English (Phonics, Reading, Writing)


At St. Joseph’s our aim is to develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion through our provision of a high quality, rigorous and well organised English curriculum, which provides many purposeful language opportunities across the curriculum.

Following the National Curriculum for English 2014, our goal is to immerse our pupils in good quality texts and to develop the habit of reading for pleasure and enjoyment and to acquire fluency and a wide-ranging vocabulary.

We aspire to nurture imaginative, creative and confident writers, who are able to independently write for a variety of audiences and purposes, whilst developing their own individual flair.

We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat handwriting style.

The foundations to this teaching approach is to ensure pupils are exposed to teaching and learning that incorporates all the question types that pupils are expected to tackle in the KS2 assessments. This approach supports our goal that pupils achieve at or above in their end of KS2 assessments.

We recognise that pupil’s motivation and enjoyment for reading is crucial in achieving these aims. Allowing time each day to simply ‘read for pleasure’, we see as a vital role in developing true, expressive readers.


All pupils experience daily Reading and Writing lessons, driven by a core text connecting the wider curriculum, enabling a deeper understanding and transferable skills to be applied.

Reading at the centre: Reading is at the centre of our curriculum. In order to ensure children can access all that the curriculum and wider world has to offer; they must first be able to read. Reading fluently, with comprehension and for enjoyment allows children to engage with the world around them.

The English and phonics leads along with other leaders ensure there is a rigorous and sequential approach to reading that develops the pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment. At all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils.

In EYFS and KS1, we follow the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) Phonics programme, which is a synthetic phonics and literacy programme which provides consistent structure and progression as part of the children’s daily routine through to Year 2. Children learn to read with pleasure, fluency, accuracy and expression whilst developing their deeper understanding of why phonics is a big part of their day and can explain how and when they use phonics within their learning journey.

In KS2 we adopt a reading skills-based approach, based on whole class guided reading, where children are explicitly taught different reading skills from vocabulary development to inference skills. The question-based approach encourages children to gain a deeper understanding of texts across all curriculum subjects including RE.

At St Joseph’s we are working towards developing an approach to reading that secures fluent readers and develops the skills learns require to answers all question types. A new reading skill will be taught every week during the 1 hour learning challenge reading slot timetabled. This is supplemented with an additional 30 minute RE based reading, in which pupils are expected to practice these skills without direct input.

This is supported by the solid implementation of the ‘Herts for Reading, Fluent Readers Intervention’ that ensures inclusion in lessons by giving teachers a clear structure when leading interventions designed to support learners working below average.

As a school we are moving towards a ‘skilled focused’ approach to reading lessons which gives teachers a clear direction when planning reading lessons to ensure every year group gets high quality learning, covering all aspects reading question types, whilst allowing every teacher to contribute their own creative influence.

Children are given opportunities to read for pleasure as part of the soft start every morning utilising the inviting reading corners in their class. They can also borrow books from our school online library system, where they can leave their reviews for others. We also celebrate reading through whole school events such as World Book Day or Roald Dahl Day.

Additional opportunities are given for children who have fallen behind their peers in reading to close the gap such as through the ‘Herts for Reading Fluent Readers intervention’ to ensure accelerated progress ensuring that all pupils can read efficiently by the end of each Key Stage. We also have a dedicated EAL intervention teacher who plans for and supports those children new to English. We are also benefitting from Beanstalk volunteers who read with children on a weekly basis.

Please click on the links to view our Reading Strategy, Reading in the Key Stage 2, Phonics and Early Reading and Reading Environment.

Writing: We are scheme supported not scheme led, matching our curriculum and teaching to the needs of our children at St Joseph’s. We adopt strategies from The Write Stuff ‘, which is an approach to writing developed by Jane Considine. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.

Our approach to writing tarts with experience lessons which immerse the children into the text. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature.

Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.

Through sentence stacking lessons, children learn the necessary grammar structures and text features to be able to write in a particular genre linked to the story. This approach widens the repertoire of writing options for our pupils, whereby they gain an understanding of the ‘whole’ piece that they are writing whilst organising their ideas and strengthening the cohesion between them.



We have enthusiastic and able readers and writers who make good progress and have transferable skills and ‘read as true a reader’ delving into a world of inference and curiosity. Children enjoy sharing their love of reading and writing, and have high aspirations to develop their literacy skills further.

Outcomes of work in both English and Learning Challenge books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose.

At the end of each year, we expect our children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children with gaps in their literacy knowledge will be supported through intervention. Children also achieve highly in the phonics screening check.

Useful Links:

Primary National Curriculum English


Curriculum Overviews