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Holy Cross

Catholic Primary School

Our S48 report is now available to read. We are pleased to inform you that we have been judged as an outstanding Catholic school. Please see the Ofsted page in the Key Information section.
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English - phonics, reading and writing

English at Holy Cross - An Overview


  • The Power of Reading provides high quality texts and teaching sequences for the teacher to use. These texts are used during whole class reading sessions and are often used as the basis for our writing.
  • The Literacy Shed and The Literary Curriculum provide further quality texts and teaching sequences to support the teaching of reading at Holy Cross.
  • Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and are offered opportunity to read silently every day, as well as whole class reading sessions with the teacher.
  • Children who are not reading at the level expected for their age are identified as priority readers and are heard every day where possible by the teacher, teaching assistants and other adults.
  • Each class has a class library stocked with a range of quality, age appropriate texts.
  • A new reading area has also been established within the KS2 corridor. This provides a range of diverse reading books to supplement those already in class. KS2 also have access to a full range of banded reading books to support children’s individual reading development.



  • Writing is taught mainly through using texts from the Power of Reading, The Literary Curriculum and The Literacy Shed, all of the texts available are supplements with planning sequences through each scheme.
  • SPAG lessons are taught twice a week in KS2 before a Writing lesson using Classroom Secrets, the skills taught feed into the Must, Should, Challenge to support grammatical correctness in writing.
  • Children should have opportunity to produce an extended piece of writing every week, one from their class genre focus, one from a cross curricula session and one within an RE session.
  • Children are given opportunity to proofread and edit their work with age/ability appropriate guidance.
  • Across the school, children are introduced to new vocabulary through the texts that provide the focus for their English lessons but also through a wide range of historical, geographical and religious units. Any new vocabulary will be displayed on classroom working walls . Children are taught to use the dictionary to find the definitions.
  • Writing is celebrated by each class choosing a Writer of the Week to be awarded each week in celebration assembly.



  • In EYFS and KS1, the Unlocking Letters and Sounds scheme is used to teach the requirements of the new National Curriculum for phonics.
  • Phonics lessons are taught daily and teachers assess children regularly.
  • Year 1 children are prepared for the Year 1 Phonic Screen in June and the teacher carries out practice tests in order to track progress towards achieving a pass score. 



  • In EYFS and Year 1 children are taught correct letter formation. As soon as children are able to form most letters correctly and have a good pencil grip, we teach a joined handwriting style.
  • Children are awarded Pen Licences in KS2.
  • Handwriting awards are also awarded weekly in celebration assemblies.



Spelling and Grammar

  • The Twinkl Spelling lists is used in years 2 -6. Children need systematic teaching of spelling that is continually practiced and reinforced. This spelling programme is used to provide this structured and systematic teaching. Children in year 1 are taught spellings in line with their phonic lessons.
  • Children in Years 1-6 have weekly spellings to learn for Homework and a weekly spelling test.

English Enrichment

2022 - 2023

2023 - 2024