Leader: Miss S Whelan


Reading is fundamental in our modern society and shapes us as critical thinkers, learners and questioning citizens.

Learning to read and reading to learn is the key to unlocking all areas of the curriculum and is the foundation for the future educational success that we want for all of our children at St Joseph’s.

The power of reading is immeasurable. Reading feeds their imagination and opens them up to a world of wonder and joy. We strive for all of our children to discover the magic in reading, develop an appreciation for and love of reading and instil the habit of reading for pleasure.

We provide a thriving reading culture for all children in our school.

Through effective teaching and intervention, children are equipped with the essential skills to ensure that they become competent readers.

Beginning their reading journey with phonics in Early Years and Key Stage 1 provides children with a direct route to becoming novice readers.

They subsequently move to whole class reading lessons that focus on the development of vocabulary, comprehension skills and the immersion in a wide range of high-quality texts. These lessons also instil excitement and pleasure in reading.

This enjoyment in reading is further demonstrated by daily reading aloud (class readers) and various other strategies such as regular opportunities for rich book talk, the use of book clubs, our inviting library and children regularly witnessing their teachers as readers.

Ultimately, reading is a crucial component to children’s future educational success and achievements in life.

Children at St Joseph’s perform well in statutory tests in both phonics and reading, though more importantly, they leave us as competent readers, who can both read to learn and read for pleasure, in order to offer them the best possible opportunities in life.

We strive to ensure that our children also leave us as ‘forever readers’ who are able to capture the magic of reading which will, in turn, develop their self-esteem and have a direct, positive impact on their future wellbeing.


Writing is a vital skill for living in the modern world and, at St. Joseph’s, we want our students to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing.

Writing is a tool that is often used to demonstrate children’s understanding across the curriculum

We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and effectively and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.

The children of St Joseph’s are encouraged to become ‘mini authors’, who write as readers, and have a wide range of vocabulary, an excellent knowledge of writing techniques, as well as a clear understanding of genre and text type. They evaluate, edit and improve their work and understand that writing is a process.

We also aim for all of our children to discover the magic in writing, develop an appreciation for and love of writing and instil the habit of writing for pleasure.

We provide a thriving writing culture for all children in our school.

Through effective teaching and intervention, children are equipped with the essential skills to ensure that they become competent writers. All staff appreciate the inextricable link between children’s reading and effective writing and this is at the core of teaching.

At St Joseph’s, we have devised a clear ‘Writing Cycle’ which captures the essence of our teaching of writing for all children.

Children’s current understanding is assessed at the start of a unit and planned for to meet the needs of the class. Children’s inspiration is then ignited through exciting and engaging writing stimuli and authentic purposes for writing are encouraged where possible.

Teachers expose children to high quality texts across the curriculum that provide effective models for their own writing. They are able to develop their understanding of text type and build up their writer toolkit. 

Children are given appropriate time and are taught strategies to edit and improve their work.

Spelling is taught weekly and vocabulary development is further supplemented by our cross-curricular focus on key spelling words.

Time to review and celebrate children’s writing is planned into a unit.

Time to review and celebrate children’s writing is planned into a unit and work is further celebrated by our ‘Writer of the Week’ award.

We aim for children to be enthusiastic writers who enjoy writing across a range of genres and for a range of purposes. They will have a well-established writer toolkit, full of writing techniques, effective vocabulary and a range of sentence structures.

Children will be able to talk about their own writing confidently, with a sense of pride, and explain specific choices and their effect.

Writing skills that children have developed are used across the curriculum and empower them too demonstrate their understanding in all subjects.

Children at St Joseph’s perform well in writing at key assessment points, though more importantly, they leave us as competent writers, who can both write clearly to inform/communicate and write for pleasure.


We strive to ensure that the children of St Joseph’s develop into confident, articulate speakers who are able to express themselves and their ideas clearly.

We are also aware that spoken language underpins the development of both reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for all areas of the curriculum.

Spoken language is at the heart of all learning at St Josephs.

Opportunities for children to develop their competence in spoken language are weaved into all aspects of school life and in all areas of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to contribute in class discussions daily and take part in various other activities such as class debates regularly. Drama is used throughout the school and staff have been provided with further activities and strategies to develop children’s oracy.

Many other opportunities for children outside of the classroom include: class assemblies, termly productions, speech assemblies and discovery viewings.

All staff are excellent role models for spoken language and demonstrate the use of higher-level vocabulary within their speech. They question children effectively and encourage them to rephrase statements where necessary.

Children are able to apply for various roles of responsibility in their time at St Joseph’s and this often requires making a short speech in front of their peers or staff. These roles provide further opportunities for children to present to various audiences such as governors, staff, parents or school visitors.

Our students at St Joseph’s will be role models of correct spoken language, using Standard English.

They will speak audibly and fluently, gaining, maintaining and monitoring the interest of the listener.

They enjoy talking amongst peers and to adults both in and out of school and demonstrate excellent listening skills.

When taking part in any discussions, they will articulate and justify arguments and opinions as well as considering and evaluating differing viewpoints.

EYFS Coverage