articulating ideas and structuring them in writing. As children move through KS2, the writing curriculum ensures they build knowledge of formality and how to control their writing consciously using standard English.

Independent writing in Y1 - using a known story as a model for writing

Across carefully planned sequences of learning, children read and share high quality texts, experience modelled and shared writing, learn to love words and their meanings and build their resilience through a high ratio of independent writing. Our writing curriculum uses carefully selected sections of Jane Considine’s writing scheme along with bespoke sequences of learning at upper key stage 2 and explicit teaching of grammar related to genre and revisited regularly. Spelling and handwriting are taught as stand-alone lessons but remain as non-negotiables in English lessons and in writing in other subjects.

Examples of working walls

Working wall examples

At Our Lady and St. Joseph’s Primary School, we aim to offer opportunities for children to:

  • Foster an understanding and enjoyment of writing through exposure to our ambitious curriculum and exemplar texts and models
  • Have experience of and deep engagement with a broad and balanced range of texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and show progression within these experiences
  • Develop their ability to innovate from and respond to a range of authors, writers and genres.
  • Promote opportunities within writing that promote diversity and respond to a range of themes that encourage our pupils to think critically
  • Develop their use of a broad and rich vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling within a wide range of opportunities to produce writing for different purposes.
  • Show development of knowledge through the use of a Literacy book and an Independent Writing book. The Independent Writing book is a source of pride for all pupils.
  • Become confident and competent at planning, discussing, drafting, writing, evaluating and editing in order to leave primary school with the skills to flourish as writers moving through the next phase of their education.
  • Engage in rich speaking, listening and reading activities as an integral part of the English, and wider curriculum.

Teachers hold high and secure expectations of writing across the curriculum. Exposure to a variety of curricular areas encourages a range of writers and writing styles. Writing is a crucial skill that is embedded across all year groups; consolidation of fine motor skills and phonic strategies are implemented in EYFS and KS1 and building confidence and stamina with a range of extended pieces is developed in KS1 and further developed in KS2. We are intent on our pupils leaving Our Lady and St. Joseph’s with a certainty that they are able to communicate effectively in writing – and to enjoy being able to express themselves in this way.


Writing Curriculum Implementation

In line with the National Curriculum (2014), we ensure that children in each year group are taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for their key stage. Writing is planned in half termly blocks which focus on a genre and use at least one high quality text as a model. Each half term will have a number of independent writing outcomes.

Editing in Y6

Most blocks of work will include aspects of editing, drafting and publishing.

Published writing may be for purpose or high quality display which celebrates every child’s writing in the class.

Independent outcomes are used to assess children’s writing against our writing assessment grid which was designed by the Local Authority Literacy Advisor and Moderation Manager to track writing skills between and towards the Teacher Assessment Framework currently used for statutory assessment at KS1 and 2. This is completed three times across each year, is used to identify gaps in learning for individuals and groups and is discussed at transition meetings at the end of the year. Click here to see the Whole School Writing Overview.

Published writing in KS1 and KS2


In EYFS and Year 1, spellings are taught through integrity to the RWInc Phonics programme. From Y2, spelling rules and patterns are taught through weekly RWInc Spelling sessions and embedded through school and home use of Spelling Shed. Statutory spelling lists at appropriate phases are used in Spelling Shed, morning tasks, handwriting tasks and writing sequences of learning. In marking written work in KS2, these words are regarded as non-negotiable and should be spelled correctly using scaffolding or supporting resources appropriately. Ambitious vocabulary generated during sequences of writing is displayed in the classroom within the word class in which it was met. Click here to see the NC spelling expectations for year groups.

Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary

Grammar and punctuation are taught in line with National Curriculum expectations for each year group. Grammar and Punctuation are matched to the most appropriate genres being covered and are taught both explicitly, in stand alone sessions, and contextually within the sequence of learning for each genre. We want children to be able to make links between the grammar and punctuation they are taught and the choices they make in their writing so punctuation and grammar knowledge and skills are taught contextually through English lessons as much as possible. Children are able to make links between the grammatical choices they are making and the intended impact within the piece of writing. In independent writing outcomes, feedback includes recognising and developing children’s effective punctuation and grammar choices. Click here to see NC Grammar and Punctuation expectations for year groups.

Vocabulary development is interwoven within each sequence and across subjects, using scaffolds such as zones of relevance and Frayer models to help children understand and use new and ambitious vocabulary; word class walls and the English working wall in each classroom further support this approach.

Vocabulary gathered during writing sessions


Letter formation is initially taught through integrity to the RWInc Phonics scheme. In EYFS, Funky Fingers develops muscles needed for pencil grip among other things. Pencil grip is observed and modelled across EYFS as children’s muscles develop before a three point efficient pencil grip is encouraged from Year 1. Lined paper is used more regularly, and always in English lessons, from Year 1. Handwriting is taught explicitly in lessons in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 when the teacher models correct letter formation. The ‘Shine’ handwriting programme is used. Where necessary, handwriting is an intervention in Year 4. In handwriting lessons, children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing and have tools in the correct position. All books, across the curriculum – with the exception of sketchbooks and squared numeracy books –are lined in decreasing spacing as children refine their skills. Children have the opportunity to write on plain paper, with the use of the corresponding line guides, to ensure that high expectations remain in place for handwriting, in every lesson. Click here to see cursive letter formation used in school.


Teachers will use ongoing teacher assessment to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below and give feedback accordingly. Ongoing teacher assessment informs planning within and across sequences of learning. Independent outcomes are used to assess children’s writing against our writing assessment grid which was designed by the Local Authority Literacy Advisor and Moderation Manager to track writing skills between and towards the Teacher Assessment Framework currently used for statutory assessment at KS1 and 2. This is completed three times across each year, is used to identify gaps in learning for individuals and groups and is discussed at transition meetings at the end of the year. Internal moderation is carried out during the year between phase colleagues and SLT. External moderation is also carried out for each phase within the CMAT. End of Key Stage staff attend all Local Authority moderation sessions and take examples of which form the basis of professional discussion. The associate headteacher works as a Local Authority KS2 Writing Moderator and the school benefits from the training and expertise this brings to internal moderation, supporting robust judgements against national standards.

Writing Curriculum Impact

The impact of our Writing curriculum, including spelling, grammar and punctuation and handwriting, on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a range of purposes and audiences. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft, edit and publish their own writing.

Independent writing at Y2/end of KS1

By the end of key stage 2 children have developed a writer’s craft; they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As such frequent opportunities to write are built into the curriculum at Our Lady and St. Joseph’s, consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation is enabled, meaning that children leave school ready to access the written demands of the secondary curriculum and beyond.

Independent writing at Y6/end of KS2


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