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Speaking and Listening

 Throughout the school, opportunities to develop pupils’ spoken language in a range of contexts underpins the development of reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings. They are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.

Pupils develop their ability to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They are encouraged to discuss their ideas in order to make sense of their learning.  Teaching Sequences follow the Read to Write units. 


 Reading is a fundamental part of everything we do at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School. Children are exposed to high-quality texts across the curriculum and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. Alongside the skills of decoding and comprehension, ‘book talk’ encourages children to think as a reader and discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes. Reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach, with well-stocked and well organised class reading corners and school library which children access both within the timetable and during enrichment time. The children are motivated and keen to read.

Early reading skills are taught using the ‘Read, Write Inc.’ phonics programme, which is taught in a systematic yet lively and challenging way.  In KS2, reading is taught using a blended model of whole-class shared reading and guided reading. All children receive a broad ‘reading diet’, which includes different types of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. As a result, our children are encouraged to become keen, independent readers with skills they can use across the curriculum.


Writing is taught through a range of exciting stimuli which includes books, film clips, artefacts, visitors and real-life experiences. We strive to equip children to develop a rich vocabulary which can help them bring their writing to life. Basic skills and non-negotiables underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum. Teachers model the writing process and demonstrate the ambitious high standards expected of all children. Every child is encouraged to let their imagination and personality shine through in their writing. 

Crosscurricular work offers a creative way to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding while motivating them to learn through stimulating, interconnected topics. A learning focus that crosses subject boundaries allows for investigations that engage children’s imagination whilst providing an ideal vehicle to apply their knowledge and skills.

English in EYFS

Communication and Language Development underpins all that we do across The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) therefore we strive to ensure that all adults model effective language and communication and hold high-quality interactions at all times. Children develop early reading and writing skills through the delivery of systematic, synthetic phonics as well as other strategies such as story mapping and role play.

We aim to instill a love for books and reading for pleasure through daily story times, Mystery Reader sessions, and Relax and Read sessions with parents and family members.

Reading at Home

At Holy Cross, we recognise the importance of a home-school partnership. For more information on ‘reading at home’, please watch the video below/click on the ‘reading at home’ button at the bottom of this page.