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English

Early Reading and Phonics

The teaching of reading at St Joseph’s begins on the first day of Reception class as developing secure phonetic awareness and the ability to accurately segment and blend phonemes and graphemes is the first step towards fluency. 

Bug Club Phonics is our main scheme for the daily, focused teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in Reception, Year 1 and for intervention in Year 2. This scheme links directly to the Bug Club reading books scheme to ensure the children are reading books containing sounds they know and have been taught.

Writing, Language and Communication

We use the Literacy Company’s Pathways to Write scheme of work to ensure that our Writing curriculum provides our children with a clear progression of learning and development of skills based upon securing and building upon the solid foundations of prior learning.

Pathways to Write develops vocabulary, reading and writing skills through a mastery approach. The units provide clear detailed lesson plans and resources, linked to high-quality texts to ensure engaging English curriculum. We have also identified Wraparound Texts for each unit to develop children’s contextual knowledge.

Expanding and enriching our children’s vocabulary is a key focus of each unit alongside progressively developing a mastery of the conventions of spelling, grammar and punctuation, and developing an awareness of purpose and audience and an increasing control of style, structure, voice and tone within their compositions.

Complimentary intervention programmes to support pre- and post-teaching run alongside each unit to ensure the all children are able to meet the age-related expectations including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND.

Wider Reading

Reading a wide variety of high quality literature is central to our curriculum approach.    

Our Whole School Reading Spine sets out a progression of classic and contemporary picture books, novels and poetry collections to be read aloud by the teacher with the whole class to ensure that all children are introduced to variety of inspiring and challenging literature, whatever their own current reading level. We firmly believe that this shared reading experience helps engage children of all abilities into the wondrous pleasure and possibilities of reading, whilst also developing their vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of the world, and ultimately improving their own reading ability.

Relevant texts are also linked to planning for subjects across the curriculum to develop children’s reading skills, subject-specific knowledge and technical vocabulary.

Developing Fluency and Reading for Pleasure

We aim to equip all our children with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to speak and write fluently and to be able to read a range of challenging texts with fluency and critical comprehension.

Developing children’s comprehension skills begins in Reception with ‘Book Talk’, and continues into Year 1 before developing into more tightly focused and prepared comprehension lessons using VIPERS questions based on the Reading Content Domains. 

These wider reading opportunities introduce children to the enticing world of books, spanning a wide range of styles, genres, purposes and from different times and contexts, and allow them the time, space and opportunity to discover their own tastes and interests and so grow into lifelong readers and appreciators of literature.

Assessment and Monitoring

Teachers and teaching assistants provide additional practice and support for the children who are making the slowest progress. A teaching and assessment timeline is in place to ensure children reach key milestones by certain dates, whilst identifying children in need of further support and intervention.

We also utilise Renaissance Star Reading – a complete online assessment for tracking reading progress, aligned to the National Curriculum. Star Reading also identifies the skills each student needs to focus on to meet or exceed expected standards.

Long Term Plans

Reading

Intent

We aim to ensure that all our children develop into confident, independent and engaged readers by equipping with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to read with fluency.

We believe that fluency is the ability to read clearly and accurately with appropriate tone and intonation, whilst also having a clear and expressible understanding of the content of the text. For this to happen, children must be secure in skills of word recognition and language comprehension but also possess a rich and expansive vocabulary, alongside key contextual knowledge and a general love and appreciation of literature. We aim to achieve this by placing reading and the sharing of the best stories, non-fiction texts and poems is at the heart of our curriculum.

Implementation

The teaching of reading at St Joseph’s begins on the first day of Reception class as developing secure phonetic awareness and the ability to accurately segment and blend phonemes and graphemes is the first step towards fluency. Bug Club Phonics as our main scheme for the daily, focused teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in Reception, Year 1 and for intervention in Year 2 as required. This scheme links directly to the Bug Club reading books scheme, which is used from Reception until children become independent readers, to ensure the children are reading books containing sounds they already know and have been taught. Teachers and teaching assistants also provide additional practice and support for the children who are making the slowest progress. A teaching and assessment timeline is in place to ensure children reach key milestones by certain dates, whilst identifying children in need of further support and intervention.

Developing children’s comprehension skills also begins in Reception with ‘Book Talk’, which continues into Year 1 before developing into more tightly focused and prepared comprehension lessons using VIPERS questions based on the Reading Content Domains. These wider reading opportunities introduce children to the enticing world of books, spanning a wide range of styles, genres, purposes and from different times and contexts, and allow them the time, space and opportunity to discover their own tastes and interests and so grow into lifelong readers and appreciators of literature. As well as continuing to develop our own school library, we also have excellent links with Huyton Library and Knowsley Library Services, who provide fiction and non-fiction project loans for all classes each term and facilitate annual visits to encourage all our children to engage with the library and its services.

Impact:

The impact for all St Joseph’s pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, is that they:

  • read with fluency and confidence
  • can demonstrate their understanding of what they have read both orally and in written responses to questions
  • demonstrate a love of reading and possess a knowledge of the works of a number of authors

Reading News

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