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Cherry Orchard, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9AN

01543 263505


St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Growing with Jesus


At St. Joseph’s, we strive for excellence in English achievement throughout the school. We strive to develop children’s abilities within a programme of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. Across all classes, pupils are given opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and use of spoken and written English, within a balanced and exciting curriculum. There are lots of opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce taught English skills throughout all subjects and to apply them in a range of contexts.



We aim to give the pupils at St. Joseph’s the opportunity to:

  • Develop confidence in themselves as skilled communicators who are able to speak confidently and listen attentively to others, adapting their speech to a widening range of audiences, circumstances and demands. 
  • Develop their ability, interest and pleasure in reading so that they can read independently and with understanding across a wide range of materials and purposes. 
  • Develop their enjoyment of writing and an understanding that writing is essential to thinking and learning across the curriculum by encouraging them to write independently and to produce well organised, accurately spelt text, which communicates meaning in narrative and non-narrative forms. 
  • Develop a technical vocabulary with understanding of grammatical terminology  and learn how to apply grammatical terminology in their own writing.
  • Develop legible handwriting (using the cursive script) with increasing fluency and speed. 


English is a core subject of the National Curriculum. The fundamental skills, knowledge and concepts in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing are set out in the Programmes of Study for English in the National Curriculum.

To ensure that there is adequate time for developing English skills, each class has a dedicated English based lesson each day. Additional time is allocated each week for Speaking and Listening, Handwriting, Reading (including silent/shared reading, access to the library to exchange books and Guided Reading). Teachers will also read aloud to their class through all key stages, which aims to develop their love of Reading. Opportunities for extra reading and extended writing are planned when appropriate. The English skills that the children develop are utilised and supported in every area of the curriculum and can be directly linked with other subjects. For example, formal letter writing within English may be developed within a history topic. 

 Planning for each term is taken directly from the National Curriculum and teaching objectives are closely matched to the needs of the class. Teachers use high quality texts to model and inspire. Thorough planning ensures continuity and progression. These plans follow the five key aspects of English teaching: familiarisation with the genre and text type; capturing ideas; teacher demonstration; teacher scribing through supported and guided writing and finally, independent writing to create a teaching sequence. This is adapted according to the needs of the children.



At St. Joseph's we value Reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success across the curriculum. To ensure every child has the best possible start in Reading, YR and Y1 are taught Guided Reading in small groups three times a week. This then progresses to whole class Guided Reading teaching for other year groups (also three times per week). Children who are not at ARE throughout the school are given every opportunity to “catch up” through targeted intervention programmes.


Teachers promote and value reading as an enjoyable activity and a life skill. Teachers plan for a range of comprehension strategies that allow pupils to engage with text in a variety of ways. All teachers are responsible for providing a stimulating reading environment, promoting book ownership and recommending books to pupils. Classroom and central displays are language rich and special displays should promote authors and books.


Reading at home is regarded as an important part of reading development. Parents are encouraged to read regularly with their child. Children are given a range of books to support their reading development: 

Grammar, phonics  and spelling 

 In line with the National Curriculum, we also ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for their age range.  Children are given daily opportunities to practise phonics/spelling. Spelling errors in written work are identified by the teacher and the children practise the chosen spelling errors at the end of their work. 

As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children are encouraged and striving for the greater depth standard. 

 We use the systematic and synthetic Letters & Sounds program to deliver daily discreet phonics lessons in EYFS & KS1. Where necessary, children continue with phonics lessons into KS2.


Progression in phonics from Early Years into Y2

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term


(Children who attend Pre-School for more than one year will explore Phase 1 Letters and Sounds up and continue this into their final Autumn term in Pre-school)

Letters and sounds Phase 1: environmental sounds; instrumental sounds; body percussion; rhythm and rhyme; alliteration; voice sounds; and oral blending and segmenting

Continue to practise and embed Letters and Sounds Phase 1.

Introduce Phase 2 letter sounds: s, a, t, p, i

Adults model oral blending and segmenting

Continue to practise and embed Letters and Sounds Phase 1.

Introduce Phase 2 letter sounds n, m, d, g, o, c, k

Adults model oral blending and segmenting

Reception Class

Teach Phase 2 Letters and Sounds.  

Teach Phase 2 tricky words.

the, no, to, into, go, I

Phase 2 phonics high frequency words

a, an, as, at, and, back, big, but, can, dad, had, get, got, him, his, if, in, is, it, mum, not, on, of, off, up

Teach Phase 3 Letters and Sounds

 Teach Phase 3 tricky words.

all, are, be, he, her, me, my, she, they, was, we, you

Phase 3 phonics high frequency words

down, for, look, now, see, that, them, this, then, too, will, with

Embed Phase 3 Letters and Sounds.

Introduce Phase 4 Letters and Sounds

Introduce Phase 4 tricky words.

come, do, have, like, little, one, out, said, so, some, there, were, what, when

Introduce Phase 4 high frequency words

went, children, it's, just, from, help

Phase 4 teaching continues into Year 1

Year 1

Recap, practise and embed Phase 3 Letters and Sounds. 

Teach Phase 4 Letters and Sounds.

Teach Phase 4 tricky words.  

come, do, have, like, little, one, out, said, so, some, there, were, what, when

Teach Phase 4 high frequency words 

went, children, it's, just, from, help

Teach phase 5 Letters and Sounds. each sound over two days. 

Teach Phase 5 tricky words.  

Oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

Teach Phase 5 high frequency words

don't, day, old, made, I'm, came, by, make, time, here, saw, house, very, about, your

Begin to teach the Year 1 Common Exception Words

Y1 Phonics Screening

Continue teaching and embedding Phase 5 letters and Sounds. 

Continue embedding all phonics knowledge taught so far. 

Continue teaching and embedding the Year 1 Common Exception Words



Year 2 

Recap Phase 5 Letters and Sounds, including the spelling of tricky words.

Boosters for children who need to re-sit the phonics screening -  gaps identified through assessments and lessons planned accordingly. 

Revise Y1 common exception words & introduce Y2 common exception words. 

Teach phase 6/Year 2 curriculum spelling rules for alternative spellings 

Silent letters

Words ending le, el, al and il

Verbs ending y 

Words which need a consonant to be doubled before adding -ing, -ed 

Dropping the e off the end of a word when adding -ing, -ed, -er 

Unusual uses of vowels

Suffixes-ly, -ment, -ful, -ness and -less


Continue to teach Y2  common exception words


Words ending -tion

Past tense

Embedding of Y2 common exception words


Useful Links

English Primary National Curriculum

Statutory Framework for EYFS 2017


Grammar Guides for Parents:

Grammar and Spelling Year 1 & Year 2

Grammar and Spelling Year 3 & Year 4

Grammar and Spelling Year 5 & Year 6


Please click to view, or download our St Joseph's Phonics Guide for Parents