At St Joseph’s, we have adopted an approach to English that meets the individual needs of all children. 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. We passionately believe in the transformative power of reading in helping pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually, and enabling pupils both to acquire new knowledge and to build on what they already know across all areas of the curriculum and beyond. Fundamentally, we wish to equip all our children with the skills of language and literacy that are essential to success in the next phases of their learning journey, whilst also instilling in them a love of reading for its own sake – as a source of information, enjoyment, and inspiration.
Using the National Curriculum as its core model, we use the Literacy Company’s ‘Pathways to Write’ scheme of work to ensure that our English 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.
Reading a wider variety of high quality literature is central to our curriculum with each unit of work being based around a particular fiction or non-fiction text. 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.
Pathways to Write is further supplemented by our Whole School Reading Spine, which lays out a progression of picture books, novels and poetry collections to be read aloud by the teacher with the whole class, and so 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.
The impact for all St Joseph’s pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, is that they:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide, enriched vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn, elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
Long Term Plans
Whilst a number of different approaches and pedagogies are utilised in the teaching of reading, developing secure phonetic awareness and the ability to accurately segment and blend phonemes and graphemes is the first step towards fluency. At St Joseph’s, we utilise Bug Club Phonics as our main scheme for the teaching of 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. Phonics is taught from day one in Reception and 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.
Reading for Pleasure:
At St Joseph’s, we aim to help to enable all your children to develop their skills, confidences and interests so they are able to grow into lifelong readers and appreciators of literature. Primarily, this is done through introducing children to the enticing world of books and sharing with them a variety of high quality texts spanning a wide range of styles, genres, purposes and from different times and contexts. High quality texts form the basis of our English curriculum and are further supplemented the selection of classic and contemporary fiction that make up our English Reading Spine. Furthermore, whole class reading, in which the teacher reads aloud to the class is a curriculum priority across all year groups, as well time for independent reading for pleasure. 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.