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Curriculum Design

at St Elisabeth’s CE Primary School

Intent – why we teach what we teach

St Elisabeth’s CE Primary School is in the top 25% of deprived areas in England. Children enter St Elisabeth’s CE Primary School with low starting points, especially in literacy. With early identification of children who are falling behind, teachers eliminate these barriers to writing by immersing the children in a rich and varied literary environment. With this in mind, our writing curriculum has been designed to help tackle the effects of deprivation, whilst equipping all children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

Implementation – how we teach what we teach

At St Elisabeth’s CE Primary School, we teach the expectations from the National Curriculum in writing. Firstly, children are immersed in the different text types, becoming aware of the different features at word, sentence and text level. Grammar and spelling expectations are interwoven into English lessons as well as being taught discretely. We use strategies that include; modelled writing, shared writing, guided writing and writing partners to support children in their writing. We use the Literacy Counts scheme ( following the First steps process) to teach fiction writing and follow the First Steps programme for non-fiction writing.

Secondly, we give a hook and purpose for their writing that engages them in their independent writing. Before the children write, they analyse a text type thoroughly and proceed to write independently including all the features they have learnt. After the children have completed their writing, we also use a range of assessment for learning strategies to enable children to edit and improve their work. We use peer marking from Year 1 upwards; this is where children mark each other’s writing using the clear objectives in the success criteria.

Impact – how we measure what we teach

Our children will be equipped with the linguistic knowledge to read, write and speak fluently. They will have been exposed to a wide variety of texts and genres and so will be able to express their opinion of the wider world. They will feel more confident to speak out, express their opinion, explore the world of literature and use their command of the English language to be involved in all areas of the curriculum and in the world beyond the classroom.

Spoken Language

The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.

The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of texts and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write.


We ensure children are exposed to a breadth of different genres in their reading that gives the children knowledge of how different texts work. Children apply this knowledge into their writing, to produce a range of writing, across a variety of genres, including narrative; (e.g. extended stories, stories by the same author, myths and legends, adventure stories and traditional stories), non-fiction (e.g. persuasive texts, non-chronological reports, information texts, recounts, reports and letters) and poetry (e.g. rhyme, nonsense rhymes, shape poems, acrostic and descriptive poetry). 


In KS1, children will be taught to form letters daily using the Penpals scheme. Children will be taught handwriting two times a week for 10 minutes linked to the spelling/phonic focus. Teachers generate handwriting packs for those who find it difficult to join accurately. In addition, those children who may need extra support, attend Motor Skills United.

Assessment & Moderation


In the writing guidance there are writing checklists for every year group that list the expectations in writing from the National Curriculum.

Teachers use these checklists to identify gaps in writing skills the children may have and plan from this. These checklists are an ongoing document that is accessed through the academic year. Children need to meet all the expectations at the expected standard to achieve ARE. Children are set individual targets as to which standard they need to achieve by the end of the year.

Teachers tick off and date expectations when they believe a child is fully capable of applying the expectation independently in their writing. Writing standards for the children are reported three times a year; Autumn, Spring and Summer during Assessment weeks. The Assessment coordinator will ask teachers for the percentage of children working at the D (not on track for ARE) or S/M (on track for ARE or above ARE) in their class.


Writing moderation happens in school three times a year after Assessment week. Moderation happens across a year group to ensure consistency and agreement between teachers in each year group.

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