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St Michael With St John Church of England Controlled Primary School home page

St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!


Welcome to the English page!


Our English Intent Statement

At St Michael with St John, the majority of our pupils have English as an additional language and therefore, the acquisition of language is given high priority.  Spoken language, reading and writing are integral to the whole language experience and we provide opportunities for children to develop these essential skills in English lessons and across the curriculum. 


Our English curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils from our diverse heritage groups, preparing them as fully as possible for their next phase of education.  Our mission statement underpins all aspects of the school’s work, informs school development and shapes the school environment and our curriculum.  It is firmly based upon on our belief that, ‘with God all things are possible’.  This is encapsulated in our motto: Nurture, Inspire, Achieve.


Nurture: We care for, support and protect our children whilst they are growing and learning with us and encourage them to do the same for each other and the wider community.  We recognise that the ability to read and write is one of the most important skills that we can teach our children from the very earliest age.  This begins in our EYFS with the systematic teaching of phonics, letter formation and sentence structure.


Inspire: We inspire each child to become confident, inquiring citizens with an enthusiasm and desire to learn and explore.  We value and promote language acquisition through reading, writing and the development of oracy, so that children understand that these essential skills will enable them to be successful in English lessons and other areas of the curriculum.


Achieve: We develop each child to be capable of achieving in life, to develop academically and socially, and to succeed in school and beyond.  Through our immersive styles of teaching, all children are expected to use and apply their developing spoken and written language in English lessons and across all areas of the curriculum. This ensures that all pupils, especially the many who arrive at our school with little or no English, leave us fully able to do so.


Our curriculum is tailored to maximise pupils’ interest and curiosity for learning.  We provide a variety of first hand experiences to stimulate learning, placing a strong focus on the independent application of the essential skills and new vocabulary.  


At St Michael with St John, we are following the programmes of study for English from the National Curriculum.  Detailed schemes of work may be viewed in school on request.  For more information regarding Reading and Writing, please refer to the policies below.

Emoji Reading


Writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience and takes place in the English lesson on a daily basis.  In addition to this, we provide opportunities for children to develop their writing across the curriculum and apply the skills learned in English lessons.  There is one planned 'Writing Across the Curriculum' opportunity per subject, per half term. 


We provide additional extended writing opportunities through half-termly ‘Big Writes’.  This approach incorporates a ‘wow’ or learning experience that is designed to motivate children and encourage them to want to write.  Learning experiences are linked to our Super Learning Days/Weeks.  Examples include: author visits during Super Reading Week, First Aid/CPR training during Safety Week and special visitors e.g. a Team GB Paralympian basketball player during Active & Healthy Me Week.


The development of spoken language at SMSJ is of paramount importance, given that the vast majority of our children have English as an Additional Language.  Therefore, oracy plays a crucial role in all areas of the curriculum.  Strategies include regular end of unit presentations, drama, performance poetry, class Collective Worships, public speaking and debate.  On Tuesdays, we are very fortunate to have local actor Paul Simpson in school who works with the children on oracy.  It is wonderful to see our children's confidence being nurtured and they love to receive Mr Simpson's weekly 'Pineapple of Bravery' award!


Our school takes part in the annual debating and public speaking competitions and we were delighted to come first (for the second year running) in the public speaking competition and winners of the debating competition in 2019.  This is a great achievement for us and is testament to the hard work of our children, staff and their families.

Pineapple of Bravery Award for Oracy

Debating Competition Winners