St Joseph's Rotherhithe



At St Joseph's our aim is to provide a quality literacy curriculum that develops the children's love of reading, writing and discussion. By meeting the needs of all learners as well as being inspired by our diverse community, the children reach their potential in speaking, reading and writing skills. Wherever possible, our sequences of all lessons are closely linked to the Cornerstones theme the year group is covering in the half-term. We believe that ensuring the children are exposed to a vocabulary-rich curriculum based on high quality texts (both fiction and non-fiction) will lead to a deeper understanding of the curriculum they are studying. Children develop their skills progressively across the school, encouraging them to think critically and develop their love of reading and writing.


Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening.



Early reading is supported through the Read Write Inc scheme. Weekly training ensures that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. In KS2, the children develop deeper reading skills to ensure they are able to access their learning in all subjects. Every Year group has their own class library which the children have input into developing. Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, Readathon and World Book Day as well as 3pm daily reads in class highlights the enjoyment of reading.


At Saint Joseph's, we use the Talk for Writing throughout the school (from Nursery all the way to Year 6) which enables the children to read and write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. The key to this approach is for the children to internalise the language structures needed to access and write the variety of different genres we cover. This is achieved through a well-planned sequence of lessons based on the needs of the class as directed from our Assessment for Learning. Each genre is structured in the same way: from orally retelling a model text; understanding the structures, features and authorial techniques; to constructing our own toolkit leading in to writing tasks. As the unit progresses, the children move into more independence in their planning and writing ending with an extended write which enables them to showcase their learning in a creative and powerful way.


Handwriting and Spelling are taught discretely using the Spelling Shed scheme as well as promoted throughout the school day through the presentation and writing in their books.


To further enrich the curriculum, literacy units and reading sessions are planned to deepen and further knowledge from the topics studied in the half-term.



The literacy curriculum in St. Joseph's ensures enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy their developing literacy knowledge and skills; our children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing. Both the literacy and topic books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose.


Reading Spines

Year 3 Reading Spine

Year 4 Reading Spine

Year 5 Reading Spine

Year 6 Reading Spine

Useful links and information

Talk for Writing

Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation 

Reading in KS1 and EYFS

Early Reading Curriculum intent