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.

National Curriculum for English: National Curriculum

English Long Term Plan for each year group:  EYFS    Y1   Y2   Y3   Y4   Y5   Y6

Our reading spine, as seen in the curriculum plan, has been carefully selected to ensure there is progressive build up of genres to give our readers a vast range of reading experiences.

Our writing plan is a supported by the texts we are reading and our humanities curriculum. We ensure grammar and purposeful, sequential writing is at the heart of our teaching. Here is our genre and grammar progressive planner: Genre progression Grammar progression with examples

English Policy: English Policy

Writing Implementation Plan:  Writing Implementation Plan Sept 2023

Reading Implementation Plan:  Reading Implementation Plan Sept 2023


Last year saw a year of wonderful evolutions for our English curriculum. This year we are keen to embed and allow these to flourish! See below for everything we implemented and thrived doing so:


Early Language & Language Intervention

This year we have been very fortunate that the very talented Mrs Williams in Reception has undertaken the Nuffield Early Language Intervention training. The NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention)  is a 20-week programme proven to help young children overcome language difficulties. It is designed for children aged 4-5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. Developed by a team led by Maggie Snowling and Charles Hulme, the intervention has been evaluated in robust trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation. These have found it to be effective for improving children’s oral language skills as well as promoting longer-term progress in reading comprehension. We have a small group of children from Reception who are making fantastic progress with this and we, as a staff, have learned a great deal from the research as well!

Find out more here: https://www.elklan.co.uk/neli/about-neli


EYFS Statutory Framework: Birth to Five

English National Curriculum: English NC


View our phonics planner here: Little Wandle Whole School Overview





Our Governor for Early Reading is Mr Robert Freeman.

Reading and writing begins with phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 where we follow Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds. Our phonics teaching is systematic and structured with built-in revision to ensure every child succeeds. We apply step-by-step phonics with application and practise using the Big Cat Phonics resources. 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. In this academic year we have had a big push with the way that we teach our phonics so that we have fidelity to our new programme (Little Wandle) as well as ensuring all staff in Reception & KS1 are using the same effective model to plan and teach Phonics.

For many families, phonics can bring a whole new world of words and learning. Here is a glossary of terms to help you help your child:



Here is a week by week guide for families support their children to read – this is a little view of what it looks like in school: Little Wandle Home Learning


Resources to help your little readers at home: How to say Phase 3 sounds    Pronunciation guide Autumn 2    Pronunciation guide Autumn 1    How to say the Phase 5 sounds       Capital letter formation


Little Wandle Parents Information: LS-PowerPoint-for-parents-presentation-1


From phonics to reading: LS-KEY-GUIDANCE-APPLICATION-OF-PHONICS-September-2022 (1)


Assessment is a key part of our rigorous phonics teaching. Children complete an assessment every six weeks and these assessments are analysed forensically. Daily (and sometimes multiple times daily) children that require additional support will take part in keep up catch up interventions. All aspects of the day are utilised to ensure new learning is retained and understood.


Early Reading


Our Early Reading teaching follows the three step process set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds:

  1. Decoding session – practising blending and learning new vocabulary
  2. Prosody – using our voice to read the text
  3. Comprehension – understanding what we have read



Alongside our discrete teaching of reading is our robust reading spine. Children have exposure and dive into a wealth of texts purposefully chosen to broaden children’s experiences of text. Texts are used to bring our broaden curriculum alive and enhance our writing. Reading for pleasure time is an essential time of our children’s week and is often led by the adults in our classroom at this early stage of reading. Children chose the texts they want to immerse themselves in and share this in small groups and as a class.


Our EYFS curriculum is written with Reading and quality texts driving the learning. Texts are chosen to reflect the new EYFS curriculum with PSED, EAD and UTW themes being the golden threads: EYFS Child Centred Curriculum


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 for Pleasure is an integral part of every day across every class. This may be led by an adult, independently or with a peer. Children have exposure to a vast range of high quality and purposeful texts to enjoy, study and be inspired by!

