St Mary's Catholic Primary School

‘One family united in Christ to be the best we can be’


It is our aim that all pupils who attend St Mary's leave us able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, with the ability to adapt their language and style to a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Expectations with regard to handwriting and presentation are high at St Mary's. 


The Writing Process

At St Mary's all pupils are supported to develop written work to the best of their ability. Pupils have daily opportunities to encounter high quality language, both from written texts and teacher interactions. Grammar, punctuation and other specific language elements are taught within the context of both reading and writing. A specific writing process is utilised to support children in their ability to write utilising their skills learnt from an early age.

Assessment in the form of high quality oral feedback and interactive marking, alongside self and peer editing, enables children to improve their writing, building towards the production of quality written outcomes.

Planning for English units is based on quality texts, with units lasting between one and six weeks. Texts can be one specific text (for example Year One studying The Three Little Pigs or Year Six studying Macbeth; a group of texts (newspapers, for example) or a specific genre (works of historical social realism or narrative poetry).

Across the school, pupils have the opportunity to study great works of literature, including texts by Dickens, Shakespeare, Larkin, Hughes and Wilde and are introduced to literature from a range of genres. Quality texts provide opportunities for children to meet objectives drawn from across the National Curriculum for English.

Units planned for cover the teaching of reading, writing (including grammar, punctuation and spelling), performance and spoken language. In addition to this, children are taught aspects of the English curriculum through our integrated curriculum, through guided reading sessions, independent reading, class texts, phonics teaching and discrete spelling and handwriting lessons.

In planning, teachers ensure a balance of purpose (to explain, persuade, inform, describe, instruct, entertain etc.) and audience across each year.  Quality outcomes are planned for that are varied, purposeful and increasingly more sustained as the children progress through the school. Outcomes focus on quality rather than quantity with some units having just one or two outcomes depending on the unit length and content.

Each unit should include:

  • word reading – as children encounter unfamiliar words
  • grammar and punctuation – through seeing them in context and considering how they are employed for effect
  • comprehension – through listening to, reading, and discussing challenging texts
  • vocabulary and spelling – by encountering new language
  • spoken language through participating in discussions about books, learning from both specific language modelled by the teacher and also that of their peers
  • writing (both transcription and composition).

Texts used in whole class teaching often focus on texts which are just slightly above the reading level of the children in the class to ensure progression is made and high aspirations set.