Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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...a haven of hope and aspiration...


Reading and Writing Lead: Mrs Hawks


At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we believe that a quality Literacy curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. Our school views the acquirement of English skills to be a vital, fundamental tool which will support life skills necessary for next steps in every child’s education. Consequently, the teaching of all aspects of English are given a high priority. Our aim is to immerse our children in the wonders of quality texts, to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination. Consequently, we are building a creative, stimulating and cross-curricular programme for teaching English that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening.   


Our Literacy curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate


We aspire to embed these aims across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Rigorous monitoring and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in literacy.


British Values
The Archbishop Courtenay Literacy curriculum aims to prepare children for life in British Society; this includes developing effective reading and writing skills, collaboration and discussion to research ideas and concepts. We demonstrate the value of Democracy by ensuring pupils are listened to in school e.g. through pupil conferencing and surveys.  In English lessons we help pupils to express their views and give them opportunities to present their work and opinions. We promote the value of Individual Liberty through high quality texts that supports pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence and to challenge stereotypes and implement a strong anti-bullying culture. Access to a range of stories help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Teachers select core texts that challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour and develop critical personal thinking skills though Reading and/or Writing lessons. We aspire through modelled speaking, listening, reading and writing to support pupils to distinguish right from wrong, to help pupils to respect the law and the basis on which it is made to develop their understanding that living under the Rule of Law protects individuals.  Stories allow for discussions in the safe, nurturing environment of the classroom, about differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations. This approach supports our aim to ensure at all times the value of Respect and Tolerance is upheld in the teaching and learning of English at Archbishop Courtenay.


Spiritual Capacities

Be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer:

  • Children are given opportunities through reading and writing to reflect on their learning and to consider their own point of view, ideas and creativity during a lesson.

 Be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves and to forgive others

  • Narratives are used to develop children's understanding of forgiveness and empathy by analysing characters' responses to dilemmas through discussion.

 Be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success

  • Activities are designed to challenge and develop children's resilience in learning to read and write. Lessons develop their skills in editing and improving their own work and in celebrating their achievements along the way.

 Demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life's big questions

  • Stories are chosen to scaffold and develop children's understanding of global issues by linking their knowledge of the world around them to new, unknown experiences by reading and exploring texts through discussion and reflecting on these.

 Appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life like friends and family

  • Texts are chosen to challenge children to think about life from a personal and a global perspective, giving them opportunities to consider things beyond their own experiences and to celebrate the good things found in this world.


As a school we use the Literacy Tree, CLPE and Literacy Shed literacy schemes to support the planning of Reading, Writing and SPaG lessons from EYFS to Year 6.  These schemes use quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches to support the development of a high-quality literacy curriculum at Archbishop Courtenay and foster a whole school love of reading and writing. All planning aspires to immerse children in a literary world, creating strong levels of engagement to provide meaningful and authentic contexts for learning.  Children become critical readers and acquire an authorial style as they encounter a wide-range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The Letterjoin Handwriting scheme is used across the school to ensure consistency. We place a high level of importance on pupil’s taking pride in the presentation of their learning so the best version of themselves is reflected in their written work.


Children are monitored on a regular basis to check progress and all pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning using the success criteria and/or the Reading and Writing checklists. Teachers assess and monitor progress through their teaching and questioning to enable them to adjust accordingly planning to meet the children’s individual learning needs. In each Term the children will undertake a minimum of three extended writing sessions. An important part of the extended writing process is sharing the assessment with the children through marking and verbal feedback to enable them to develop their editing for improvement skills. Assessment for Learning is embedded in literacy lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work. Teachers timetable summative assessments in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar termly, in line with the PIXL Assessment calendar.


Collective Evidence 
At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunities to share their pupil voice. We do this in a number of ways. The curriculum allows opportunities for pupils to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding when using their pupil voice. The subject leader notes pupil’s opinions about the teaching of English and the content covered, through interviewing pupils during lesson observations, pupil conferencing or subject surveys. 


Enrichment Opportunities 

  • Whole school Bedtime Stories event
  • BBC Radio 2’s 500 words competition for Years 3– 6
  • World Book Day March 2022- a week of workshops inspired by high quality texts linked to a theme.
  • Spelling Bee inter-house competition
  • Regular FUDGE (Fathers, Uncles, Dad, Grandads, Everyone) reading sessions 
  • Adopt-A-Book events
  • Class visits to the Maidstone Library
  • Author visits and Virtual story telling events
  • Library lunch time clubs run by school librarians
  • Termly ABC Reading Review Newsletter



  • To increase the percentage of all groups of children, to make expected or greater progress in Reading, Writing and GPS

  • To promote a love of reading throughout the school, enhancing programmes and processes to raise standards across all areas of the curriculum

  • To develop pupils’ transcription skills in order to enhance presentation and sentence structure


The organisation of our English curriculum seeks to nurture and inspire a community of enthusiastic, resilient readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our end goal is to ensure that outcomes of work in books across the curriculum, evidence high quality learning and show the consistent impact of varied, engaging, cross curricular writing opportunities which enable children to write across a range of forms, adapting their writing successfully and considering its purpose.


Our Pedagogy