Davey Drive, Hollingdean, Brighton BN17BF

St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Brighton

Educating in Faith, Hope and Love


Welcome to the curriculum page for English


 At St Joseph's, we encourage a love of reading and writing and teach daily English lessons. Speaking and listening skills are also developed through English sessions with regular opportunities to  develop communication skills in other subjects and drama activities. Children have the opportunity to develop their reading, writing, phonics, handwriting, speaking and listening skills across the curriculum as well as in specifically designated daily English lessons. We constantly strive to provide our children with a varied, rich and stimulating experience of language.

The Power of Reading 


 At St. Joseph's, we love to read. Books are held up as a key source of inspiration to our pupils. Each class has a well-stocked and inviting book corner with a range of books, newspapers and texts that stimulate and challenge children in their reading choices. Children are given regular opportunities for individual reading, shared reading, guided reading and class reading. This academic year 2020-2021 is a very exciting year at St.Joseph's because we are embracing the Power of Reading project to develop our children's love of books further. We are using high quality texts to teach creatively and to instil excitement, develop expressive language, writing and engagement with reading.

If you would like to find out more visit The Power of Reading website.



Miss Green's Class have been working on The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge here is an example of some of their work.




Year 6 began the Power of Reading Project with The Journey by Francesca Sanna. 

They did some excellent visualisation work to really immerse themselves in the story. Visualisation is a technique for children to imagine a setting or an experience and express their ideas in a figurative or abstract art representation.



Year 2 are currently working on Pattan's Pumpkin for their Home Learning.            

Harry has done an amazing job of making a story box and using it to retell the story, listen to him below!

Storyboxes and storymaps are one of the methods we use to immerse children into a text and to begin using the language of storytelling  in their speech.






Reading Together

We encourage parents to read with their child daily. Reading skills are taught at school but children need to practise at home, often, to become independent, successful readers. Please write in your child's reading record book whenever you read with them. Any adult that reads with your child will also write in their book. We love to hear their ideas about the story or how well they are understanding the texts.


                                  Sharing books                                    Year 5's book corner                                



                   Sharing books                    Year 4's "Book of the Week"                Year 3 book corner                  Enjoying a book together


Here are the Reading Key Objectives by year group, click on the link to find out the objectives your child is working on in reading.


Have a look at Julia Donaldson's tips for reading at home with your child aimed at KS1 children.


Why not set up an account on the Oxford Owl website? They offer a wide range of e-books suitable for all ages. Children can read them for free. All you need to do is sign in.



Punctuation and Grammar

This may be a useful resource for you and your child.

By the end of Key Stage 2, your child will be expected to know these grammatical terms and punctuation marks, be able to explain what they are, their purpose and identify them in sentences, as well as use them in their own writing.

A lot of our SPAG teaching (spelling, punctuation and grammar) is reinforced through games and activities.




We actively encourage all children to view themselves as practicing authors. Our aim is to see all our children leave St Joseph’s feeling confident in their own writing abilities. At St Joseph's, we use quality texts as a stimulus for children's writing, across different genres. From the earliest experiences in the Foundation Stage right through to Year 6 , our children are exposed to a wide variety of first-hand experiences and a broad range of text types to engage, inspire and stimulate their imaginations. We believe that these rich experiences provide children with opportunities to develop their language skills and create a love for writing.

Children in the Early Years have many opportunities to write using a range of media they take part in the Writedance programme to develop their letter formation.





At St. Joseph's, we know that children need to say a sentence or a story before they can write it. We bring texts alive using creative activities such as art and drama. This immerses the children into a story. It helps them to identify with the characters and situations giving them opportunities to use emotive language and visual literacy. In EYFS and KS1 we use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. This "Talk For Writing" techniques to develop children's expressive language skills, knowledge of story structure and the ability to retell stories to engage a listener. All these skills make children better writers. This is proven to improve their vocabulary and to embed patterns of stories they know enabling them to compose their own stories.



