Dear Families & Visitors,

At Rothwell St Mary’s my simple aim for the last ten years has been to build a love of reading and writing in each and every child. I have been the English lead for the entirety of my time here at St. Mary’s and my vision is that children will leave St. Mary’s and move on to High School with the necessary reading and writing skills to achieve in every single area of the curriculum so that they can fulfil their potential and reach for their dream careers when they leave the Education System. We believe that the lessons learnt at St. Mary’s are those lessons for life and all elements of English underpin this.

Our key intentions for the Rothwell St. Mary’s Primary curriculum are that it is Spiritual, Sequential and Purposeful. This purposeful element means that it will appeal to all of the children in our school, combining areas of interest about our unique town of Rothwell and the amazing history, technology, geography and culture of West Yorkshire. With this in mind, please read our whole school English curriculum which combines these three key school philosophies and see how our children will build that love of English. RSM English whole school Writing (website)

Our whole school text is 2020/21 is The Boy, The Mole,The Fox & The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. One of the key reasons why we have chosen this text for this year is because of the key themes that Northern-writer Mackesy explores which include being kind, self-belief and the knowledge that challenging times – such as the current pandemic – will pass.




This begins with phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 where we follow the ‘Floppy Phonics’ scheme, supported by actions used in the ‘Jolly Phonics’ programme. Our phonics teaching is systematic and structured with built-in revision to ensure every child succeeds. We apply step-by-step phonics teaching using Biff, Chip and Kipper to engage your children. Our rigorous teaching sequence makes phonics teaching effective and simple and teaches children the sounds and tricky words needed to support them with their reading and writing.

Useful phonics websites:

Jolly phonics sounds and actions:

Sight words:


Alpha blocks is a good series to watch to help with blending:

Articulation of phonemes:



Children are encouraged to use and develop their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes such as: explanations, instructions, reports, balanced arguments, stories and poems. Our main implementation focus for this year is to develop children’s ability to plan, draft, revise, edit and publish their writing, before evaluating the success of their written piece.
From Reception, our children are taught letter formation using the Nelson handwriting scheme. As they progress through school, the children are encouraged to write in a neat, legible style using a cursive script.

At Rothwell St Mary’s, we see the importance of integrating SpaG concepts into our daily English lessons, however SpaG is also taught in focused lessons; this ensures children are applying accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation in all written work.

We aim to develop an appreciation for the written word which will consequently lead to the same high standard of writing in the foundation subjects as the children produce in English.


National Curriculum and Development Matters for English:






Our main focus for the year ahead is to develop children’s ability to plan, draft, revise, edit and publish their writing.



Implementation Plan – Drafting & Editing PDF

Policy: English Policy 2019-20


English around School:



Why is reading so important?

What does reading do for our children?Image result for reading"

Reading improves concentration – Children have to sit still and quietly so they can focus on the story when they’re reading. Reading also relaxes the body and calms the mind whilst also exercising the connections in the brain.Reading teaches children about the world around them – through reading, they learn about people, places and events outside their own experience.Reading improves a child’s vocabulary, leads to more highly-developed language skills and improves the child’s ability to write well.Children learn new words as they read as well as seeing how to structure sentences and how to use language effectively.Reading develops a child’s imagination – when we read we translate the descriptions of people, places and things into pictures.Reading helps children develop empathy – when we’re engaged in a story, we imagine how the characters are feeling and use our own experiences to imagine how we would feel in the same situation.


Reading Week March 2020

We had a fantastic week in school exploring and enjoying some of our favourite stories and discovering new ones. Reception and KS1 enjoyed a Julia Donaldson themed week and the rest of the school immersed themselves in a variety of different reading activities. We enjoyed story writing, poetry, origami model making and drama (and much more)! We even enjoyed World Book Book Day in between!

Book Fair – Oct 2019

The book fair has been in school this week and what a fabulous selection of books were on offer for all our young readers! Thank you so much parents for supporting this event – a total will be available soon of the profit we have made – all of which will be going in to school funds to buy more new and exciting reading texts for the children!