English at English Martyrs’ has three main strands; writing, reading and oracy (speaking and listening).  The teaching of English has a very strong cross curricular approach with other subjects intertwined.  Every opportunity is used to develop the key skills of reading, writing and speaking.  Children receive daily skills sessions; in KS1 all children take part in phonics lessons and in KS2 children receive SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) sessions.


The language and structure of story threads itself through the teaching and learning of English and across the curriculum.  Topics are often tightly linked to certain key text e.g. The Lost Happy Endings, Kensuke's Kingdom and George's Marvellous Medicine.


At English Martyrs' we have a very successful approach and delivery of phonics, achieving 95% pass rate in the phonics screening test at Year 1.  We follow the guidance of 'Letters and sounds' which is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. The children are taught letter formation using the Ruth Minskin guidance.


For further information please visit the following websites:


Dfe Letters and Sounds 



Letters and Sounds Guidance -



Letter Formation Rhymes -