Children in Years 1 and 2 have a checklist on each page of  their books when doing any writing, reminding them of what they need to include in their work. They are given opportunities to self assess their writing against the checklist, as well as time to edit and improve their work with a "purple polishing pen."



Children in KS2 also have plenty of opportunities to write and are taught the appropriate writing style for the purpose and can discuss the features of different genres. KS2 pupils  also have a checklist to refer back to in order to make sure they have all the necessary components in each piece of writing.


Year 4 are working on Into The Forest by Antony Brown as their Power of Reading book.


They have been writing emails in role as part of their home learning.




                  Year 6's descriptive writing display and resources.           Year 5's display celebrating writing.                          .


Children are encouraged to plan, draft, edit and improve their work using a range of classroom resources.     

At the end of each unit, children in KS2 complete a self or peer assessment, finding evidence in their pieces of writing to show they have fulfilled the success criteria and highlighting their next steps.


Here are the Writing Key Objectives by year group, click on the link below to find out the objectives your child is working on in writing.




At St Josephs, we continue to focus on handwriting. We take pride in the presentation of work and teach handwriting regularly. All children from Year 2 upwards should be joining their letters and writing in a fluent, legible cursive style. Below is an example of the script that we teach. If possible, please encourage your child to use this joined script when completing homework too.


If you want to find out more read our Handwriting Policy.



At St Joseph's, children learn phonics throughout the EYFS and Key Stage 1. Phonics is the first important step for children in learning to read. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.

Phonics is taught daily in short 20 minute sessions so that children can build up and practise the skills they need to use in reading and writing. Practising the sounds correctly is really important. We use the approved, "letters and Sounds" scheme for teaching phonics at St Joseph's.

Find out more by clicking on the links below.




We use sound buttons to help us to spot the sounds in different words. Have a look below, this will help explain this further. When children are trying to sound out words, encourage them to spot the sounds they know and add in sounds buttons or sound bars to support further.


We follow phases 2, 3 and 4 of Letters and Sounds. 

Year 1 

Your children are now in Key Stage 1

In Year 1 we revise phases 3, 4 and work on phase 5 of Letters and Sounds

Your children are now in Key Stage 1

This is the start of the National Curriculum

This will be the first encounter of a DfE test at the end of this year the Phonics Screening Check

What is the Phonics Screening Check?

  • A quick and easy check of children’s phonic knowledge
  • Divided into 2 sections each section containing 20 words, a mix of real words and non-words
  • Children work 1:1 with their teacher for approximately 9 minutes
  • It is a test of decoding skills                                            
  • The pass mark has in the past been 32 / 40 although this is subject to change and we are not informed until after the test             
  • The majority of children are expected to be able to pass this test 

Year 2

By Year 2 we will have learnt all of the sounds there are to learn! Although we still need to be using them in our reading and writing!

We follow Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds so that we can:

  • Automatically read familiar words
  • Decode unfamiliar words
  • Decode complex words by sounding them out
  • Become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers

In Year 2 the knowledge of graphemes and phonemes is constantly revised ,the children use their phonics knowledge to read and write.

  • We begin learning about spelling rules
  • Suffixes, prefixes
  • Homophones
  • Adverbs
  • Accurate spelling
  • Common exception words Download a-Common Exception Words Bookmark to help with those tricky words!


Useful Links!

We use lots of different websites in school to help us with our learning and you can access them at home too by following the links below!

Letters and Sounds
Download free resources to support with letters and sounds

Phonics Play
ree phonics games and printables

Spelling Play
pelling games and fun ideas

BBC Bitesize Phonics
un games to support children with their phonics learning

BBC Skillswise – Syllables Factory
 game to support with breaking words down into syllables

ICT Games
 variety of games to help with spelling and phonics

 blending sounds spelling game



Spelling - children are given spellings each week to learn as part of their homework. These are sent home as paper copies but are also available on each class's website page for reference. Spellings are tested regularly. We also run regular spelling bee competitions.

Children also have a short weekly dictation. This allows them to practice a range of spellings, as well as consolidating their understanding of applying punctuation.

We are super spellers at St Joseph's!