St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

The Way, The Truth, The Life

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English Teaching and Learning at St Joseph's


At St Joseph’s, we teach English by developing the following skills:

  • Spoken Language (speaking and listening)
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar


Children learn through a wide range of experiences: writing stories, letters, diaries, information texts, reports, poetry, the analysis of text, drama, films, plays, assemblies/liturgies and songs. 


For more information, please take a look at our St Joseph's English Methods Site. 


Spoken Language at St Joseph’s

At St Joseph’s, we develop children’s confidence and clarity in spoken language. We do this in many ways.

  • Encouraging conversations. This could be through questioning, sparking interactions and giving prompts.
  • Modelling and encouraging listening skills. 
  • Modelling speaking loudly and clearly.
  • Boosting comprehension through questioning.

Developing these skills enable children to clarify their thinking and organise their ideas for writing. Children have opportunities in class worship, group discussions, class assemblies and drama.


Reading at St Joseph's

Early reading is vital for children to become confident writers. At St Joseph’s, we teach Phonics every day in EYFS and KS1. We use a combination of Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics to teach our children Phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond. Through using Letters and Sounds, the children learn the sound, an action and the formation of each letter. As the children become more confident, we teach them how to put sounds together to read and write words. The children also practise high frequency words such as ‘we’ and ‘was’ at both home and school.


In Key Stage 1, the children continue to follow the Letters and Sounds scheme, enhanced with further materials, and the children have weekly spellings. The children use card games, interactive whiteboard materials, flash cards and white boards to support their learning.


We have developed our own reading scheme, which is closely matched with those of Oxford Reading Tree, Collins and other key schemes. Books are banded according to their level of decoding and comprehension. Children move up through the book levels until they have become free readers. They are then able to select and change their own reading books from the Junior Library and bring in a range from home. It is our aim that by the start of Year 4, the majority of children are free readers.

For further information on the reading levels and supporting your child with their reading, please refer to our 'Reading Scheme' document below: 

To see recommended reading lists for each year group, please click on the relevant link below:

Writing at St Joseph's

We believe that the use of good quality texts can be very beneficial for modelling writing. We focus on the link between reading and writing to provide children with rich opportunities.

From an early age, children are taught pre cursive letter formation, leading to cursive (joined) handwriting. 


At St Joseph’s, we use a combination of Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics to teach our children Phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond. Children will learn to spell decodable words and common exception words once they can identify them in their reading. We also use the Spelling Shed scheme of work from Year 2 upwards to provide a consistent, challenging and appropriate level of spellings for each year group.

SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) bookmarks
To consolidate previous learning and to help children become more confident in SPaG elements within their current year group, each child is given a SPaG bookmark to refer to in their lessons. These bookmarks detail learning from the year below as a consolidation tool as well as their current curriculum objectives. Children use these bookmarks as a method for self and peer marking, reflection and feedback in order to improve their writing.


SPaG booklets
Alongside our bookmarks, we have developed booklets detailing the SPaG terminology for each year group. These feature clear examples of each objective and term and are primarily for children to use at home to assist with any homework or home-learning.

Vocabulary at St Joseph’s

Through our strong links to reading, we develop children’s use of rich vocabulary by engaging with high-quality texts, completing shared and modelled writes and regular sessions which focus on improving their use of vocabulary, to match the tone and genre of writing they are learning about.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar at St Joseph’s

At St Joseph’s, we use a Place Value of Grammar document which was developed by This document details the building blocks of grammar for each year group and then builds upon these elements in a clearly structured and cohesive way in order to create long-lasting and in-depth knowledge and understanding. Teachers use this document to inform their planning and ensure that all objectives are met in a structured manner with clear progression throughout their time at St Joseph’s.