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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



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.


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.


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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