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What are we trying to achieve through our curriculum…

It is our intent at Ryhope Junior School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively and confidently.  The English curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences, allow children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers.

Our school is determined that every pupil will learn to read age-appropriate texts regardless of background.  Our curriculum ensures the teaching of reading is comprehensive, vibrant and develops skills for life and promotes reading a wide range of reading genres for pleasure. We strive to develop reading stamina: develop the child's ability to focus and read independently for increasingly longer periods of time.

At our school we recognise that words empower children to make sense of the world around them:  vocabulary helps them to put their emotions into words, socialise with people, imagine and wonder.  Therefore, our curriculum exposes our pupils to a wide range of vocabulary which is progressive throughout the key stage.

We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the key stage. Our carefully sequenced, broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by inclusive practice, aims to provide our children with the opportunity to build on their experiences in order to achieve their goals. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education across the curriculum.



How our curriculum is delivered…

Our English curriculum is implemented through the use of rich texts and engaging pupils with a cross-curricular approach. Texts are chosen to link with the topics pupils are learning about and these are used as a springboard to inspire pupils to read and write. We believe that choosing the right context and starting point to engage our children in their learning is vital in fostering a love for reading and writing.

Our English curriculum aims to provide many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We want all of our pupils to be proficient readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer their English skills to other curriculum subjects and who are prepared for the next steps in their education. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary, teaching them how to write within specific genres and which structural and language features to include to be successful.  High-quality model texts are used to start this process to enable pupils to use other similar writing as models for their own.  Lessons also focus on teaching specific spelling, grammar and punctuation skills to enable our pupils to apply the skills they have been taught to their extended writing and writing across the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Teachers use a wide variety of resources as appropriate to their classes, but also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.


All children from Year 3 to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. Through shared and guided writing opportunities, we equip children to develop the skills of writing clearly and legibly.  When the child is confident with these basic skills, they work towards being able to write with a greater sense of purpose and learn to organise their writing according to this purpose.  Children are equipped with the necessary tools to do this, being given daily opportunities to focus on spelling and grammatical structures.

We develop our pupils’ writing skills so that they have the stamina and ability to write at length, applying the skills set out in the English National Curriculum. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, ICT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose, and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience.

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation:

We use the National Curriculum 2014 as a basis for teaching spelling, punctuation and grammar by introducing patterns or conventions and continually practising those already introduced. Our main learning platform is Bug Club which enables children to practise and consolidate their learning through both written work and using computers and iPads to complete their assigned tasks.

Pupils are taught key rules and strategies with opportunities to analyse how other writers have applied these skills to model texts and extracts in order for our pupils to apply these skills independently and effectively to their own writing. Pupils are taught to recognise which strategies they can use to improve their own spelling. They are encouraged to apply learnt strategies to their independent writing.

Children are taught spelling through discrete sessions each week. The teaching and learning of grammar and punctuation is embedded within the English teaching sequence.  This means, grammar and punctuation skills and knowledge are built into a sequence of preparatory work which is then applied within longer pieces of writing during the teaching sequence. As they become more confident, children are encouraged to check spellings using a dictionary and to expand their vocabulary using a thesaurus.

Teachers and teaching assistants show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They will also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.


Cursive handwriting is taught through the use of Letter-join handwriting scheme with a sequential and progressive approach with teachers and teaching assistants modelling the handwriting style. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation. Handwriting sessions are taught discretely in Year 3 and 4, and regularly incorporated into the English lessons in upper KS2 classes.  Where pupils are off-track, extra handwriting practice opportunities will be given. Resources such as handwriting slopes and pencil grips are provided when needed. We strive for our children to correctly form their letters, joining with a cursive style with pupils having good handwriting habits so that they can write fluently and legibly by the end of KS2.


The difference our curriculum is making…

Children leave Ryhope Junior School as happy, confident learners who have developed a love of reading and writing with the key skills and knowledge necessary for the next stage of their learning.  They have high aspirations and are becoming confident in the art of speaking and listening, able to successfully use discussion to communicate and further their learning.  

  • Pupils enjoy reading and writing across a range of genres.
  • Pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment.
  • Pupils discuss books with excitement and interest.
  • Pupils enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles.
  • Pupils can confidently write for different purposes and audiences.
  • Pupils have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing.
  • Pupils have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience.
  • Pupils leave our school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support pupils’ reading development at home.
  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading, spelling, grammar and composition at home.
  • Pupils are able to speak confidently and clearly to a range of audiences.
  • Pupils have the ability to communicate effectively.
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged).

Writing at Ryhope Junior School

Year 3 Writing

Year 4 Writing

Year 5 Writing

Year 6 Writing