English Curriculum


Our intent at St Hugh of Lincoln, is to provide an outstanding English curriculum for all our pupils.

English contributes widely to our Catholic identity and the shared development of our values and beliefs. Through staff collaboration, consistent planning and excellent teaching, we have implemented a rich and exciting knowledge and skills based English curriculum.

We aim to nurture resilient readers who feel part of a reading community, enjoying the challenge and the joy of rich literature and non-fiction texts.  Writing supports the development of communication and empathy with others, as well as personal development. We aim to develop writers who feel there is a value, a purpose and a beauty in what they write.


Speaking and Listening

Oral language has a key role in classroom teaching and learning.  Discussion and interaction can engage children’s imagination and foster creativity.

The key areas are:

  • Speaking: being able to speak clearly and to develop and sustain ideas in talk.
  • Listening: developing active listening strategies and critical skills of analysis.
  • Group discussion and interaction: taking different roles in groups, making a range of contributions and working collaboratively.
  • Drama: improvising and working in role, scripting and performing, and responding to performances.

Talk is an underlying factor in the development of literacy, with children engaging by responding to text and explaining their choices and rehearsing their ideas in advance of writing.  In Mathematics, answers can be discussed, data interpreted and relevant language can be developed.

To develop their Spoken Language, speaking and listening skills are developed across the curriculum as well as specifically in activities such as listening games, show and tell sessions, role play and drama, class discussions and debating.  Children will be expected to listen to others and respond with sensitivity and respect to the talk of others.  The children will have opportunities to speak in front of an audience, using language and techniques appropriate to the task.


“All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also leads pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.” National Curriculum 2014.

Reading is the enabler and every child should be able to read by the end of KS1. Reading is therefore of paramount importance to us and we focus on language skills first in EYFS to help children to do well later in Year 6 and beyond. All the staff at St Hugh of Lincoln recognise the importance of reading as we believe that the larger a child’s vocabulary, the higher their chance of achieving academic success. Talking about what they read, develops vocabulary and critical thinking skills. Prior knowledge of words used in different contexts will also help children to learn to read more quickly because their processing speeds will be faster.

In EYFS, we understand child development and how individuals learn to read. There is a phonics code which children need to master and at St Hugh of Lincoln, we follow the DFE Letters and Sounds Phonics Handbook from Foundation stage through to Year 2. The programme children follow is split into 6 phases with different phases being taught in different years. The Jolly Phonics Scheme is also used by Reception Class to teach sounds with actions.

Click here to view our Rich Texts by Year Group

Mastery Approach

We teach blended reading for mastery, which means that we accept that there is no one way of teaching reading. We want all of our pupils to do as well as they can so our ‘blended’ approach means that we teach reading in different ways as required e.g. 1:1 sessions; small groups and whole class sessions all the way through from YR to Year 6. Pupils who fall behind are supported to catch up quickly through additional and different provision on top of the whole class sessions, appropriate scaffolding and precision teaching.


Reading is a journey and the learning environment in every classroom reflects this. It is clear from classroom displays and resources being used what stage in this reading journey the children are on. In EYFS and KS1, it is be evident which phonics phase the children are learning and further up the school, classroom displays may focus more on the comprehension skills of inference, deduction and critical evaluation.

Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are all used to develop vocabulary, language, comprehension and above all – a love of reading in every classroom.

Reading for pleasure has a positive impact on children’s attainment in reading. Every classroom has a book corner from which children can choose books to read for pleasure during the school day. Children who read for pleasure have enhanced levels of text comprehension, an increasing knowledge of grammar and show improvements in their writing. The advantages of reading for pleasure go beyond academic achievement. Benefits include: increased breadth of vocabulary, pleasure in reading in later life, a better understanding of other cultures, increased general knowledge and a greater insight into human nature.

Consistency Of Approach

Throughout EYFS and KS1, we use LCP Phonics Planning Lesson Plans, which are based on Letters and Sounds. All members of staff have been trained so we are confident that we take a consistent approach to teaching phonics. Children follow a deliberate sequence through this planning to aid their readiness for KS2.

