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The Federation of St Edmund's and St Joseph's Catholic Primary Schools

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

  • Ambitious
  • Confident
  • Inquisitive
  • Collaborative
  • Resilient
  • Respectful
  • Motivated
  • Independent
  • Resourceful
  • Faithful


English Curriculum Statement

At the Federation of St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s English underpins the curriculum; the ability to read, write and to communicate well enables all other areas of the curriculum to become accessible. We aim to put English at the heart of our curriculum by using English skills to research other subjects, and by using other subjects as the context for English work.


At the Federation of St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s we believe reading is the bedrock of success in education. Reading is the cornerstone for all learning as it has the power to shape minds both in the classroom and, ultimately outside it. It needs to be taught frequently and with a vast quantity of rich literature using texts of both fiction and non-fiction. Through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Each year group has a selection of texts which are read to the children. These texts have been selected to provide all children with knowledge of classic children’s literature both from the past and more recent, picture books, and poetry.

We believe that the teaching of Phonics is key to teaching children to read, write and spell. We follow the ‘Sounds-Write’ Phonics Scheme, which is a high-quality program endorsed by the Department for Education.

Our aim is for the children to be confident fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. High quality Phonics teaching enables children to decode new words confidently and independently and leads to improved understanding. This will enable the children to read for pleasure and develop their comprehension skills. Sounds-Write phonics also teaches children how to spell words and help them to become confident writers.

The main objective of the teaching and learning of Phonics is to enable all children to access reading and writing at an age-appropriate level. This is best achieved when there is:

  • A consistent whole school approach to the teaching of Phonics throughout Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2.
  • Rigorous planning, assessment, and tracking.
  • Sufficient training provided to enable the implementation of Sounds-Write based teaching of Phonics by all teaching staff involved in the teaching of Phonics.

Sounds-Write has four key concepts that must be followed. They are:

  1. Letters are symbols or spellings that represent sounds from left to right, across the page
  2. A sound can be spelt with 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters
  3. The same sound can be spelled in more than one way
  4. Many spellings can represent more than one sound

We use Accelerated Reader as a tool to encourage students to read independently and inspire them to enjoy the world of books. Accelerated Reader encourages substantial differentiated reading practise to create competent readers. Based on each student's independent reading level, AR helps teachers set personalised goals for each student, and guide students to books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not so difficult as to cause frustration. The program promotes a positive relationship with reading, where our children can gain rewards for their reading through taking quizzes after they have completed a book; keeping count of the words they have read and aim to become ‘Word Millionaires’ as well as having a constructive awareness of the accuracy of their reading. Reading for pleasure is a key driver at our Federation and all teachers at St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s Primaries are responsible for promoting this.


At the Federation of St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s, our aim is that all children have a love of English and are excited to read, write and express themselves. In order to achieve this, we follow Talk for Writing (TFW) as a cumulative and systematic process for the teaching of composition.

At the heart of Talk for Writing is the principle that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to; a principle that we passionately believe in. Through their time at St Edmund’s and St Joseph’s, children gradually build their bank of well-known texts, supplemented by picture books, novels and non-fiction books. Gradually, this living library of language begins to equip the children with the words they need to express themselves.

At the Federation, children are immersed in Talk for Writing from Early Years to Year 6. Its three phases (Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application) mean that children are explicitly taught how to write a variety of text types and how to write for a specific purpose in an engaging way. Teachers act as expert models of the writing process in shared writing sessions and there are regular opportunities for children’s writing and ideas to be shared, displayed, published and celebrated.

The end goal of the teaching of any writing should be to develop children into successful independent writers. At the end of each unit, once all of the teaching, modelling and internalisation of knowledge has taken place, there is an opportunity for children to produce a final, independent piece of work.

Writing is a primary means of expression, both for personal cognitive purposes and for communicating meaning with others. Pupils learn how to write with confidence, fluency, imagination and accuracy by orchestrating their knowledge of context and composition (text level), grammatical knowledge (sentence level) and knowledge of phonics, word recognition and graphic knowledge (word level).

We provide a wide variety of reasons and purposes for writing and in the early years we provide many opportunities for child initiated and role-play writing. As soon as children are able to form most letters correctly and have a good pencil grip, we teach a fluent and legible handwriting style that empowers children to write with confidence and creativity in line with our handwriting policy.

Supporting Children with English as an additional language (EAL)

EAL learners have a dual task at school: to learn English (language) and to learn through English. For this reason, EAL teaching aims to teach English using the mainstream curriculum as the context.  Specific teaching strategies and resources are therefore necessary to make the language of the curriculum accessible to learners who use EAL. Within our Federation we do this in several ways, with the use of the Racing to English programme being the primary resource. Software such as WIDGET and CLICKER are also used to support language acquisition. As a Federation we actively encourage our EAL children to read in their first language at home, whilst immersing them in English within the school community.


Sounds Write

These courses are primarily aimed at parents of children aged 4-6 to help support you understand how we are now teaching phonics following the Sounds Write programme. The course aims to help you understand the main concepts of Sounds Write and how to help you help your children blend and segment sounds in words, build read and write words and how to help your child when they make a mistake. It will also give you an insight into the approaches and techniques that we will be using in school.

Part one: 

Part two: 


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Talk for Writing​​​​​​

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reading cvc, cvcc and ccvc words

phases 2 and 3 sounds voiced


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Phase 5 Sounds Voiced

Y1 Phonics Games

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KS2 Grammar Curriculum

Alan Peat's Sentence Structures

Alan Peat's Sentence Structures

Click on the link below to find out more about Alan Peat Apps, which can be purchased through Apple Store and Google Play Store. There are also some details of some free apps.

Common Exception Word Lists from the National Curriculum