At St Joseph’s, reading and writing is at the heart of all learning across the curriculum. All classes use a key text to provide a rich stimulus in English lessons and enhance Topic learning. This key text is also supported by linked non-fiction texts, poems and rhymes.

To learn further about our approach to reading and writing, please click the links below.

St Joseph’s Approach to Reading St Joseph’s Approach to Writing


Tracking Progress in English (Reading, Writing and Communication)


We use Target Tracker to record the progress of each child in English. Teachers use a range of ongoing teacher assessment and summative assessments to gather evidence. Please see the band posters for each year group below.


Reading and Spoken Language

Year 1 Year 2Year 3Year 4 Year 5 Year 6



Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6



To teach phonics at St Joseph’s, we use the Sounds-Write programme. This programme is highly structured, engaging and well paced to help our pupils make maximum progress in learning to read, write and spell. Phonics is explicitly taught daily from FS1 to Year 2. Smaller group teaching of phonics continues in Key Stage 2 as necessary and all teachers draw on the pedagogical approaches of Sounds-Write to ensure consistency in teaching reading and writing skills.

For more information about our phonic programme, please visit the Sounds Write website by clicking the button below.

Click here to access the Sounds Write Website

At St Joseph’s, we recognise the important role families have in supporting their child’s phonics journey. Show and Share sessions in school provide the opportunity for parents and carers to see the programme in action and to support their children with their phonics learning.

We regularly hold reading events for parents, either in the form of ‘Show and Share’ phonics sessions or reading information evenings. All parents across the school are invited to attend to explore the programme and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Phonics Evening Presentation

Our Reading Scheme

At St Joseph’s, we have curated a whole-school reading scheme made up of Dandelion, Sounds Write and Oxford Reading Tree texts,  to ensure children access a range of fiction and non-fiction books throughout their reading journey. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, books are carefully matched to phonic sounds. Children take home 2 books a fortnight as well as being offered additional reading materials, such as tracking and phonics activities or books chosen from the class reading corner. In Key Stage 2, pupils have 1 fiction and 1 non-fiction book which is carefully monitored to ensure all children read a diverse range of texts and develop their fluency and comprehension skills.

We appreciate the important role families play in supporting reading at home. To help our families understand the comprehension skills which we develop at St Joseph’s, we host Reading Evenings for parents to attend. Many parents attend and the feedback is that they feel that they have much more of an understanding of the assessment focuses that help us to help the children develop their comprehension skills.

Reading Evening Presentation

Our Class Libraries

All classes have a carefully curated reading area. These provide a comfy space for pupils to read for pleasure as well as offering a range of reading-age appropriate books which follow the children’s interests. Many of the books will already be familiar to the children; previous topic books or stories shared by teachers in story-time. We use Leeds Library Service to enhance our book offering and ensure there is a range fiction and non-fiction texts linked to pupils learning across the curriculum. We have also added magazines and comics to our reading areas to promote reading for pleasure. We also have Reading Challenges which is designed to improve and reward pupil’s reading skills and we find that this really motivates the children too!

Our School Library

We are lucky to have a beautiful school library at St Joseph’s which all classes visit. The fiction books are arranged alphabetically so children can practice finding stories by author. Our non-fiction books are arranged thematically and designed to appeal to readers with different interests. Our story books are accessible to our youngest children and we also have a story box available for play.

The library is used for Library Time, a lunchtime club run by our Year 5s. Four children from each class are chosen to attend and older pupils share books with our younger pupils. It has been a wonderful way for children to hear more stories and share their love of reading with other children from across the school community.

Reading for Pleasure

At St Joseph’s, we want all pupils to have a lifelong love of reading and to choose to read for pleasure. As well as our beautiful class libraries and our whole school library, we promote reading in a range of ways across school, from nursery to year 6. We have a focus on ‘me as a reader’ to ensure that the children see themselves as readers.

Each class has a Recommended Reads area or display and children are encouraged to recommend their favourite books to others. All staff across school drive this and promote a love of reading!



What does explicit teaching of reading look like?

At St Joseph’s, we use a variety of reading lesson activities to engage and inspire our pupils. Look through the gallery below to see just a snap shot of whole-class reading lessons!

Guided Reading

From Foundation Stage to Year 6, Guided Reading is explicitly taught to develop reading skills. This may take place in an intervention, small groups or whole class to best suit the needs of the class. Teachers use the reading scheme as well as texts linked to other areas of the curriculum to ensure reading skills are embedded.


We also like to ensure that our Reading lessons are active for the children. We use Burn2Learn activities to offer a variety of active English lessons to engage all learners!

Reading Challenges 

Gadgeteers! Summer Reading Challenge 

We encourage a love of reading and we were proud to be one of ten schools chosen in all of Leeds to take part in the Enhanced Summer Reading Challenge to keep our children reading over the summer. The amount of children that signed up was amazing! The Summer Reading Challenge was a very special science-themed challenge, called Gadgeteers that helped the children to use their imagination and their creativity.

There are two ways to take part and we are challenging all of the children of St Joseph’s to join in and we will be celebrating those children that have earned a certificate and gold medal after the summer holidays. As part of the Enhanced Summer Reading Challenge, we received two very special assemblies from Angie, a librarian at Wetherby library, Year 1 and Year 2 had trips to the library to take part in a very special workshop, linked to the challenge which was thoroughly enjoyed by all! The benefits for our children were amazing and kept them reading over the summer, as well as promoting a love of books!


Gadgeteers! Winter Mini Reading Challenge 

Following on from the success of the Summer Reading Challenge, we are preparing to launch the Winter Mini Reading Challenge! Our children love the variety of books and different genres to read.

Usborne Ready Steady Read and Ready Steady Listen

We are excited for the children to take part in a 3 week sponsored read, early in 2023. This sponsored read will also enable to us to add more beautiful Usborne books to our library and our class reading areas.

Reading Across the Curriculum

We make best use of the resources from the Leeds Library Service by using them in our learning across the curriculum. Years 2-6 complete ‘Reading Around the Subject’ challenges where they are tasked with using non-fiction texts to find out information, we particularly encourage our children to find facts even the teachers don’t know!

Reading Around the Subject

Reading activities are used across the curriculum, both for individual learning tasks and group work. Children are also given opportunities to read as writers, to help them learn from excellent examples. Please explore the gallery below to see just a few examples of how reading is embedded in our curriculum.

Spelling Shed

At Joseph’s, all our children from FS2 to Y6 have access to Spelling Shed. This can be accessed both in school and at home to support each child to work on their weekly spellings. We have found the platform engages every year group and allows teachers to personalise and differentiate spellings as necessary. Spelling Shed offers a variety of activities for pupils to learn their spellings which we enhance by also offering paper copies of spellings for children to practice writing in the traditional way.

Click to access Spelling Shed

Reading Eggs

To support the children with developing their reading skills, all children also have access to Reading Eggs. Teachers set weekly tasks as part of their English homework offering and we have found it to be a very popular platform with pupils and parents alike! To find out more about Reading Eggs, please click the button below to access their website.

Reading Eggs Website