The structure of every phonics lesson is always the same and is divided into the following sections: Review, Teach, Practice, Application. The Application stage ripples through the whole class teaching and all enhanced provision so that children are ‘bumping’ into the idea that letters equal sounds wherever they go. This is done by the use of different methods and resources including:

  • sound cards
  • words
  • ordering words into phrases or sentences
  • matching pictures to words, phrases and sentences
  • playing word games such as Countdown
  • reading for sense
  • pop up fingers
  • Sound buttons or dots/dashes
  • Sound talk or sound it out
  • Rhymes/jingles
  • Phoneme frames

Word recognition links to comprehension as children begin to understand that what they read needs to make sense. This teaching of comprehension in EYFS and KS1 is an essential building block in terms of creating readiness for KS2. Phonics application is assessed during sessions, through the day and in guided sessions.

The Reading Scheme

Our reading scheme is comprised of books carefully chosen from a range of recognised schemes and they are sorted into coloured book bands to support instructional progression. We believe that not sticking with one scheme is a real advantage so children encounter different book layouts and fonts.

Each colour band links closely to each phase and the reading books closely match the sounds that children know so that they can practice the sounds in order to progress.

Children can change their reading book a minimum of three times per week. Rigorous reading records are kept to monitor the progress each child is making through the reading scheme. Children’s reading is regularly assessed using the ‘PM Benchmarking’ system. A child on the correct band should be able to read between 90% and 95% of the words accurately. In order for children to become competent readers in addition to being able to read the words, it is essential that they have a good comprehension of what they are reading. This means that they can answer questions about the text and make inferences. Therefore, as part of the ‘benchmarking’ process, children’s comprehension skills are assessed as well as their ability to read the words. Ongoing assessment is also embedded in to live Guided Reading sessions.

Guided Reading

To enable all our children to develop their deeper comprehension and understanding of texts, every class has Guided Reading sessions. Children need automaticity in reading in order to ‘enjoy’ the curriculum so Guided Reading sessions are less focused on how to read. During these teacher-led sessions, the children will share a book or an extract from the class text, in a small group, as part of a carousel of activities or as a whole class (Years 5 and 6). The teacher will ask probing questions during the session to aid understanding and they will be grouped into three categories: Literal, inferential and evaluative. All planning reflects this.

Writing, Spelling Punctuation and Grammar

There is a strong focus on vocabulary development at St Hugh of Lincoln but also on grammar, punctuation and spelling. SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar) is taught both discretely and as an embedded part of English lessons. The use of rich class texts in every English lesson aids the children’s understanding of what it means to be a good writer. This inspires the children and aims to develop greater fluency in writing.

The class text, carefully chosen for its use of rich language and interesting storylines, is the stimulus for our writing in English lessons. It provides a context and purpose to our weekly piece of extended writing. Each week, we aim to have a different writing genre focus. At the start of each week, children engage with the text, exploring vocabulary and revising or learning the grammar required to be able to write the required piece. They then plan their writing, using a modelled example to support them. The next step is to write the first draft (from their plan) which they then carefully edit and improve to be finally written up at the end of the week.


We take particular pride and care in our cursive/ joined up handwriting style. Teachers model it carefully and all displays around the school are handwritten in our cursive font. At the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils should be able to produce fluent, legible and joined handwriting.

The School Library

At St Hugh of Lincoln, we are very privileged to have an attractive and well-stocked library at the heart of our school. The wide selection of books on offer is regularly refreshed by the Hampshire School Service. Children also have a virtual library available to them via our school website which links to Hampshire Library school services E learning platform. Here they can borrow E Books and Audio Books to listen to at home. We aim to support the choices they make in order to maintain challenge with the help of Our Libra-soft Library cataloguing system. This means that books can be scanned in and out to build up a record of each child’s reading diet. We can then ensure that it is wide and varied by guiding them to make alternative choices where necessary. With such a rich diet of reading materials available to them, we expect children to leave us with a wealth of literacy experience and a sound understanding of basic language concepts.


We are ambitious for all pupils to reach at least ARE, please see our website for our most recent results. However, we also see that English in school has a wider value and purpose.  We know that we are achieving our aims and values through various methods and not only through tests as follows:

  • The quality of writing and children’s pride in their writing.
  • Rates of borrowing from the library and other ways of tracking independent reading.
  • Pupil voice work on reading enjoyment
  • Feedback from parents on how the school promotes reading and supports them to support their pupils.
  • Contact with the wider community – when children talk to visitors, or are part of community. projects and the feedback we receive from outsiders about our pupils.
  • Opportunities to take part in speaking formal and informal contexts at school Masses and assemblies.
  • The Phonics screening check, which takes place at the end of Year 1 as per DFE requirements,  results are given to parents.
  • At the end of Year 2 and Year 6, children will sit a SATS Reading Comprehension and a Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Test.

