English at St Joseph’s
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Here at St Joseph’s we use the National Curriculum to plan and deliver cross curricular and engaging literacy sessions. We use a variety of teaching methods including roleplay, hot seating, interviews and class discussions, this enables children to access the curriculum through a number of pathways, ensuring achievement for all.
Teachers group children according to their abilities and work should be differentiated accordingly using effective methods such as support, outcome and task. Where appropriate, literacy units will link to creative curriculum themes to promote cross curricular learning.
Reading is an important part of the English curriculum in our School. Reading books are organized on a book banding system ensuring the children read books appropriate to their level (the children’s reading should be 99% accurate in these books). These books will be provided and sent home on a daily basis for parents to read with their children. We use books from a range of schemes including: Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club.
Each parent is given the opportunity to liaise with teachers through reading record books which record when the children have been listened to in School by a member of staff or a volunteer, and at home, and any issues or positives there may be. Children who have moved on from the reading scheme have access to the school’s free reader book selection. Children are also encouraged to select a book of their choice from the class reading area which they may enjoy at home with an adult or older sibling.
Shared reading takes place within English lessons to provide enriching experiences through more challenging texts. Teachers also share stories with the class displaying an enthusiasm for reading and setting a positive example as a reader.
Phonics is taught daily in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One following our schools scheme- No Nonsense Phonics. This will involve a 30 minute daily session of planned systematic phonics’ delivery, with a wide opportunity for application of skills through the environment and other lessons. During this session children will also work on letter formation and handwriting.
As part of the Literacy curriculum each child takes part in guided reading sessions. These sessions are led by the class teacher and allow the children to develop their reading and comprehension skills. From year 2 onwards whole class guided reading sessions will take place allowing children access to a rich vocabulary in the texts they share. Further down the school children will take place in guided reading sessions with an adult, this will be part of a carousel of reading activities.
Shared and modelled writing, takes place within English lessons. This allows the teacher to demonstrate good writing practice to the children while using their ideas. Teachers ensure that the writing demonstrated shows high expectations and covers the success criteria they would expect to see in the children’s writing.
Children are expected to write frequently in a range of forms. This may be responses to a text, short writing tasks such as writing as a character or writing a whole story or report as an extended piece of writing.
In the new English curriculum, grammar, punctuation and spelling now play a key role in the children’s writing. In Key Stage 2 the children have daily dedicated time to be taught spelling and grammar rules. They are then given focused spelling or grammar tasks to practise. These skills are referred to during English lessons and children are encouraged to integrate their grammar and spelling learning within their writing. In KS1 the children have discrete SPaG lessons once per week as well as skills being taught throughout every day lessons.
We have worked hard to try and make exciting links between the topics in each year group and the texts that they are focusing on in their literacy lessons. Below you can view the literacy overviews for each year group for the current topic cycle.