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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 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
  • Debate is used by all classes in a cross-curricular approach to ensure development of public speaking
  • All Classes perform a play every year and drama skills are explicitly taught and developed
  • Phonics is emphasised in early teaching and at St Joseph’s we follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ but also cherry-pick from other schemes such as the ‘rhyming phrases’ from Jolly Phonics.
  • At St Joseph’s English is taught widely through our thematic topics- we think a topic approach makes learning more engaging and relevant
  • 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', every class maintaining a reading corner, every class using the school library, local library visits, daily reading lessons)
  • Teachers develop units of work linked to specific genres and use excellent books and texts as a basis for analysis, exploration and enjoyment
  • We have developed handwriting criteria and follow a scheme of semi-cursive handwriting called Penpals, pupils can work towards achieving a special pencil, pen or fountain pen.
  • We promote the use of film and digital literacy