At St. Josephs, we place great emphasis on developing good language skills and will encourage your child to develop fluency and understanding in reading. Our intention is to promote a love for reading from an early age which is evident in our school environment. Children across all year groups have the opportunity to relax in one of the many reading areas around the school.

Initially, children are taught the sounds of spoken language in order to develop phonic skills. At the early stages, Read, Write Inc phonics and the Oxford Reading Tree reading schemes are used in addition to books from other schemes; extending the vocabulary and styles of writing.

As children become more confident readers, they are given opportunities to read a broader range of books for pleasure, vocabulary and interest. Parents are encouraged to help with reading both at home and in school. Children borrow books regularly from the school library; giving them the opportunity to explore a rage of fiction and non-fiction genres.

Reading is a daily focus across the school in all cohorts where children practise their fluency and expression by reading aloud as well as learning about how to infer and respond to different texts using VIPERS skills.




Children use their reading skills in their writing lessons where high expectations of handwriting and content are modelled in daily English lessons. In the foundation stage, children spend time developing their fine and gross motor skills in lots of fun ways, giving them the skills to begin the formal writing stage. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, children use their phonics to begin to write words and simple sentences and gain confidence to begin to write at length for different purposes.  Writing is delivered through a carefully planned sequence of lessons which cover vocabulary, punctuation and spelling. Writing lessons are based on a number of high quality class texts which is inspire children’s imaginations as well give them opportunities to write in a range of styles. We believe that it is important for our children to understand the process that authors go through to get to their end product which is why we follow the planning, drafting and editing process when writing extended pieces. Children at St. Joseph’s take pride in their written work and enjoy sharing it with their peers.

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 Saying the Sounds and Blending

 Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).

 Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.

 Watch the video below to see how to say each sound. Click the picture below to learn how to say the sounds.


Parent video: How to say the sounds

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When using RWI to read the children will:

 Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts

  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'



When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)



When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:

  • To answer questions
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other
  • To give positive praise to each other

The children are first taught to read one way of spelling the sounds first.


We then introduce more ways to spell the same sounds. Read Write Inc only teaches the most common ways of spelling the sounds. Less common graphemes are taught through the story books in lesson time.

Reading Comprehension

 As part of learning to read, your child will learn about reading comprehension.  As well as learning how to read words, it is important that children have a good understanding of what they are reading. The focus will move more heavily towards comprehension and away from phonics as your child becomes more confident with word reading.