Our School  »  Curriculum  »  English

Our Intent

Through our English curriculum our intent is to develop articulate, confident and considerate communicators in both the spoken and written word. We strive for our children to be able to read fluently and efficiently; understanding what they read and being able to convey this meaning to others. We do this by rapidly developing their word reading skills through a high quality phonics curriculum alongside progressively developing their comprehension skills. We not only aim to ensure that they learn to read well, but develop a love for reading; truly feeling the joy that books give us.

Our intent is to develop writers who can write effectively for a range of purposes. We do this by ensuring that our writing curriculum is broad with pupils reading, analysing and then composing their own portfolio of writing. They know what makes a good piece of writing so can edit and improve their own work. There are links between subjects so that their writing is meaningful.

We know our children well and our curriculum is designed with them, and only them, in mind. To this end we ensure that our children benefit from as many first hand experiences as possible. This allows them to apply these to their abstract leaning. We systematically develop their vocabulary and language through the direct teaching of new words and ensure opportunities for them to apply and consolidate this learning.

At St Joseph’s, we know teaching our children how to write effectively is one of the most important life-long skills we can impart to our children. We teach writing in a number of different ways and are creative and practical in our approach.

What are the characteristics of effective writing?

As learners develop as writers, they demonstrate that they can:


• engage their reader(s)

• adapt their writing to suit the audience and purpose of the piece

• use grammatical and stylistic features to ensure clarity, achieve the

right tone and create particular effects

• use a range of sentence structures

• organise their writing, linking ideas coherently and using

paragraphs effectively

• choose and use appropriate vocabulary

• use punctuation to clarify meaning

• use a range of strategies to enable them to spell correctly

• present their writing appropriately, either by hand or by using

information and communication technology (ICT).


Children at St Joseph’s will receive teaching that includes

the modelling of writing, regular opportunities to develop their skills,

and effective assessment practice that leads our children to understand how best to improve their work.


The really effective writer will reach a stage when the mechanical aspects of writing, such as spelling and punctuation, become second nature to them and they are able to give all their attention to experimenting with language and form to engage and inform their readers.


Alongside Government advice and examples, we have developed a set of non negotiable criteria for each year group. These are continuously used in class and assessments to ensure all our children make good or better progress.

The Teaching of Reading

Phonics is systematically taught daily throughout Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. Pupils who continue to need phonics teaching in Key Stage 2 receive this as necessary.