top of page

English Curriculum 


At RCPA we strive to ensure we develop a lifelong love of reading and writing.  We have placed reading at the heart of our curriculum so that pupils gain a positive attitude and the skills and knowledge to fully access all areas of the curriculum and achieve their potential throughout life. We believe reading opens up a new world for pupils and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures and the changing world around them. It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination. Exposing pupils to print through stories, rhymes and books will help to inspire and instil a love of reading.


Writing is a crucial part of our broad and balanced curriculum.  We intend for pupils to be able to be inquisitive and to plan, revise, present and evaluate their writing in different genres and for different purposes and audiences. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective composition and creativity whilst developing an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.


We aspire for all pupils to learn to read well using phonics as the prime approach.  Phonics are the roots for reading that help our pupils grow to become confident readers with reading for pleasure at the very heart of our reading curriculum. At RCPA, the teaching of phonics is high priority as we believe that all pupils should progress through the phonics phases with fluency and confidence. A strong phonics basis enables us to ensure all pupils flourish as readers and use these essential tools to access the whole curriculum, to engage and make sense of knowledge and to explore, question and respond to the world.


When handwriting, we aim for each pupil to achieve a neat, legible style with correctly formed letters in accordance with the cursive font.  Flow and speed will be developed to eventually produce the letters automatically and in their independent writing style. It is our goal at RCPA to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will enable all pupils to communicate effectively and to achieve or succeed their potential. We aim for each pupil to speak, read and write fluently so that they have the confidence to communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively, and become a positive citizen in their community and wider world.


 In Nursery we make a strong start to the teaching of Phonics. Initially there will be lots of opportunities to develop stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs alongside planned talk sessions. Seeing people around them enjoying reading, being immersed in print- rich environments and being given plenty of early reading experiences will inspire children to want to read, open a book and explore it for their interest, enjoyment and pleasure.  Phonics will be introduced in the Summer term in Nursery. Throughout the school phonics is taught daily. We use the Read Write Inc. programme to learn phonemes, digraphs & trigraphs in an effective multi-sensory approach. We practice oral blending then blending graphemes into words. As pupils become confident at blending sounds, they are taught the skill of blending sounds mentally and at speed by the use of the RWI system of ‘Fred in your head’. Pupils will be exposed to ‘alien’ words throughout Reception and Year One.


We have purposely chosen to put reading at the heart of our curriculum because we recognise the impact in the exposure of language and new vocabulary.  We believe it is never too early to begin to encourage a love of reading. Pupils use decodable reading books which are organized in a given sequence so letter-sound knowledge is learnt cumulatively. This consistent and rigorous approach will provide our pupils with the foundations to become enthused readers and writers with a passion and confidence for storytelling, literature and vocabulary.

The strong foundations of phonics will underpin spelling after Key Stage One. Spelling is taught regularly from Year Two onwards using the RWI Spelling scheme using a statutory word list. This progressive scheme builds on from the phonics teaching to enable pupils to learn spelling rules and to understand relationships between meaning and spelling where these are relevant. During these spelling lessons different strategies are taught to aid pupils in remembering spellings including proof-reading, using mnemonics, looking for patterns, segmentation, Look, Cover, Say, Write, ‘have a go’ sheets, using a dictionary etc. Teachers regularly assess pupils’ knowledge of spelling rules and common exception words and provide a range of words to learn and practise at home.

Using the Talk for Writing approach, we will follow a three week unit which consists of imitating a text, innovating it then inventing our own. This approach supports the pupils’ development of oral and written language skills as well as learning how different texts are composed. We believe these rich learning experiences will enable pupils to gain the skills needed to become independent learner. Encouraging pupils to take risks and  make mistakes will support a positive learning attitude to be successful in their future learning. Evidence suggests that this approach of shared writing embeds effective learning from enthusiastic and enjoyable lessons which over time raises standards in English. With an increased confidence in pupils’ thinking, effective communication including writing, will enable our pupils to be reflective and prepared for future learning and employment.


Through engaging pupils in high quality teaching and learning, RCPA enables each pupil to have achieve high standards of learning and be secondary-ready. Our pupils will be confident in the art of effective communication and to be able to use discussion or presentation techniques to research, collaborate,  make informed choices and be a critical thinker. They will be able to read fluently both for pleasure and to further their learning and enjoy writing across a range of genres.

Pupils will find joy in stories, rhymes and poems and develop a love of language and will become independent and fluent readers. This will enable them to access learning across all the areas of the curriculum as well as achieving well in the Year One Phonics Screening Check and Standardised tests in Year Two and Year Six.

In writing, pupils will have the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to write interesting and informative texts for different audiences and purposes. They will read, write and spell confidently with a good understanding of morphology (meaning of units of a word) and etymology (origin of the word).  Our pupils will be prepared for future learning and employment, confidently mastering the skills of effective communication. They will be equipped to succeed in the next stages of their education having had strong foundations from a rich and varied curriculum.

bottom of page