English at Priors Hall

At Priors Hall, we strongly believe that all our pupils deserve the highest quality education in English. Through ‘Quality First’ Teaching, our children will learn to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through reading and listening, they develop a good understanding of and evaluation of the views of others.
As part of our ‘Ready for Learning, Ready for Life’ motto, we have adopted the Pathways to Write scheme for our writing curriculum.

The Plans and Teaching Sequence

Each unit of work is expected to last 4-6 weeks. The teaching sequence of each unit comprises of 15 sessions, but each session may take longer than an actual lesson depending on the class. The programme is designed to allow teachers to have ownership rather than feeling that it should be followed in the same way by everyone.

Pathways to Write follows a Mastery-Learning model. Key skills are taught and repeated; there are multiple opportunities throughout each unit to use and apply the skills until they can be mastered fully. Within each sequence, there are many opportunities for incidental short-burst writing with an extended written outcome by the end of each unit.

The ideas and work are pitched at age related expectations, but there are suggested activities for greater depth pupils in most lessons and for every final writing outcome. For pupils below ARE, it is important that planning is personalised and there is guidance to support this.


Planning follows the sequence below:

  • Session 1: Gateway

This is an opportunity to hook the pupils into the context of learning and to assess previously taught mastery skills. A short writing task is set at the end of this session to assess the application of Gateway skills. (The focus is on assessment of previously taught skills and is not intended to assess pupils on skills or genres that they have not been taught before.) Where pupils are struggling to apply and to use Gateways keys, these should be built into the planning of the unit to ensure more personalised learning.

  • Sessions 2-11: Pathway

In this section, the Mastery skills are introduced with many opportunities along the way to practise and apply these skills in different writing tasks. The tasks use genres that the pupils will be most familiar with such as character or setting descriptions, dialogue, diary entries, instructions, poetry and sentence work, providing a range of on-going evidence for writing assessment.

  • Sessions 12-15: Writeway

This final section of the sequence comprises of 4 sessions. It begins with sectioning and sequencing texts using a model. If the final outcome is narrative based, then this will usually be the text which has been read or for younger pupils a shortened version to support re-telling has been included. If the outcome is a non-fiction text, then a model will be available in the resource section. Two sessions have been allocated for the writing of the text in the Writeaway, but this may be extended depending on the year group and what is being written. Suggestions have been made as to how this could be structured but it needs to be responsive to pupils’ needs. Within the Writeaway, pupils are encouraged to plan, write, check, edit, re-draft and publish as required; with the focus on using and applying the mastery skills they have been taught.



We use ‘Spelling Shed’ to enhance our home learning and parental engagement of spellings. This programme works in an organised progression of spelling objective outlined in the National Curriculum. The Programme of Study spelling appendix can be found here (appendix 4).
The platform enables learning to happen on any device where there is a web connection and offline using our app. With built-in scaffolding and support, our games allow children to practise their spellings at a level they are comfortable with. Teachers can use pre-made lists or can create their own so they are bespoke to cater for their children’s individual needs. Children will receive a certificate during celebration assembly to celebrate their achievements on Spelling Shed.



Grammar is taught as part of our Pathways to Write lessons. Class teachers will include the grammar elements discreetly on our working walls and model them as part of the lesson. Pathways to write have a document titled ‘Writing opportunities for the application of grammar and punctuation’ that shows progression of grammar and punctuation through Year 1 – Year 6 (appendix 5). As an additional assessment tool our class teachers have access to resources such as grammar ninja and age related assessments.



Kinetic Letters is taught regularly in FS2-Y4. It is a systematic and energising whole-school approach that follows a high quality-teaching programme. All staff have access to online Kinetic letter training. There are 4 strands of learning: making bodies stronger, learning the letters, holding the pencil and flow and fluency.

Kinetic Letters helps learning by:

  • Automaticity – Formation, orientation and placement of letters becomes automatic which frees up space in the working memory.
  • Achievement – Fast, legible and fluent handwriting underpins success in every curriculum area.
  • Confidence – Good handwriting creates a positive initial judgement.
  • Creativity – When handwriting is automatic, the brain can concentrate on content.
  • Reading – Writing and reading are reciprocal skills, so improvement in one, helps the other.
  • Phonics and Spelling – legible handwriting means children can read and correct spelling.