At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, English is at the heart of our learning. As a subject, English enables children to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas.
Through the English curriculum, we help our pupils develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through both spoken and written language while equipping them with the expertise and enthusiasm they need to become successful lifelong learners.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we are united in our passion for reading and believe that reading a wide variety of texts, as often as possible, is the key to success in learning.
From Early Years to Year 6, we want to inspire our pupils to pick up a book because they love to read! Regular sessions in our school library, daily story time and guided reading sessions, half termly updates on new and exciting books to read, inspiration from the School Reading Council, an inspiring literature spine in the form of The Great Reading Race and individual reward systems for perseverance and consistency in reading are just some of the ways that we encourage our pupils to read for pleasure.
Above all, we want our pupils to discover, as early as possible, the magic and wonder that reading for pleasure creates, whether they are confident readers or just beginning to read alone. Join our whole school community in ensuring that everyone is a reader and that every day is a reading day!
The fundamental link between enthusiastic readers and confident writers is clear and the St Joseph’s writing journey aims to strengthen that link even further by ensuring that writing tasks are linked to rich, quality texts that inspire creativity in our pupils.
Whether in Early Years or Year 6, our writing journey has three distinct stages. The first is ‘Immersion’ – where the children are ‘plunged’ into the text or topic they will be writing about. At this stage, children collect the vocabulary they will need and spend time examining the audience and purpose for their writing.
The second stage is ‘Exploration.’ Here, the children investigate the structure and features of a specific writing genre and are given many opportunities to ‘explore’ examples of that particular text type. At this point, discussion and oral rehearsal play a huge part in understanding the written word as does the importance of teacher modelling of the writing process. Both of these aspects form an integral part of the St Joseph’s writing journey.
During the ‘Exploration’ phase, the children need a sound understanding of relevant grammatical rules or structures, spelling and punctuation in order to develop a true understanding of a text type therefore these concepts are taught discretely in engaging ways. Through careful planning, we introduce new concepts in relation to a genre that the children are currently studying.
The final ‘stop’ on our journey is ‘Application’ and it's here that the children are given the chance to put into practice everything they have learnt from the ‘Immersion’ and ‘Exploration’ phases by writing confidently, independently and at length. Pupils are also given significant time to edit and improve their writing based on teacher, peer and self-reflection.
The teaching of handwriting follows a consistent approach across the school. Children should be able to write with ease, speed and legibility and this is reinforced in every lesson.
Spelling rules and patterns are taught discretely but also carefully woven through the curriculum to ensure maximum retention for all our pupils.