Our Reading Spine is created using a lexile and quantile measure. We ensure there is a diverse and inclusive representation of authors and protagonists.

We have a secure spine for taught texts and adult read aloud texts.

Choice is the key element of our children’s reading books!

Reading Spine: Reading Spine

Our class English planners have reading interwoven into them:  EYFS  Y1  Y2  Y3  Y4  Y5  Y6


Our Bespoke Reading Curriculum: Reading Curriculum Document


Our Poetry Anthology: Anthology


We are members of the School Library Association.

Here are some useful resources to help you get your child reading at home and what books they can be reading:

Family Reading

Reading for Pleasure

Football Focus

BAME authors

Library bookmark

Digital Books

Oxford Owl


Reading is taught discretely across all classes. In the early stages, this is taught using Little Wandle three step approach: Decoding, Prosody and Comprehension.

As children become confident decoders they are guided daily through reading practice incorporating fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Children’s reading for pleasure books are carefully presented to children to entice their enthusiasm and engagement with reading.


Jerry Clay English Hub - Exchange Teaching Hub

We are working closely with Jerry Clay English Hub to continually develop and review our teaching of reading!



Humanities drives the context of our writing curriculum. This enables children to retain and use their contextual humanities learning.

Our big aim within writing at Rothwell St. Mary’s is to foster a deep love of writing that links to all areas of the curriculum and children’s wider lives so that they have the skill and ability to dream big! 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.  We make sure the writing lessons really matched our curriculum aim of being sequential which means that children’s writing abilities will be built on year-on-year so that by the time our writers get to Y6 they will be highly-accomplished and confident.

From Reception, our children are taught letter formation using the Little Wandle 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.

Every piece of writing follows a consistent approach: plan  –  draft  –  edit  –  publish     The aim here is to obtain a “Triple P” (a perfectly published piece).

We have a clear genre progression for writing and the children understand what their pieces need to have: Genre progression

We have a clear grammar progression: Grammar progression with examples


Junior Journalist


Our Junior Journalists are our roving reporters on the case reporting all things St. Mary’s and issues around the community and the wider world. Our journalists work tirelessly to produce our very own school newspaper every two weeks. Not only do they come up with their own article ideas, they also research and produce them themselves. The journalists went through a rigorous recruitment process to gain this prestigious title.

This year’s journalists are:


The newspaper is always looking for guest writers to write a one off piece, draw a comic strip, write a joke or create an advert. If you would like your piece to be in the next edition please see Mrs Sweeney (Editor in Chief).

Our past editions can be found here:

Junior Journalist

Junior Journalist Ed2

Junior Journalist Ed3

Junior Journalist Ed4

Junior Journalist Ed5

Junior Journalist Ed6

School Library

“Our school library is the most precious place to be” Mila, Year 1

Our school library is situated off the playground at the top of the Key Stage 2 corridor. All children are welcome every lunch time to spend time choosing a book to take home, reading in our beanbags, listening to the music or speaking with one of our trained expert librarians. Our library will closed on Friday lunchtimes to allow our team to take stock on our Libresoft, conduct any research into books types we need more of, meet as a team and receive any training needed.

Please submit any library feedback or requests here: https://forms.gle/qo9mfe9TA8MABDT28

Current feedback:

“I like that you organise things for the children.”

“There are a good few of you so we’ve always got help.”

“They are nice and help to find the right book for you.”
“I think the books are outstanding in vocabulary”
They can help you find a book your interested in and sometimes hold them when they find one you might like.”
“Something I would change is to put people’s favourite books on the table ready for when they come in.”
“They are interesting and have all the knowledge you need.”
“I can go and look up things I am learning about in class.”
“Keep doing what you are doing, your doing a good job!”

Our collection of books has been carefully curated to help you develop your knowledge of our unique curriculum areas, widen your imagination with a broad range of fiction and graphic novels or catch up on latest events with our newspapers and magazines.

What ever you need our librarians are there to help!


Information for parents: Library letter to parents


Here are some useful links and services that we have used to get our school library up and running: