Reading is highly valued at St Joseph's - it is the key to accessing much of the curriculum and a valuable life long skill. The teaching and development of reading skills has traditionally been a strength of our school, as shown in Year 1 National Phonic Screening, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 reading SATS scores.
All children read regularly - individually, within guided groups and through whole class reading lessons. Our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, with supplementary material from Phonic Bug incorporated to further apply specific phonic skills being taught. Daily synthetic phonics work underpins all early reading skills development at St Joseph's. This systematic teaching of sounds (phonemes) enables children to access and build early reading through accurately blending sounds.
All children in our EYFS and Key Stage One classes take part in daily 20 minute phonics lessons - this provision is also made for pupils in Year Three who continue to need support in further building their reading skills.
Our children also read and experience daily stories, rhymes, factual or IT texts. Books are taken home for reading practice and consolidation, with nightly reading being the expectation for maximum progress.
The Home/School diary is a vital part of our Home/School partnership, as recognised in our two previous OFSTED inspections. It is used by teachers, parents and children in commenting on books read and skills being developed. Valuable guidance on reading with your child can also be accessed here.
Parents and carers are also offered support with effective reading at home through EYFS and Key Stage One workshops, where modelling of key phonic strategies is shared.
As a school, we strive to engage our pupils in reading for pleasure and in developing a knowledge of wider text genres. We were delighted to recently receive an award from Essex Libraries for winning our local area's 'Summer Read Schools Competition' for the firth consecutive year! We have also taken great pride in both winning and retaining The SWF 'World Book Day Schools Trophy' over the last two years.