At St Matthew's we believe that English is at the heart of everything we do. The children live in a world in which communication, reading and writing are all essential parts of everyday life, this is why the staff at St Matthew's are committed to helping all of the children reach their full potential.

On this page, you will find relevant information about the English Curriculum at St Matthew's.
English Lessons

English is taught daily in every class at St Matthew's. We are developing the Talk for Writing approach to planning and teaching. This involves the children orally retelling a text through the use of pictures and actions. Then the children analyse the texts to explore the different features and use of language/punctuation. The children then innovate the text they have learnt to make it their own. In the final week, the children produce their own pieces of writing which include planning, drafting, editing and publishing.

During lessons, children are encouraged to develop their reading and writing skills.
There is a strong emphasis on phonics in EYFS and KS1 to develop children's early writing ability. From the end of Year 2 upwards the children will begin to learn spelling patterns and rules. Children learn weekly spellings which are based on phonic sounds or spelling rules that they have been taught. Writing across a range of genres is effectively modelled by class teachers then practised by the children. The children learn how to develop the whole writing process from planning to publishing.
At St Matthew's we promote lots of cross-curricular writing opportunities to allow children to apply their writing skills across a variety of subjects.
We use Talk 4 Writing across the school to help develop children's writing skills. Talk 4 Writing allows children to orally retell a number of different texts using pictures and actions. the children then innovate story maps to create their own versions of the texts. Talk 4 Writing has proved to be very popular with the children and the writing they produce is a credit to them.
Reading is taught in a variety of ways at St Matthew's. This includes; daily guided reading sessions, 1:1 reading with an adult in school, shared reading for pleasure as a class, comprehension lessons and phonics.
Children are encouraged to read for pleasure throughout the school day and at home. We promote reading and vocabulary opportunities through all curriculum subjects.
We teach whole class Reciprocal Reading lessons at St Matthew's. Reciprocal Reading is a method of guided reading where children explore a range of reading skills with each other under the guidance of the class teacher. Reciprocal reading emphasises teamwork and supports independent comprehension skills. Children are encouraged to build on the skills of summarising, predicting, clarifying and questioning. Have a look at the links below that explain Reciprocal Reading in more detail.
Reading Scheme
St Matthew's core scheme for reading is Oxford Reading Tree. This is a highly structured reading scheme that introduces new words in a controlled way. All children are provided with a reading book and home reading record. We have a wide range of new reading books including an EYFS scheme that includes fully decodable home reading books. As part of your child's homework, they are expected to read every night. We ask that when you listen to your child read, you record it in their reading record. This along with their reading book should be returned to school each day so children can continue to read in school with teachers and teaching assistants. We would like to emphasise that teaching a child to read is a partnership between home and school.

We are passionate about developing our speaking and listening skills and embedding them throughout our curriculum. Our children are encouraged to develop their oracy talents in every lesson and activities are planned in all subjects to ensure pupils verbalise their learning.

Children use activities such as hot-seating, debating and role-play to develop their understanding. They are encouraged to use drama wherever possible to consolidate key vocabulary and develop their sense of self-confidence.

As children progress through St Matthew’s, they will be challenged to speak confidently and coherently about their learning to advance their understanding.
Oxford Owl
To help support all of our children during Covid-19 we have purchased a subscription to Oxford Owl online reading books. This is the same scheme that the school uses for home reading books. Each class will be given their own login details so that the children can access reading books online at home.
Please ensure your child reads books from the level they are currently on (the level can be found on the back of your child's current book or you can ask your child's teacher what level they are on). There are a variety of books available across different genres and topics. We also have access to decodable phonic books to help the children with their phonics and reading.
Please see the link and the guide below showing how to access and use the Oxford Owl website.
Happy reading everyone!
Home Reading Books

Due to the recent government guidelines, we have had to make some changes to how we run our home reading scheme. Previously, children would receive a home reading book, take it home to read and they would be able to return the book any day of the week to swap for a new one.

However, books will now remain quarantined for 48 hours after they are returned to school. Therefore the new system will be as follows:

  • Children in all year groups will be given 1 or 2 reading books on a Monday to take home with their normal home reading record. These books will be appropriate for your child’s age and reading ability.
  • Your child will keep these books at home all week and they should only be returned to school on Friday morning.
  • The books will be placed in a sealed plastic box in class and will remain in quarantine for 48 hours over the weekend.
  • Your child will receive new books every Monday morning.
  • Over the weekend, children will be given the option to choose a book from our class libraries to take home to encourage reading for pleasure. Children can read these books at leisure and once returned to school they will also be placed in quarantine. Children may keep these books for longer than a week, but please try to return on Fridays so that we can adhere to the quarantine rules.
Thank you for your understanding.
Recovery Curriculum

The children at St Matthew’s will be reading some really exciting books as part of their new Literacy topics.

Children from Years 1-6 will be completing Reading, Writing, SPaG and Speaking and Listening activities based on the books and there will even be some exciting PSHE lessons.

Teachers are incorporating any objectives children missed during the school closure into their planning to ensure children receive a comprehensive and broad Literacy Curriculum.

Years 1 and 2 will be reading and studying: ‘Ruby’s Worry’ by Tom Percival and ‘No Matter What’ by Debi Gliori.

Years 3 and 4 will be reading and studying: ‘Rain Before Rainbows’ by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield.

Year 5 and 6 will be reading and studying: ‘After the Fall’ by Dan Santat.
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6