St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

St Joseph's Catholic
Primary School



At St Joseph’s we are proud to love, grow and learn together as part of God’s family. In English we believe that words and language are central to everything we do. The Bible says: ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ We believe that our creativity and thought depends on words and it is through our language that we can express our love for God, for his creation and for each other.

English contributes to our learning and being part of God’s family by:

  • Giving pupils opportunities to hear and read stories and to reflect on their messages
  • Encouraging creativity and enquiry
  • Giving pupils opportunities to reason and to explore ideas about values and responsibility
  • Teaching pupils to empathise with others and to respect their thoughts, feelings and opinions

We follow the English National Curriculum 2014 throughout Year 1 – Year 6, with EYFS following the Early Years Framework for Literacy. A range of resources are used by teachers to support teaching and learning.


  • Promoting reading for pleasure is a priority at St Joseph's. Books and reading culture is promoted through author visits, high quality texts in class and we are pleased to have started reading book packs for each class. Every week a child will be able to take home a picture book and poetry book to share with their family as well as a reading recommendations scrapbook that they can add to. 
  • We encourage parents and carers to read with their child at home daily. While still on the RWI program children take home a familiar text based on their phonics level as well as a reading book linked to phonics. Once off the program we use book banded reading books selected from different reading schemes. The children choose their own books within their book band to take home. A  reading record is also provided for parents and carers to record comments and for the children to record the title of their book and when they have completed it.
  • In KS2, we encourage children to read at home every day, for at least 15 minutes. Books may be taken home from their class book corner or from the school library. A reading record is also provided for parents and carers to record and confirm that reading has taken place.
  • Reading opportunities are provided on a daily basis.  A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The teachers share books with the class and regularly read stories and rhymes.
  • We are proud of our library where the children can enjoy a wide selection of books. Children have opportunities every week to visit the school library and borrow a book. 
  • In KS1 children participate in weekly guided reading sessions to deepen children’s inferential, retrieval and decoding skills. Children are placed into similar ability groups which are reviewed on a regular basis. The text chosen for a given guided reading session will challenge the group in terms of meaning and word difficulty. There is a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts chosen for guided reading sessions over a half-term period.
  • In KS2 children take part in whole class reading lessons to support comprehension and a wide variety of reading skills. 

Watch a video here on 10 things to think about when reading with your child:





  • We use the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to support the teaching and planning of phonics. This programme is designed for 4-7 year olds learning to read and for 7-8 years olds needing to catch up quickly.
  • Phonics is taught daily in 40 minute sessions. Children are placed in small groups and are regularly assessed and moved between groups according to their reading development needs.
  • In Reception, we aim for all children to be able to read storybooks and non-fiction books closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge, take home books to share and above all develop a love of reading.
  • By the end of Year 1, we aim for all children to be accurate and speedy readers.

Watch a video here on how to say the sounds:





  • We select high-quality, engaging texts as inspiration for writing. We also link our teaching of writing to topic work to ensure children are interested and excited to write.
  • Grammar and punctuation is taught within writing lessons. The skills taught are based on the National Curriculum 2014 expectations.
  • English Primary Curriculum 2014:
    Year 1
    Year 2
    Year 3
    Year 4
    Year 5
    Year 6 


Writing expectation videos




We have produced some videos for each year group to set out expectations for parents/carers. We hope you find them informative and that they help you know how to best support your child with writing at home.

Year 1: 



Year 2:


 Year 3:


 Year 4: 


 Year 5: 




Spellings are taught from Year 1-6.

  • In Year 1, children focus on learning to spell key words. The children receive five spellings to learn each week and they are tested one week later.Year 1 Common Exception Words
  • In Years 2-6, children are taught spellings linked to the National Curriculum requirements. The children are taught strategies, patterns and the skills to learn spellings. The children are given spelling lists to learn with a spelling test once a week.Year 2 Common Exception WordsYear 3 & 4 Common Exception WordsYear 5 & 6 Common Exception Words
  • To support teachers, spelling lists are taken from The Literacy Shed which ensures clear progression throughout the school and correct coverage.

 We use 'Spelling Shed' as a resource for your child to practise their spellings. They can log in here using a username and password given to them by their teacher:

Spelling Shed


  • Handwriting is taught using the scheme Penpals for Handwriting. This is a complete handwriting scheme for 3–11 year olds that offers clear progression through five developmental stages: physical preparation for handwriting, securing correct letter formation, beginning to join along, securing the joins and practicing speed, fluency and developing a personal style. Penpals is focused on whole-class teaching using digital resources to enable modelling and interactive learning, along with practice books and workbooks to support independent work. The Foundation content is in line with the EYFS Framework and the Year 1–6 content supports frequent, discrete and direct teaching of handwriting for 5–11 year olds, as required by National Curriculum 2014.

Here is some information for parents from the Penpals scheme:

handwriting penpals information for parents.pdf


Support your child at home…

KS1 Phonics
KS2 Spelling and Grammar