Holy Family

Catholic Primary School

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The Intent of our English Curriculum at Holy Family


At Holy Family, English is the core of our curriculum. Across each stage of our education in school, pupils are provided with opportunities to develop and apply their spoken and written English within a balanced, inspiring and creative curriculum.


Reading is the master skill of school and we aim to foster a life-long love of reading in all our children, developing avid readers who can access and appreciate our rich literacy heritage. We aim to provide a wealth of powerful reading experiences to fuel our pupil’s imaginations and develop their knowledge of the world in which they live. We prioritise the development of reading fluency to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils who at Holy Family are able to read with confidence, enabling them to be successful in their next stage of education and beyond.


A key aim for our pupils is effective communication of ideas and emotions, both orally and in written form. Spoken language is paramount at Holy Family, forming foundations for reading and writing. By immersing our pupils in high-quality texts and language-rich environments, we aim for our children to be able to describe their world, expressing their views and opinions articulately. We want our children to use discussion and debate to communicate and further their learning across the curriculum, elaborating and explaining their thinking and ideas. We strive to enable all pupils to develop a love of writing and the confidence to explore their imagination, nurturing our pupils’ motivation to write with purpose and with pleasure.


We believe that a secure knowledge of the English language is crucial to a high quality education and will give the children of Holy Family, the tools they need to contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider environment as a member of society.

Word Aware

At Holy Family, we value the development of our children's vocabulary. All staff have completed Word Aware training, which focusses on widening children's vocabulary and enabling them to use adventurous word choices in their spoken language and written work. 

Year 1: What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside: Immerse

Children listened to the new story ‘What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside’. The class discussed any unknown vocabulary and the moral of the story. The children developed their listening skills to follow instructions to create their own ladybird. The children rehearsed and performed the story using action signifiers.

Y3-Persuasive text:Brochure

In our immerse literacy lesson, Y3 have been been developing their understanding of what a persuasive text brochure is, by viewing, comparing and analysing different writing techniques and presentation methods. The children have discovered some aspects of what makes this piece of text persuasive, exciting and informative to the target audience. The children enjoyed comparing texts and finding differences and similarities between them. They then contributed their ideas and findings to the class discussion, by using their chosen brochure, to refer back to and give examples.

Year 2: Mystery narrative

During this lesson, children were immersed in our first lesson of the mystery narrative learning journey. Children began the lesson with listening to mystery narrative music, they were also surprised to find a mystery delivery...what could be in the box? We then listened to two examples of mystery narratives. 

Will Year 2 solve the case of the 'red box' what is inside the box....only time will tell! 

Year 3-Fantasy Narrative

In today’s ‘immerse’ lesson, the children were getting better at developing their understanding of purpose, by using drama techniques to act in the role of a character from a well know fantasy narrative, experiencing a sequence of events.

Year 2: Biography, Rosa Parks

In Year 2, children worked in small groups to generate vocabulary about Rosa Parks. They focused on using a range of adjectives and adverbs to describe Rosa Parks' appearance and her actions. They then discussed the Montgomery bus boycott and generated more vocabulary to support this. 

Year 1: The Snail and the Whale

The children listened to the new story ‘Snail and the Whale’.

The children rehearsed and performed the story using action signifiers.

Year 4 - Persuasive letter

Earlier this year, Year 4 wrote a persuasive letter to David Cameron about the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest. The children were very excited to get this response. 

Year 5- Science Fiction Narrative


The children in year 5 explored the genre of science fiction narratives through the lens of the famous text- War of the Worlds.

They immersed themselves in the story by creating their own version of the alien invaders, using this stimulus to then write their own narratives.

In Year 4, the children have written their own Ancient Maya recipes. They have recreated traditional recipes for chilli hot chocolate and corn tortillas!

In Year 4, the children have cooked corn tortillas and made spicy hot chocolate to inspire their instructional writing for an Ancient Maya recipe.

Writing basic Sentences

Using their phonics skills, Reception children wrote a poster, a ticket and captioned some of the things that they did during Dan the Circus Man visit. 

Y2: Recount, Immerse

The children in Year 2 enjoyed our immerse lesson for our new writing genre 'recount'. We discussed the purpose of a recount and shared some examples in the reading room. We then discussed the features and worked in small groups to identify them and then recount our day so far, noting the importance of recounts being in chronological order. 

Year 1: Tower Bridge Cat: Narrative

Children listened to the new story ‘The Tower Bridge Cat’. The children developed their spoken language and group work skills to build their own version of the Tower Bridge. Children had to discuss and negotiate with their group, giving reasons to explain their ideas.

Year 1: Letter Writing Journey

Year 1 enjoyed writing letters to Aunt Lucy from Paddington.

