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At the Holy Cross Federation we love the fact we are small schools and as teachers we really get to know the children in our classes. Lessons are carefully planned to ensure that the curriculum expectations for each year group are covered. We follow a rolling curriculum plan to ensure coverage for each Key Stage. Please have a look at our English Long Term Plan. Studying English helps pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate effectively.

English is taught every day, with lessons being taught in a variety of ways. We focus our writing for a wide range of purposes such as to entertain, inform and persuade our readers. We also use a wide, rich and challenging range of fiction and non-fiction texts as a base for our writing lessons to capture the children’s interest and to provide a secure base to their learning.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) forms an integral part of each English lesson. Teaching the required SPaG for each genre e.g. newspapers, enables the teacher to really focus on moving the children’s learning forward, and allows the children to see how specific types of writing can be used.

At the Holy Cross Federation, all children begin the process of learning cursive handwriting from foundation Stage. This starts with developing motor skills and learning basic letter formations, before progressing to pre-cursive writing in Year 1 and developing full, joined cursive thereafter. We believe this raises standards in handwriting throughout the whole school, developing confidence, accuracy, fluency, writing stamina and presentation.

The rules of the cursive style help:

  • to minimise confusion for the child as every letter starts on the line with an entry stroke and leads out with an exit stroke.
  • with the flow of cursive writing as letters naturally flow into each other; it is impossible to write separate letters without joining.
  • to form spacing between words as the child develops whole word awareness
  • to develop a child's visual memory
  • all children's writing skills regardless of academic ability
  • to develop skills of punctuation and grammar

All children begin by writing with a pencil, although older pupils (Year 2-5) will be able to use ink pens once they have worked hard to earn the elusive pen licence!