At the end of Year 2 and Year 6, Writing in English and across the curriculum is assessed and moderated by teachers.

Useful Websites:

National curriculum in England: Appendix 1 Spelling


National curriculum in England: Appendix 2 Vocabulary Grammar and Punctuation


Learning to read through phonics Information for parents:


Hampshire School Library Service


Spelling Shed https://www.edshed.com/logout

Pobble 365 One picture. One Teaching resource. Every day.


Book Banding Scheme

Book Band/ ColourWordsPhonics PhaseNormal Range of Achievement during the year and
for year group at end of year
0 Lilac0Phase 1
1 PinkUnder 25Phase 2EYFS
2 Red25-45/ 45-80Phase 3EYFS
3 Yellow80-120Phase 3/4EYFS
4 Blue100-200Phase 4/5EYFS/Year 1
5 Green200-300Phase 5Year 1
6 Orange300-450Phase 5/6Year 1
7 Turquoise450-600 Phase 5/6Year 1/Year 2
8 Purple600-850Phase 6Year 2
9 Gold850-1100Phase 6Year 2
10 White1100-1500Year 2
11 Beige1500-2000Year 3
12 Cerise1500-2000Year 3
13 Pale Blue1500-2000 +
14 Silver StarFree Reader
15 Gold StarFree Reader

Overview of Class Texts

Reception Class

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn Term You Choose by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Non-fiction books about owls and nocturnal animals


The Three Little Pigs
Spring TermThe Enormous Turnip

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Summer TermArrrgh Spider! By Lydia Monks

Snail Trail By Ruth Brown

Non-fiction books about mini beasts

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz

Tiddler by Julia Donaldson

Non-fiction books about sea creatures

Year 1

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermPumpkin Soup - Helen Cooper
After the Storm - Nick Butterworth
Superworm - Julia Donaldson
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark - Jill Tomlinson
On Sudden Hill – Linda Davis and Benji Davies
The Snowman - Raymond Briggs
The Ice Bear – Jackie Morris
Winter’s Child – Angela McAllister
• Friendship
• The Passing of Time/The Seasons
Spring TermWhere The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
Wild - Emily Hughes
Beegu - Alexis Deacon
Grace and Family by Mary Hoffman
• Imagination
• Loss
• Family
Summer TermOssiri and the Bala Mengo - Richard O’Neill/Katherine Quarmby
The Selfish Giant – Oscar Wilde
The Hodgeheg – Dick King Smith
• Travellers
• Friendship
• Relationship with nature

Year 2

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermClaude in the City by Alex T. Smith
When Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes set off for work, Claude decides what adventure he wants to have that day. Today he and Sir Bobblysock go to the city for the very first time. ... It is all very normal until ... Claude accidentally foils a robbery and becomes the local hero! The first book in this hilarious bestselling series.

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Penguin)
Once there was a Fox who lived in a deep, dense forest. For as long as Fox could remember, his only friend had been Star, who lit the forest paths each night. But then one night Star was not there, and Fox had to face the forest all alone. A story about love, loss and learning to accept change.

Jim and The Beanstalk By Jim Briggs
This is a fun, engaging re-telling of the original folklore story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
When Jim finds a beanstalk growing outside his window one morning, he can't resist climbing up. At the top, he finds a castle and a giant - Jim only wants to stay for breakfast, but once there he finds the occupant is in desperate need of help.

The Wall in The Middle of this Book – Jon Agee
A knight approaches one side of a red brick wall that runs up the centre of this picture book; some wild animals approach the other side. The knight seems to think that the wall keeps him safe, but is it really a good thing to have it there? Because while the knight is imagining all the dangers on the other side of the wall (in particular, a scary ogre), the water on his side is rising and threatening to drown him. Fortunately, the ogre proves kinder than the knight expected.
• Loss/Reunion
• Out and Back stories
• Rags to Riches
Spring TermThe Magic Finger – Roald Dahl
A knight approaches one side of a red brick wall that runs up the centre of this picture book; some wild animals approach the other side. The knight seems to think that the wall keeps him safe, but is it really a good thing to have it there? Because while the knight is imagining all the dangers on the other side of the wall (in particular, a scary ogre), the water on his side is rising and threatening to drown him. Fortunately, the ogre proves kinder than the knight expected.