During the Spring term, in Literacy, Year 6 wrote a diary entry from the trenches of World War 1 and Rondeau poetry linked to the famous war poem; Flanders Fields

Year 6 - Diary entry and Rondeau poetry

Year 1: Non-chronological report

The children explored and researched all about rhinos. They read fact files, watched videos and listened to stories. They created a spider diagram to collect all their information.

Y3-Diary Entry

In year 3 we have completed our journey on Diary entries. The children have learnt new skills and practiced new ones such as writing in first person and past tense, chronological order, ambitious vocabulary and suffix spelling rules. These were then demonstrated in a final piece of writing of their own diary entry.

Y3-Diary Entry

In year 3 the children have completed their immerse lesson, where they have enjoyed reading diary entries and matching them to a diarist, by highlighting clues in the text.

Year 6 wrote a flashback narrative based on the clip, The Piano. 

Year 6 learnt about Journalistic writing and wrote their own newspaper report on the outbreak of World War 1

Y3-Poetry Riddles

In Year 3, the children have been writing a poem. The children have enjoyed learning new skills and being imaginative with their poems about the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt.


In Year 3, the children have written a list of instructions on how to find an ancient Pharaoh. They have included their learnt and practiced skills such as similes, expanded noun phrases, use of chronological order, fronted adverbials, and subordinating conjunctions.

FS2 sequencing, drawing and writing captions for The Ginger Bread Man.

Reception were curious as to why the table was covered in paper! They got really excited when they were asked to work together to sequence the Ginger Bread Man story in pictures. They had so much fun they asked to label the pictures they had drawn. They used newly introduced vocabulary and joined in with repeated refrains.

Word Aware

At Holy Family, the children have generated huge amounts of their favourite words. They have gathered these words from books, cross curricula lessons, thesauruses and words they use in spoken language. The children will continue to add words to our vocabulary tree and they will be challenged to use them verbally and in their writing. 


During this lesson, the children in year 2 enjoyed a game of roll and read! They rolled the dice and then formed sentences using the present tense. 

They then moved on to generating sentences themselves using the present tense. 

Year 1: Poetry

In teams the children looked at the poem ‘The Caterpillar’ by Christina Rossetti. They read and discussed the poem. They looked at the words used and the shape of the writing. After the poem was read aloud by an adult, the children noticed and discuss the sounds of the words. We discussed rhyming words and how they have the same sound at the end.

Y3-Riddle poetry

In Y3s Immerse lesson, they have been discovering riddle poetry. Y3 have enjoyed trying to solve the riddle poems to discover the correct answer. Before the answers were revealed, Y3 contributed their thoughts and reasoning through class discussion, for each answer they had given.

Year 1: Poetry: Immerse

As a class, we read the story ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’. We discussed what we liked and disliked. We thought about our favourite words and phrases. In groups, the children decided about what actions and sounds we could add to the story. We rehearsed the story and then performed it.

Year 4- Persuasive presentations

Year 4 have created persuasive presentations using PowerPoint. The children had to use persuasive vocabulary in their presentations so that the audience would be swayed towards their point of view.

Year 2- Instructional text

In Year 2, children enjoyed our immerse lessons. They had to follow instructions in different sequences given by the 'instruction master'. They also had to hunt for instructions to find the hidden location...which was our reading room. 

They then explored different books and instructions, focusing on a range of genres and information texts. 


In Y3 we have completed our first Immerse lesson. In today’s lesson we have been following instructions to find our destination. Each group had a different set of instructions to follow. Some were written with better techniques than others. After the groups had reached their destination, Y3 came together to discuss which line of instruction they found easiest or hardest to follow and why. Then Y3 discussed what they could change in their instructions, to make them easier and more suitable to follow.

Year 6 - Adventure Narrative

Year 6 immersed themselves into adventure narratives by watching clips from adventure films, analysed an adventure narrative for key features, practised the skills of organising paragraphs and a range of cohesive devices and then, planned and wrote their own adventure narrative

Year 6 - Instructions

Year 6 immersed themselves by following a set of instructions around school, analysed instructional texts, practised including imperative verbs and adverbials of time and then planned and wrote a set of instructions useful for an adventurer. 

Y3-Mystery Narrative Learning journey

The children enjoyed creating a mystery narrative based on our class novel ‘The 1000 year old boy’. Here is our journey along with some of the children’s learning.

Y3-Immerse-Mystery Narrative

In todays immerse lesson, children have been analysing some news headline hooks, and watching some clips to think about what techniques are used to cause suspense and tension for the reader. The children have analysed the choice of headline, music used, choice of wording, and the emotions they felt whilst watching. 

