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English at St Finian's-intent implementation impact

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Here at St Finian’s Primary School we place a very strong emphasis on the teaching of reading and writing.  Language acquisition is fundamental to enabling every child to ‘find their voice’, participate fully in their learning and be confident and active members of their class, family and communities.  As such, we provide daily opportunities for the progression of knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

We want to be a school where children develop a love of books, reading and writing through all curriculum subjects and view themselves as readers and writers. We aim to use literature to help our children formulate their own ideas and opinions and learn to express themselves confidently.  We believe that our pupils develop socially, emotionally, culturally and spiritually through their reading and writing. 


At St Finian’s we want to develop a love of reading in our children and we expose them to as many different authors and text-types as we can, whilst taking into consideration their needs and interests. Our teachers carefully choose high quality texts that will appeal to, inspire and challenge the children.  We read for pleasure daily as well as well as adopting a focused and rigorous approach to the teaching of reading skills, to develop comprehension and fluency.  

For more information about our approach to the teaching of reading, please see the separate 'Reading' tab.


We use a text-based approach to writing at St Finian’s. Children are immersed in a particular text, exploring it in depth through such activities as role-play, drama, hot-seating and discussion. They may learn whole texts or part of texts. A variety of writing opportunities linked to a chosen text are given, allowing children to become experts with the subject matter.  We think carefully about the purpose and audience for our writing, giving children the chance to practise adapting their language and tone as appropriate. We encourage children to view themselves as writers and to see writing as a process, placing a strong emphasis on editing and improving and encouraging essential growth mindset skills; reflectiveness and resilience.  There is plenty of opportunity for peer talk and collaborative work. 

For more information about our approach to the teaching of writing, please see the separate 'Writing' tab.

Spoken Language

Developing strong speaking and listening skills is fundamental to the teaching of English at St. Finian’s School. Teachers place a high emphasis on spoken language and plan for the discreet teaching of skills as well as incidental learning opportunities. We believe children need to develop strong oracy skills to enable them to internalise language patterns and understand how language changes in different situations. This enables our children to understand and manipulate language for different purposes and audiences.

Our pupils’ language learning journey begins in our reception setting. Children are continuously exposed to new language in a variety of ways for example: through conversation, story, poetry, songs and rhymes; through art and design, drama and role play and outdoor exploration; through all the areas of learning in our EYFS.  

Across the school, we aim to provide a language rich environment and take every opportunity to model the use of vocabulary appropriate to a subject or topic. We spend time every week discussing new vocabulary we have encountered.

As the children move through the school, teachers continue to provide a range of purposeful opportunities across the curriculum to use a range of spoken language within authentic contexts through role play, games, drama, discussions and debates.

For more information on how we teach Oracy across the curriculum, please see the separate 'Oracy' tab.

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