Leigh Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

‘Live And Learn With Jesus’

Windermere Road, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 1UX


01942 674226

English Policy

English Impact Statement

Speaking and Listening


At Sacred Heart, Leigh, we intend to teach pupils to speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. We intend to provide opportunities for exploratory talk, group discussion and language interactions.



Teachers aim to underpin all activities with talk as a vital part of the whole learning process. All teachers and other adults in school model speaking clearly. This includes clear diction, reasoned argument, using imaginative and challenging language and use of Standard English. Listening is modelled, as is the appropriate use of non-verbal communication, respecting the views of others.

Learning takes place in a variety of situations and using a range of techniques:

  • Effective questioning to generate discussion.
  • Group work.
  • A learning environment that promotes discussion and provides opportunity for children to express ideas and opinions respectfully.
  • The use of books/stories.
  • Planned speaking and listening activities, such as: drama and role play; think, pair and share; structured play and debate.



At Sacred Heart, Leigh school, we intend to encourage children to take pleasure in reading and have strong motivation to read for a variety of purposes.  A high-quality education in English will teach our pupils to read fluently and enjoy a range of literature. Reading also enables our pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.

 At Sacred Heart we intend to:  

  • Expose our children to a wide variety of books and texts.
  • Provide a range of reading experiences including individual, paired, shared and guided reading opportunities.  
  • Involve parents in the reading process as much as possible. 
  • Ensure reading is structured and enjoyable.  
  • Use record keeping and regular assessment to monitor progress.  
  • Provide support for children with Special Educational Needs as appropriate. 
  • Supply engaging texts that are age related with appropriate vocabulary.  
  • Develop reading skills so that our children can become confident readers.
  • Present reading as a life skill and something to be enjoyed.  


All staff at Sacred Heart are expected to model and communicate their love of reading. We aim to plan and deliver a wide range of reading opportunities, using inspiring texts. We teach reading as part of our daily English lesson. We plan opportunities for shared, guided and individual reading tasks.


At Sacred Heart, we use Sounds-Write as a scheme for teaching phonics. Children will have access to a range of phonics opportunities, including; daily discrete phonics teaching; whole class teaching of specific spelling patterns; using phonics in real life contexts and applying phonic knowledge across the Curriculum.

Guided Reading  

Guided reading is used throughout the school as a key teaching strategy. We used a range of resources, including: Reading Vipers; Oxford Reading Tree; Tree Tops; Cracking Comprehension and Lighthouse.

Teachers and Teaching Assistants will work with each guided reading group every week. The sessions are well planned and cover a range of reading skills.

Guided reading will be used to:  

  • Teach to the group’s learning targets and needs.  
  • Teach reading strategies and provide an opportunity for pupils to practise their reading skills independently. 
  • Provide a context for pupils to share responses and understanding of different text types and genres with others.  
  • Explicitly support pupils in their application of comprehension strategies.  
  • Monitor the comprehension and application of reading skills of individuals. Collect evidence to inform next steps and future sessions.

Individual Reading 

At the learning to read stage, teachers and support staff listen to certain children read individually. All children at this stage will also be part of a guided reading group. The school promotes the support of parents in this process by asking them to hear their child read each evening and record this in the home reading record/planner. Texts are chosen from the school’s banded reading scheme.

Individual reading will be used to: 

  • Teach reading strategies and behaviours at the instructional level of the child;  
  • Provide a context for the teacher to teach high frequency words, decoding skills, use of picture clues and use of context to support prediction.  
  • Provide an opportunity for the child to practise her/his decoding skills;  
  • Explicitly support the child in her/his application of comprehension strategies;  
  • Monitor the comprehension and application of reading skills of the individual child.

Shared Reading  

Teachers take every opportunity to shared read with a class or group. In KS2, each class will also enjoy a class novel, linked to our themed work. 

Shared reading will demonstrate how to read a wide variety of genres and text types and show that reading is a pleasurable and informative experience.   

  • Shared reading gives access to challenging texts for pupils and provides a secure environment for learning to read. 
  • It provides a context for explicit teaching about reading and enables teachers to model the skills and strategies used by effective readers.

Independent Reading tasks  

Teachers set reading tasks for pupils that require them to read without teacher support. Some of these tasks might require a written response. Independent reading will be used to:   

  • Promote enjoyment of reading. 
  • Develop and consolidate comprehension skills.
  • Provide a meaningful context for the application of reading skills and knowledge.

Reading At Home: 

Reading at home is regarded as an important part of reading development; we expect that all children read at home every day. EYFS, KS1 and LKS2 are provided with a home reading book from levelled boxes. KS2 children are encouraged to choose their own home reading books (free choice books) Parents are encouraged to hear their children read regularly and respond to their child’s reading through reading record books/planners.

Free Choice books:  

Additional books are provided for pupils who have acquired the expected decoding skills for their age group. The texts are chosen to provide coverage of a wide range of text types, genres and poetry and to be matched to the ages and maturity of the pupils. Children are encouraged to develop their own reading tastes and to be challenged into trying new types of reading materials. Our well stocked libraries and class book corners are engaging and well organised with many topic related texts. Children are able to learn from what they read; facts and information as well as empathy for characters, situations and dilemmas that they encounter in narrative texts. As the children progress, they are encouraged to widen their use of books for reading for information and developing specific skills including skimming, scanning and note taking.  

Celebrating Reading: 

At Sacred Heart, Leigh, we celebrate reading in a range of ways: 

  • Reading certificates for excellent attitude and progress when reading. 
  • Class Dojos for reading progress and attitude to learning. 
  • Special Reading Days such as World Book Day! 



At Sacred Heart we intend to promote writing and look for ways to inspire and motivate pupils so that they can become confident, enthusiastic and competent writers. Children learn to write to communicate meaning to a wide range of audiences. They recognise writing as an important life skill.


Teachers plan inspiring and meaningful writing activities for the children. They establish the purpose and audience for writing and make teaching objectives explicit to pupils so they know why they are studying a particular text type and what the expected outcome will be.  

Teachers use shared and guided writing to model the writing process. These provide a context for discussion and demonstration of grammatical features at word level, sentence level and text level. These features are also discussed and practised during KS2 spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons. 

Children carefully plan their work and are given time to write independently. Their work is marked by the teacher and then, children are given the opportunity to respond to feedback. Children learn the skill of editing and re-drafting and as a result consolidate improvements in writing.

At Sacred Heart, we have high expectation for the presentation of children’s work. Handwriting is taught so that children use the correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. As soon as the children are ready, they are taught to hold a pencil in the correct tripod grip and develop a legible and joined handwriting style. It is expected that all members of staff, class teachers and teaching assistants, model the school handwriting style when writing on the board or in children’s books. By the end of Key Stage 2, all children should be displaying an efficient, neat, joined legible handwriting style that is effective in recording their ideas. 

Spelling is taught within the English lesson or as part of a skill-based lesson.  Teachers provide a wide range of contexts for reinforcing spelling patterns and tricky words throughout the school day. All teachers use phonics materials based on Sound-write as a basis for their planning for the teaching of spelling. The Babcock Spelling Scheme is used to support the teaching of spelling at Sacred Heart.


Children can: 

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding. 
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. 
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic. 
  • Develop conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. 
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. 
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. 
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas. 
  • Confidently and independently, write in a variety of genres for a variety of audiences.

Updated Autumn Term 2020

Renewed Autumn Term 2022