The Puffin Book of Fantastic First Poems, edited by June Crebbin
A great first poetry book; the poems span time, from Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter de la Mare right up to date with Roger McGough and Michael Rosen. Themes covered, such as mealtimes, playtime, animals, family and bedtime, really appeal to young readers. A truly lovely collection of all-time favourite poems.

The Bee Who Spoke - Al MacCuish, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
In The Bee Who Spoke , we are introduced to Belle, an adventurous and inquisitive eleven-year-old girl who lives in Paris. She travels with her parents to the Ardèche to visit her grandparents for her summer holiday. When she arrives she is presented with a bicycle to explore the glorious Ardèche countryside.

The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins and Jane Chapman (Walker)
Can you imagine spending the winter outdoors in Antarctica without anything to eat? That’s just what the male Emperor penguin does. While his mate is off swimming and catching loads of fish, he stands around in the freezing cold with an egg on his feet for two whole months, keeping it warm and waiting for it to hatch. Welcome to the story of the world’s most devoted dad!
• Compassion
• Devotion
• Nature
• Travellers
Summer TermThe Lost Happy Endings - Carol Ann Duffy
Meant for children of all ages, this is a magical tale about what happens when, one night, a wicked witch steals the happy endings to bedtime stories. It is up to Jub, the keeper of the happy endings, to save the day and ensure sweet dreams everywhere.

Lila and the Secret of Rain by David Conway and Jude Daly
Lila and the Secret of Rain introduces the topics of natural resources and the impact that extreme weather can have on people's lives in a tender way that children can relate to. With the added magic of folklore, the African setting sparks interest in our world's diverse cultures.

Poems to perform – Julia Donaldson
A vibrant collection of poems perfect to be performed by two or more voices! In this collection, Julia Donaldson has chosen poems with performance by children in mind, and in the notes section at the end of the book are her notes and ideas on performing them
• Seasons
• Conservation
• Humans’ Relationship with Nature

Year 3

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermKing of the Sky by Nicola Davies

The Matchbox Diary - Paul Fleischman and Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (Y5/6)
When a little girl visits her great-grandfather at his curio-filled home, she chooses an unusual object to learn about: an old cigar box. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather’s diary, containing objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. Together they tell of his journey from Italy to a new country, before he could read and write – the olive stone his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn’t enough food; a hairpin he found on the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game. With a narrative entirely in dialogue, Paul Fleischman makes immediate the two characters’ foray into the past. With warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, Bagram Ibatoulline gives expressive life to their journey through time – and towards each other.

King of the Sky - Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
A little boy has come to start his life in a new country (which could be Wales) where nothing is familiar, apart from the racing pigeons kept by his neighbour: an old man called Mr Evans.
One day, Mr Evans hands the boy one of the pigeons and says it’s his: the boy names it Re Del Cielo, King of the Sky.
Mr Evans and the boy enter King of the Sky into a race – it will go by train to Italy, where the boy is from, and fly home. Mr Evans says it has the wings for distance, but is he right? Perhaps the sunlight, the fountains and the smell of vanilla the boy misses so much will make the pigeon want to stay. Yet when the pigeon returns, the boy realises home can be more than one place.
• Belief
• Courage
• Determination
• Bravery
Spring TermThe Firework Maker’s Daughter – Philip Pullman
Lila dreams to become a firework-maker, just like her father. In order to become a true firework-maker, she sets off alone on a perilous journey to reach the terrifying Fire-Fiend. She travels through jungles alive with crocodiles, snakes, monkeys and pirates, and climbs up the scolding volcano. On finding the Fire-Fiend, she realises more is at stake than she ever imagined. Will Lila survive? Lila’s is the kind of magical adventure that all children dream of and the gripping story of the fleet-footed heroine will livelong in the memory of anyone who enters her world.
• Friends
• Courage
• Determination
Summer TermLost Happy Endings
• Friendship
• Love
• Change

Year 4

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermThe Iron Man – Ted Hughes
The Iron Man is a fearsome figure, wreaking terrible destruction wherever he goes. He cannot be stopped - but it takes a child to realise that he is not simply a hostile monster, but could even be a friend. Then, when a monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet and its people, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save them.

