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St Thomas of Canterbury

In God's Love We Flourish
In Amore Dei Floremus


At St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, our English curriculum is designed to be comprehensive, drawing from a wide array of high-quality texts and experiences. We firmly believe in the transformative power of literature and thus prioritise placing quality children’s books at the core of our curriculum. To achieve this, we collaborate closely with our school literacy advisor to meticulously select texts that not only educate, but also captivate and inspire our students.

Our curriculum is structured to centre around these carefully chosen texts, which serve as the driving force behind our lessons, while remaining aligned with the National Curriculum. Through immersion in these rich literary works, we aim to provide an ambitious English curriculum that builds upon prior knowledge, equipping children with the skills they need to become confident and articulate communicators, both verbally and in writing.

Embracing a book-led approach, our curriculum not only fosters the development of speaking, reading, and writing skills, but also instils a lifelong passion for reading. We recognise that literacy skills are integral to the holistic development of every child, enriching them culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. By nurturing all the skills of language, we empower our students to fully engage with the world around them and prepare them for future life, where they will actively participate as valued members of society.

Spoken Language

At St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary school, we understand that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak is vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and ultimately, their understanding for reading and writing.

Through the rich diet of books selected, we aim to provide opportunities for children to build confidence and proficiency in spoken language and listening skills. This can be explored though quality book talk, discussion, debate and drama.

By actively participating in these language-rich experiences, students can articulate their understanding of the texts they encounter. This, in turn, serves as a springboard for developing their own ideas and creativity in writing. At our school, we believe that by nurturing strong oral communication skills, we empower our students to become articulate and expressive individuals.


Reading is delivered as part of the English curriculum to incorporate both reading and writing through access to high quality texts. Our vision extends beyond imparting basic reading skills; we strive to cultivate a genuine love for reading in every child. We understand that the most conducive learning environment is one where discussions about books are lively and there is genuine enjoyment in both independent reading and being read to. We aim to provide a wide variety of literature including:  fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This will engage different interests and provide opportunities to develop vocabulary and broaden experiences.

We actively encourage children to read regularly at home and record this in their planners as well as encourage parents to read to their children, allowing them to hear a variety of stories and literature.

Reading is always given the highest priority at St. Thomas of Canterbury and for more information click here to go to the Reading & Phonics page.

Reading is always given the highest priority at St. Thomas of Canterbury and for more information, click here to go to the Reading & Phonics page.


Writing is initiated by reading engaging quality texts that have been purposely chosen to captivate and immerse our pupils. These texts serve as models for excellent language, punctuation, and grammar, contextualising the children’s learning experience. We recognise that like reading, learning to write is a journey deeply intertwined with our school's reading culture. We seek our children to write as readers.

At our school, children have the opportunity to explore a diverse array of writing styles, texts, and genres. This exploration facilitates an understanding of purpose, audience, form, voice, and language structures. Our curriculum provides contextualised writing opportunities, offering meaningful and stimulating contexts for punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary development, all drawn from the class literature.

Our aim is to nurture confident, self-motivated, and independent writers who share a passion for reading and are cultivating their own unique writing styles. Through this holistic approach, we aspire to develop well-rounded individuals equipped with the skills and enthusiasm to excel in both reading and writing.

Letter Formation & Handwriting


Our children are are taught letter formation from Nursery and we follow the Letter-join handwriting scheme. Writing is introduced through mark-making opportunities leading to more structured activities.

Letter formation will progress as the children do and the expectation is that by the end of Reception, children will be forming their letters correctly.

By Year 2, the children should be working towards a formation that will eventually lead into their joined up writing.

By the time the children leave St. Thomas of Canterbury, they will have hopefully mastered the art of joined up writing.