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Reading at St Joseph’s


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
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