Beowulf – Kevin Crossley-Holland
In fifth-century Denmark, a murderous monster stalks the night, and only the great prince of the Geats has the strength and courage to defeat him. Beowulf's terrifying quest to destroy Grendel, the foul fiend, a hideous sea-hag and a monstrous fire-dragon is the oldest surviving epic in British literature.
• An Outsider
• Being Different
• Beating The Monster
Villain as a Friend
Spring TermThe Abominables by Eva Ibottson
A hundred years ago in the Himalayan mountains, the daughter of an English explorer is abducted from her mountainside tent by a huge hairy monster - none other than the infamous Yeti. Luckily the intrepid Lady Agatha takes her kidnapping in her stride, and soon discovers that although he is huge and hairy, the Yeti is not so terrifying after all - he's simply a concerned father who needs help raising his loveable and eccentric family of not-so abominable snowmen.
• Protecting the environment
• Tolerance
• Kindness to animals
Defeating cruelty
Summer TermKensukes’ Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Michael is hungry, lonely and scared when he is washed up on a seemingly deserted island. He soon discovers another inhabitant - Kensuke, a former Japanese soldier - who, although initially unfriendly, provides Michael with food and water.

Gradually, a strong bond develops between the two castaways. This is a beautifully written tale of an exceptional friendship which survives beyond the boundaries of culture and language.
• Friendship
• Love
• Death
• Change
• Journey
• Youth and Age

Year 5

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermRooftoppers – Katherine Rundell
Found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel after a shipwreck on her first birthday, by eccentric young scholar Charles, Sophie seems to be marked out for an unconventional existence. Growing up in Charles's shabby home in England, she learns to love music and to read Shakespeare, but very little about how to be ladylike. On her twelfth birthday, the disapproving authorities intervene, but before they can take her away to an orphanage, the discovery of a chance clue in her cello case makes Charles and Sophie decide to ignore their decrees, and instead run away to Paris in search of Sophie’s long lost-mother, whatever the consequences may be.

The Jupiter Chronicles – Leonardo Ramirez
The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot by Leonardo Ramirez is an adventure story revolving around Ian and Callie Castillo. Both of them have been brought up by a single parent since their father went missing five years ago. Ian's most precious gift is a telescope that was given to him by his father. Callie tries to activate it and send it to Jupiter to rescue their father who was kidnapped on Jupiter. This new genre, Steampunk, will leave readers captivated by the kids' adventures. The imagery, the characters, the intrigue, and the action make it a memorable read.
• Perseverance
• Love
• Family/Friendship
• Space
Spring TermStreet Child- Berlie Doherty
The unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London, based on the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children’s homes.
When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls.
Struggling to survive, Jim finally finds some friends… only to be snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick, constantly guarded by his vicious dog, Snipe.
Will Jim ever manage to be free?

The Highwayman – Alfred Noyes
The Highwayman is a classic narrative poem written in 1906 telling the story of the tragic love story between an unnamed 19th century highwayman and Bess, a landlord's daughter.
• Orphans
• Villains
• Heroes
Summer TermThe London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd
When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved before getting on. After half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off - but no Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air?

Since the police are having no luck finding him, Ted and Kat become sleuthing partners. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery.

Selection of Poetry from Opening Doors Books and via The Reading School Website
• Loss
• Kidnap
• Mystery

Year 6

 TermTitle and AuthorKey Themes
Autumn TermGoodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian
Willie Beech is evacuated to a tiny English village in the country just before the outbreak of World War II. A lonely and deprived child, he finds himself living with the reclusive, gruff old widower, Thomas Oakley. Although the two find it hard to adjust to their life together at first, they gradually develop a strong, mutual bond. Willie begins to enjoy life and make new friends in the village.

However, everything is thrown into confusion when Willie is suddenly recalled to London by his neglectful and abusive mother. After several weeks with no letter from Willie, Tom Oakley becomes concerned for his welfare and sets out to London in search of him.

War Poetry
• From Innocence to Experience
• Propaganda
Spring TermWolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Feo and her mother live in the snowy woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feo's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training: a person who teaches tamed animals to be wild again, to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run.

When the corrupt Russian Army threatens her wolves and arrests her mum, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. With her wolves by her side, she sets off on a daring, exciting and sometimes scary journey through the snow to St Petersburg, pursued by an evil general who's determined to kill Feo's wolves and stop her at all costs.

Selection of Poetry from Opening Doors Books and via The Reading School Website
• Adventure
• Villains/ Heroes
Summer TermSkellig by David Almond
When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister's illness, Michael's world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.

Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature - part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael's help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital.

But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael's world changes for ever .

- Coming of Age
• From Innocence to Experience
• Ambition
• Masculinity
• Guilt