Y3-Non-Chronological report

This is Y3’s completed learning journey. The children have enjoyed completing their journey with a News paper report, linked to our current topic (UK Land and Settlement). The children have enjoyed immersing their knowledge and learning new skills needed to create their final piece, such as sub-headings, past  tense, formal language, speech, and homophones. Hear is a few pieces of work from our learning journey.

Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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Year 4- Writing and performing Anti-Bullying poetry

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During Anti-Bullying week, Year 4 wrote their own creative poems about friendship. The children then performed their poetry to others Please take a listen to the children's amazing poems!

Y4 - Anti Bullying poetry

In Nursery we use our listening skills in Phonics. We enjoyed our listening walk and heard a fire engine, birds singing, a lorry and children talking. We watched some drumming and then had a go at drumming fast, slow, loud and quiet on different things to hear how the sound changed. Developing our fine motor skills is very important for when we start to learn how to write so we practise by using lots of different equipment to build the strength in our arms and fingers. We enjoy sharing books, telling stories and acting things out to develop our communication and language skills.

Year 4- Explanation presentation

In Year 4, the children have created explanation presentations using powerpoint. They have then presented these to the class. 

Y3-Non-Chronological report. Immerse lesson

Y3s lesson focus was to get better at developing understanding of a News report. Y3 enjoyed sorting the texts into Non-Chronological, News paper articles, and Fictional texts. Y3 excelled at using clues provided to find the correct matching News paper report, which were displayed around the classroom. They took careful consideration in finding specific clues, such as titles, subheadings or comments in the articles.

Year 4- Diary entry learning journey

Year 4 have immersed themselves in the topic of Rome. They have analysed the features of diary entries so they understand the genre and it's purpose. The children have learned key skills and then applied this to write their own Roman diary entries. 

Year 4- Roman soldier drama!

The children acted in the role of a Roman solider and took it in turns to interview the 'soldiers'. We used this first account of a battle for our Roman diary entries. 

Y3-English journey

In Literacy, Y3 have enjoyed creating a character description of Iron Man, and a Sci-Fi narrative.

Y3 have developed skills such as prefix/suffix, paragraphs, conjunctions, adjectives, and exciting punctuation such as commas in a list.

Year 6 - Non-chronological reports

In Literacy, Year 6's second journey built up to writing a non-chronological report about the Greek Gods. We also produced a creative write which focused on a setting description of Pandora - the setting of the film Avatar!

Year 5- Conversion Poems

Year 5 explored poetry by reading a variety of conversation poems and performing them to the class.

Year 1 - Lists

Our second unit of writing in year 1 is ‘Autumn is Here’. We have been looking for signs of Autumn and we also learnt about different Autumnal festivals.

In year 1, our first unit of writing was based on the story ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’. We had so much fun creating Gerald, experimenting with different types of dancing, and creating story maps. Here are few pictures of our learning.

Y3- Iron Man setting description

Y3-In our Immerse sessions, children have been using the scene of Iron Mans scrap yard, along with real footage of a scrap yard to generate new vocabulary, for a Sci-Fi narrative.

Y3- Iron Man drama!

Y3- In literacy children have been acting out, and narrating key scenes from the Iron Man, to immerse their skills and develop their vocabulary for a Sci-Fi narrative.

Y3- learning wall

In literacy, the children have developed a learning journey by immersing their skills through hot seating and exploring their senses to create fantastic adjectives for a character description. By organising themed paragraphs, using commas in a list, including similes and metaphors, the children have produced a final wanted poster of the Iron Man. 

Year 2- Stories from the same author

Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed their first literacy learning journey. They immersed themselves in two stories written by the talented Babette Cole, 'King Change- a - lot' and 'Prince Cinders'. We explored the authors literary devices, developed knowledge of new skills, retold the story and used 'Talk for writing'. Well done Year 2, showcasing fantastic storyteller skills, budding authors! 

Year 6- Character description

Year 6 children enjoyed writing their first journey in Literacy - a myths and legends character description based on the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades!

Writing our own historical narrative...


What better way to begin writing a historical narrative, then acting out our very own battle scene. 

Inspired by the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons, the children in year 5 took part in their own battle acting out the journey to Britain and a fierce battle with the Britons themselves.

Year 2 Stories by the same author. 

The children in Year 2 have really enjoyed our first literacy learning journey, exploring stories by the same author. We have been reading 'Prince Cinders' and 'King Change - a - lot' by Babette Cole. During one of our immerse lessons we retold some of our favourite fairy tales and used some well known fairy tale objects! 

Take a look at some examples of final pieces from Year 6 that our external moderators were really impressed by...

Year 4 have written their own Ancient Maya recipes! They started the learning journey by playing barrier games where one partner had to give clear, precise instructions to the other partner to create a given model. Before writing their instructions, the children all made chilli hot chocolate and corn tortillas. Some children enjoyed the Ancient Maya diet... but not everyone! 


