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At St. Joseph’s we encourage the children to enjoy a variety of literacy activities within a range of genre.


Through our English programme we aim to teach the children the skills they will need to enable them to be effective communicators. Children need to be good listeners, confident speakers and effective writers. They need to be able to express their thoughts and feelings with clarity and respect and respond to the view of others. Children are taught to write neatly and legibly and regular ‘Big Write’ exercises take place. Spelling is taught and as children move through the school they are tested on a regular basis.


Speaking and listening is an essential aspect of English and the children develop a number of skills through drama activities, discussion and talking homework – it is vital that children talk before they write. Again providing lots of opportunities for conversation at home, for questioning and reasoning will support your child’s overall development.


We aim not only to teach children to learn to read but also to turn them into readers. This is an extremely important task and to do it effectively we need your help, support and commitment. Children take part in daily phonic sessions and guided reading groups at least once a week, following the Oxford Reading tree group readers. In Foundation Stage/KS1 children are encouraged to take levelled reading books home on a daily basis, according to their ability. Every class has its own reading materials and children may borrow books as often as they wish.



In Key Stage One all pupils take part in a daily phonics lesson. At St Joseph's we use the Read Write Inc programme.   Pupils  are grouped across the Key Stage according to ability. This is a highly structured approach  from Early Years to Year 2 covering all stages of phonics from learning letters and sounds to blending and segmenting

 e.g m a t   gr ee n

To start with the children learn one way to read and write every speech sound ( there are 44)  they then quickly go on to read  and write other letters or groups of letters representing the same 44 speech sounds.  


Read Writ Inc has five principles 

1. Pace - Children complete it as quickly as possible: to  know the sounds thoroughly. Children are so involved in the lesson that they do not have any time for 'down time. Energy and rigour are the key. 

2. Praise - children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well

3. Purpose - Each activity has a clear purpose.  This is set at the beginning of the lesson so the children fully understand what they are learning and why.

4. Participation  - All children take part in all of the lesson

5. Passion - The greater the passion - the faster the progress!


Key Stage Two pupils take reading home every day and are encouraged to keep reading logs.


Key Stage One 


Year 1 -  Here we build on work from Early Years Foundation Stage making sure that children can blend and sound unfamiliar words quickly and accurately. They will be taught to read words that have unusual correspondence i.e. there is a different sound between spelling and reading.. They will be taught words  with -s, -es, -ing, - -ed, -er and -est as endings.. they will read words with more than one syllable .  They will read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge .  re reading of books is particularly essential in order to build up fluency and confidence. More than anything we want children to develop a love of reading so listening to and discussing stories , poems and non- fiction  is a key activity. Checking text for sense, predicting, discussing events, making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done are all key skills to be developed throughout Year 1.


Through high quality reading - we shall be using the Power or Reading Programme to support this- the children will strengthen both reading and writing skills.  We expect writing development to be slower than reading because the children have many skills, not least the physical skill of handwriting to learn . With this in mid they will be taught to sit correctly, hold a pencil comfortably and correctly, form lower cases letters in the correct direction and form capital letters and digits 0-9. They will be taught to say out loud what they going to write about and sequence sentences to form short narratives. 


By the end of year 1 they should be joining words and joining phrases using and, beginning to punctuate using capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks.


Year 2 - Here children will build on the basic reading skills of EYFS and Year 1 developing the accuracy and speed of reading and continuing to apply phonic knowledge.  They will further develop the pleasure of reading by listening to, discussing and expressing views on a wide range of stories, classic poems and non-fiction.  they will continue to build up a repertoire of poetry both learning off by heart and by familiarisation. The children will continue to build up strategies for spelling eg where one or more spelling is known for a sound (phoneme). In relation to their writing they will build up stamina and form letters too the correct size and orientation. They will write narratives about personal experiences, write about real events, write poetry. They will plan for writing and increasingly edit , proof read and check their work.


Key Stage 2


Years 3 and 4 
As increasingly independent readers they will check the text makes sense, ask questions draw inferences, predict, identify ideas and identify the language and structure of a text.


The children will retrieve and record information form non-fiction texts.


The children will be taught to plan writing, draft by creating settings, characters and plot and using simple organisational structures. Paragraphs will be organised around a theme. they will then evaluate and edit writing.


The children will be taught aspects of grammar and begin to use commas, possessive apostrophe with plural nouns and using and punctuating direct speech.


Year 5 and 6

In Year 5 and 6 the children will build on reading form years 3 and 4. They will maintain positive attitudes to reading, increasingly familiarity with a wide range of books such as myths, legends and traditional stories. They will be expected to be able to recommend books to peers, make comparisons across books and learn a wide range of poetry by heart. They will be expected to ask questions to improve understanding, summerise main ideas, build in inference such as inferring characters' feelings, thoughts and motives. They will distinguish between fact and opinion and explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read through presentation and debate providing  reasoned justifications for their views.


The children will be taught to plan their writing  - identifying audience, knitting initial ideas, building on what they have read when authors develop characters and setting. They will then draft - selecting appropriate grammar, describing settings, character and atmosphere and using a variety of organisational and presentational devises such as heading, bullet points and underlining.


They will be taught to recognise the vocabulary and structures appropriate for formal speech in writing. They will use expanded noun phrases, passive verbs, modal verbs, relative clauses. In terms of punctuation they will be taught to use hyphens, commas, brackets, semi-colons, colons or dashes , punctuating bullet points and colons in lists.


All English will also be supported through ICT and cross curricular links will be made across the Curriculum.




Close links are made with ICT and the key to successful learning is seen in how the children apply literacy skills across all their work and in every subject.


Pupils who require additional support do so through a variety of interventions including ELS, ALS and Outreach work linked to Orrets Meadow.