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English Leader - Mrs Cunningham

National Curriculum Aims

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 word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 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
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

At St Alban's, we have purchased The Literacy Company Pathways resource to support the teaching of English. 



To work alongside Pathways to Read, we have implemented Pathways to Write. This is a proven methodology built around units of work which develop vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach. The units, for use with pupils from EYFS to Y6, provide clear detailed lesson plans and resources, linked to high-quality texts to ensure engaging and purposeful English lessons inclusive of all learners. Effective teaching strategies which aim to challenge greater depth writers are included within each unit of work. We begin each writing unit with a 'hook' into the writing topic where children may have a special item appear in the classroom or an exciting task linked to the book for them to take part in. This gets the creative cogs turning in their wonderful minds and inspires them to produce fantastic writing! Children will then focus on mastering key writing skills throughout the unit and finally will apply them in an independent piece of writing inspired by the class text. 


Poetry can often be overlooked but at St Alban's we understand the importance of it and how it can develop both spoken and written language and help to develop our pupils into creative writers. For this reason, every year group has poetry units embedded within our English curriculum. These poetry units are linked to themes in Pathways to Write and Pathways to Read. The Pathways to Poetry enhances work on vocabulary, spoken language, reading and writing; it gives pupils the opportunity to play with language orally and in writing. From EYFS, where pupils engage with rhymes up to Y6 where pupils are creating metaphor, there is an opportunity for all to practise performance and for crafting their own poetry. A wide range of poetry forms and styles are investigated across each year with progression in writing skills weaved throughout.


Pathways to Spell is an innovative and engaging programme to fascinate pupils about words and teach them important spelling patterns and rules to support their writing. Our pupils from Year 2 - Year 6 are taught a series of lessons following a Review, Explain, Practise, Apply and Reflect model. Through this programme, we aim to develop a school of spellers who use a series of strategies in lessons and in their independent writing. Unlike other spelling programmes, there is a cycle of review objectives covering the whole curriculum to ensure gaps in learning are constantly revisited.

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