The Federation of Briar Hill Infant and St Margaret’s C of E Junior Schools

Get in touch

St Margaret’s CE Junior School


Our English leads are Mrs Atkins and Mrs New.

Nurturing a love of language underpins our approach to English. In line with the National Curriculum, the children at St Margaret’s are taught to shine through Spoken Language; Reading (both word recognition and comprehension); Writing (both transcription and composition); Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. These four aspects of the subject are accessed during discreet English lessons, including reading lessons, as well as being part of a cross curricular approach which are therefore present in all other subject areas.

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 understanding for reading and writing.  


At St Margaret’s the spoken word is an important first step in the writing process where children can verbalise their thoughts and ideas before putting a pen or pencil to paper. Sometimes this might be done as informal paired talk during whole class learning, other times it might be a more formal class debate which can then be written up as a balanced argument, for example. Teachers ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Please refer to the ‘Spoken Language Progression’ document below for year on year progression. 




Our English curriculum is designed for all children to become immersed in the ability to write for different audiences and purposes using age-appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling correctly.


Our text driven curriculum allows children to write in every subject to practise and apply their writing skills. Quality texts for all year groups have been carefully chosen to base pupils’ English learning around. Reading of these texts underpins the whole English curriculum throughout the school and feeds into writing opportunities.


The programme of study for writing at Key Stage 2 consists of three main strands:

● Spoken word – an important first step in the writing process where children can verbalise their thoughts and ideas.

● Transcription – spelling and handwriting

● Composition – the ability to articulate ideas and structure them in speech and writing using correct grammar and punctuation.

Our teaching develops pupils’ competence in these strands. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.


Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) are intrinsic parts of the teaching of writing. Throughout their English learning, pupils are taught the correct grammatical terms for English grammar and punctuation so they understand, recognise and can apply them in their own writing. A sequenced progression of spelling rules (in line with the National Curriculum) is taught over the four years at St Margaret’s.  

Shine Sentences




At St Margaret’s, as well as integrating reading across the curriculum, we take two approaches to the discreet teaching of reading, to ensure that children are fully catered for in all areas of the reading curriculum. The two approaches are: 


Accelerated Reader - We have five 20-minute Accelerated Reader sessions a week (independent, quiet reading time) where the children show how much they love to learn by reading for pleasure, adults listen to children read and children may then quiz on the iPads within 24 hours of finishing a book. At home children can quiz using the link shown at the bottom of the page. 


Reading Comprehension - We have discreet reading lessons using the ‘Pawsome Gang’ of reading dogs - where we teach main comprehension skills. Each skill is linked to a different type of dog e.g. Inference Iggy; Prediction Pip etc. These ‘reading dogs’ also form the basis of the children's individual reading targets which are kept on their bookmarks. Please check what your child’s reading target is and work on these at home with your child. 

Making Memories - At St Margaret’s we think that it is very important that children have exciting activities that help them make wonderful memories of their English learning. Recently, we have really enjoyed celebrating World Book Day, Pyjamarama (supporting Booktrust) and having author visits, to name a few! Take a look at some of the pictures:

World Book Day

If you speak to our children it is clear to see how enthusiastic they are about English. Here’s a little sample of what our children think:

“I like reading in school as its relaxing and it helps to calm me down.” Libby SM1

“At school we read a book called the truth box and wrote a diary every day about it. Now I have a diary at home that I write in every day” Charlie SM4

“I like writing because you get to create your own ideas and male up your own stories.” Yakshith SM5

“I enjoyed doing a piece of writing where you had to write from the perspective of 2 different people because you get to look at both sides of the same story and see how other people express things.” Jiya SM11

The ‘Pawsome Gang’ of Reading Dogs

Reading Dog Actions

Still image for this video


Reading at Home

If you would like to supplement your child’s school reading book, there are a variety of excellent online libraries that have a good selection of books for you and your children to read.


Additionally, some of the local libraries are doing a 'click and collect' service. Please use this weblink to borrow or sign up for a library card if you don’t already have one.

Tackling Life's Big Challenges Through Reading

We hope that you find some of these resources of use and enjoy time spent reading with your child.




View Our Slideshow.

Welcome to Briar Hill and St Margaret's!...Our Federation vision: 'Flourish as a family, love to learn, make memories, shine!'...Our St Margaret's Christian vision: 'How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity.' (Psalm 133)