Welcome to St Martin's CE (Aided) Primary School. If you would like to know more about our school or arrange a visit to come and see all we have to offer, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact the school office.


Our intent statement sets out our vision our children within this subject and what we aim for them to experience through the curriculum at St Martin's.  It links to our school vision and values.


There are many different elements to English and our approach to teaching within English varies depending on the intended learning.  At times our learning in English is directly linked to our topic, for example a key text or story could be the inspiration for out topic, and at other times it is taught discretely and does not link to the topic.  We clearly identify when specific skills are taught in English and also opportunities for children to practice using these skills through other subjects for example note taking in history or an explanatory text in science.

Our teaching and learning in English lessons is based on inspiring learning journeys which involved opportunities for children to:

  • Stimulate and generate ideas (the hook) – use of a rich text or stimulus to give the children a real and motivating purpose to engage with writing, drama activities, speaking and listening activities and opportunities to verbalise what they are going to write.
  • Capture, sort and sift ideas (the teaching of the specific skills for writing) – including embedded grammar lessons, work on text features, word and sentence level activities, shared writing and investigating WAGOLL (what a good one looks like).
  • Create, refine and evaluate ideas (having a go) - applying specific skills, writing ideas from a model, using given vocabulary, using given sentence starters, practising skills, improving vocabulary, editing spelling, punctuation and grammar, incorporating their own ideas for writing, creating the final piece, asking questions about their work (does it do what it was supposed to do? I it effective?  What could be better?).


We follow the Twinkl Phonics Scheme from Year R to Year 2.  This introduces children to phonics in a systematic way and teaches the key skills of blending, decoding and segmenting sounds to support both reading and spelling.

Cherry class - children have a daily phonics session each morning with opportunities provided through continuous provision for them to practise and apply the phonemes they have learned.

Lower School - children have a daily session working with their year group, not class, enabling them to focus on the phonics/spelling strategies for their year group.

Further information can be found on the Twinkl Phonics Overview. 



We activity teach children to:

  • read accurately and fluently using phonics (see phonics section), 
  • use a range of strategies when they are unable to decode a word using phonics e.g. reading around the word, looking at pictures, use their knowledge of word classes,
  • develop their comprehensions skills using our reading roles approach (this is done through texts read to them as well as texts they have read themselves). 

We use a range of approaches to teaching reading including:

  • listening to children read individually and providing individual support (the frequency of this depends on the age and ability of the child from at least 3 times a week in Year R through to once every three weeks for a confident Year 6 child),
  • working with small groups of children with a similar reading ability to teach specific skills,
  • whole class reading.

We encourage children to practice reading at home with their parents/carers and provide a range of books, with which to do so. 

Children in Year R to 2 have:

A practice book which are carefully matched to the twinkl phonics scheme.  It fully decodable based on the sounds they have learned in their phonics lessons.  These are changed every week, giving the children time to read it several times and become confident with the sounds. 

A sharing book which are colour coded based on the book band levels.  These are designed for parents and carers to share with their child (although they are matched to the child’s reading level they are not a perfect match to the twinkl phonics and therefore there will be some sounds that the children have not yet been taught).  These can be changed as often as the children like.

A library book where children can choose any book they like the look of, to take home. This is about developing a love of reading and parents and carers often read it to them, discuss it with them, let them look at the pictures or use it in any way that the child enjoys!

Children in Year 3 – 6 have

A reading book this is initially a colour coded book based on the book band levels and then when children are confident readers it is a book of their own choice.  School adults guide children in choosing appropriate books and encourage them to try a range of genres and authors.

A library book.

Children are expected to read regularly as part of their homework (see homework policy) and can earn merits for doing so.



We actively teach handwriting throughout the school from Year R to Year 6 modelling correct letter formation and joins.  In Year R our daily sessions focus on correct letter formation and we use a range of multisensory approaches to support this.  In Lower school this progresses on to focusing on letter size, orientation and spacing with children practising skills at least 3 times a week.  In Upper school the focus is on fluency, style and speed with children practicing at least twice a week, with children in Year 5 and 6 able to earn a pen licence.  Interventions are in place for any child who needs support with fine motor skills or handwriting in particular.

Further information is available in our Handwriting Plan.


Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar and punctuation are taught discretely in weekly lessons from Year 1 – 6 and reinforced during English lessons and all writing activities.  We have carefully planned when to teach different aspects of grammar and punctuation and opportunities for children to identify and analyse use of grammar and punctuation in texts as well as use it in their own writing.  Our plan takes into account the objectives from the national curriculum and topics which lend themselves to practising certain skills e.g. speech marks in narratives.

Further information is available in our Grammar and Punctuation Plan.



Spelling rules and spellings are taught discretely in weekly lessons from Year 3 – 6 and reinforced during English lessons and all writing activities.  We have carefully planned when to teach different spellings and spelling rules from Year R – 6.  Our plan takes into account the twinkl phonics scheme we use, as well as the spelling rules and statutory words that children have to learn and ensures a systematic approach to the teaching of spelling.

Children are giving spellings to learn each week (see our homework policy) based on the learning they have completed in class.  Interventions are in place for any child who needs support with spelling

Further Information is available in our Spelling Plan.

  • Children enjoy their English lessons, which is evident in subject manager pupil conferencing.
  • Children develop a love of reading, which was evident during the OFSTED inspection November 2023: 'Pupils convey an infectious love of reading.'  Children are keen to read a wide range of books and discuss their thoughts and opinions about different genres and authors.  Older children enjoy sharing books with younger children and often choose to read to them during break times.
  • Children are passionate about writing and understand how they can tailor their writing to fit different audiences and purposes.  They enjoy the process of writing and discuss the reasons for the choices they make as authors.
  • Children make good progress in English and outcomes at the end of each Key Stage for reading and writing and outcomes in the Year 1 phonics check are in line with county and national outcomes (and in some places significantly higher).