Year 4 - Ancient Maya recipes learning journey

Year 1 have explored the skills of writing a non-chronological report this half-term. We have explored famous landmarks in London by looking at a virtual tour online, we researched facts about those landmarks and famous tourist destinations. We then combined all the research together to create a non-chronological report about the famous landmarks in London. 

Year 1- Paddington

Year 1 have been learning all about letters this half-term in literacy, focusing on the adventures of Paddington Bear in London. We have analysed the features of a letter and role-played the character Paddington, to support our becoming of the character, when writing a letter from Paddington to his Aunt Lucy in Peru. 

Year Two Literacy Learning Journey

Our Literacy Learning Journey...Poetry.

Immerse- listen to a range of poems. Discuss and share our thoughts and feelings about the poems. Listen to others performing poetry and discuss what is needed when reading aloud. As a class we then shared poems together, making sure we gave reasons for why we chose that particular poem, we then read the aloud ensuring we used fluency and expression. Perfect Poetry! We will now move on to the skills section- exploring the skills needed to write a poem and then create our own poems, Miss Dyson cannot wait to hear your poems Year Two!  

Year 6 - War narrative

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FS2 Literacy - What the Ladybird Heard

Reception children have written instructions using recognisable letters and spelling words correctly.

They drew a map using their knowledge of the story, 'What the Ladybird Heard.'

Year 6 - Flashback narrative

Year 6 - Newspaper article

Year 6 - Persuasive Letter

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Year 5 Shakespeare Event

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The children in Year 5 took part in a national event where schools across the country were visited by dance teachers that taught them interpretive dances to the theme of Macbeth. They really enjoyed the opportunity to express themselves creatively and learnt more about the famous play which they could take into their creative writing later in the day.

Interviewing a Roman soldier!

In English, Year Four have interviewed a Roman solider so that they can fully understand what life must've been like while battling on the front line!

Year 5- Myths and Legends

The children in Year 5 were excited to learn all about myths and legends in their recent literacy journey and enjoyed writing their very own.

Year 1 have explored the story 'Were Going on a Bear Hunt', we took ourselves on a Bear Hunt adventure around the school playground whilst reading and following the story. We have explored poetry features and skills such as rhyme and repetition and have analysed this throughout the book. We then used those skills to write our own poems about taking a walk to the park, focusing on our five senses, taste, smell, touch, hear and see. 

Year 1- Instructions 'Rosie Revere Engineer

Year 1 have learnt all about 'instructions', how to follow them and how to create their own set of instructions. We have explored and used imperative verbs (bossy verbs) and time conjunctions to help write our own set of instructions on how to build a rocket and an aeroplane, linking to our Travel and Transport topic!

Letters from Paddington in Year One

Year 4 - Historical Narrative

In Year 4, the children have been busy learning new skills to use in their historical narrative. The children have learnt about inverted commas, fronted adverbials and how to develop an idea so that their writing is coherent. The children started to plan their historical narrative, which they will start to write next week. 

Year 2 - diary entry

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In English, we have written a diary entry in first person, as Dougal. We followed the learning journey to finish with a final piece. 

Reception children are Authors! Not only did they write their very own book, 'When the Dragons came' but they were the characters too!

In Nursery we love practising our writing. Here you can see us exploring our mark making in lots of different ways, with sand, pens, chalk and on the whiteboard too.

Year 6 - newspaper reports linking to WWI

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Year 3 - Immerse

What an amazing achievement to receive the Writing Trophy in Reception.

Year Two News Round Report about Planet Earth

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Year 2 have created an information text about our topic Planet Earth. We started by learning interesting facts about each continent and then we watched videos of news round clips to practice reading the news. Before we wrote our information text, we explored different sentence openers, subordinating and coordinating conjunctions and we developed our ideas to make our writing exciting and interesting to read. Finally we combined all our knowledge and facts about each continent to create our own information text about Planet Earth. We have made a news round report to show all we have learnt on our literacy journey so far.

Writing opportunities are everywhere in Reception!

Well done to the Writing Trophy winner - Year 6 pupil - Megan! For outstanding effort and producing some fantastic pieces of work!

Year 6's Balanced Argument

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The video below shows a sample of Year 6 writing from Autumn 1 - this includes writing towards a flashback narrative and a recount of our trip to Eden Camp!

Year 6 writing from Autumn 1

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Year 6 Quest Stories

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Year 6 used their class reading of the quest story 'Barrowquest' to inspire their own writing. They became amazing authors of their own chapter stories using incredible vocabulary to bring their stories alive! With confidence, all children used their computing skills to produce their own book covers for their very own quest novel. Happy reading!