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St Joseph's Catholic

Primary School

Inspired by the life of St Joseph, we live, love and learn together

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English including Phonics



The English Curriculum Intention

Through the English Curriculum we teach pupils to speak, write, read and listen. 

To inspire a love of literature and reading.  Through that literature pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.


Pupils should learn about:

Spoken language, reading (word reading and comprehension), writing (transcription and composition) and grammar.  Pupils will study a range of writing genres including: non-fiction, fiction and poetry.


  • At St Joseph’s we understand that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and staff are therefore competent in using ‘Talk for Writing' techniques.
  • Pupils are screened on entering EYFS for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).  This is a programme which has been found to improve children’s language and early literacy skills. Robust evaluations found NELI children made on average 3 months of additional progress in language.

  • Oracy is an area of focus and through our weekly Learning Forum, the children are able to build on their oracy skills by recapping their learning. 
  • All Classes perform a play every year where drama skills are explicitly taught and developed.
  • Phonics is taught daily at KS1 through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
  • We understand the importance of inspiring children to read for pleasure and do this by using a wide-range of literature (having an ongoing 'class novel' read aloud by the teacher daily; every class maintaining a reading corner; every class using the school library; local library visits and daily reading lessons).
  • Reading lessons take place every day as a whole class based lesson focusing on the key comprehension skills.
  • Teachers develop units of work linked to specific genres and use excellent books and texts as a basis for analysis, exploration and enjoyment. English lessons are taught widely through our thematic topics as we think a topic approach makes learning more engaging and relevant.
  • We have developed a handwriting criteria and follow a scheme of semi-cursive handwriting called Penpals, which is taught weekly in every class, pupils can work towards achieving a special pencil, pen or fountain pen.
  • We promote the use of film and digital literacy and link our English to Computing where we can.