At Bolton St Catherine's Academy, we recognise that English is both a subject in its own right and is the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum.

Spoken Language

We help pupils' develop their spoken language teaching them to speak clearly, giving them the confidence to convey their ideas using Standard English.

They will be taught to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication.

We teach the pupils' the skills they need to enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.

Vocabulary Development

We understand that a pupils' acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We actively develop vocabulary, building systematically upon pupils' current knowledge. The pupils are taught to make links between known and new vocabulary, and we discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. This ensures that pupils expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. It is essential for pupils' comprehension that they understand the meanings of words that they meet in their reading across all subjects. Older pupils are also taught the meaning of instruction verbs so that they are prepared for any that they might meet in examination questions. In addition the pupils are taught subject specific vocabulary, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.


We develop pupils' reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. We teach the pupils to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) as well as encouraging them to read for pleasure.

We teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. We use a variety of reading schemes to support the teaching of phonics and reading. In our EYFS and KS1 we use Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, and Floppy's Phonics. In KS2 this continues and progresses onto Accelerated Reader programme.

All our pupils work through a variety of reading schemes encompassing a range of genres such as fiction, non-fiction and plays that are book banded according to different levels. Parents are informed of their child's reading level via their Reading Record in the school planner. Our approach to teaching reading is wide ranging and includes regular group reading sessions, individual reading and library sessions.

We have a library offering a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, for a wide range of reading abilities. We have high expectations with regards to reading at home – we expect all pupils to read at home every day. Pupils will bring home a their planner for you to sign every day.


Pupils develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar. We build on what the pupils have already learnt to expand their range of writing and the variety of grammar they use. The writing the pupils experience include: narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations. Such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.

Each year group has a long term overview which includes a range of writing genres - for example, instructions, stories, explanation texts. They have a set of texts which run alongside the teaching of English which link with the topic they are learning. For example, in year 2 our texts link in with pirates. The children have an English book and an Author book and they usually complete one piece of extended writing each week.

At Bolton St Catherine's Academy, we use both Letters and Sounds phonics and Red Write inc.  to help with the teaching of spelling. In Early Years and Key stage One, phonics is broken down into phases and the children work through these phases and learn the different sounds in words- e.g. igh, ee, ai.