At St Joseph’s, we have a firm belief that all students can reach their full potential in English through the use of explicit and systematic instruction. Our goal is to equip students with the skills necessary to master the English language in both the written and spoken form. 


English at St. Joseph’s is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum, and explicitly addresses the skills of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Teachers work closely to plan engaging, targeted lessons that meet the differentiated needs of all students from Prep to Year Six.



From the beginning of their schooling journey, students are taught to read using an explicit, systematic and structured approach to letter and sound relationships (phonics). Their growth is supported with the explicit teaching of phonological skills and vocabulary instruction.


As students learn to read, their fluency and comprehension skills are targeted through daily exposure to a wide range of text types that meet their individual needs. 


All Reading lessons are designed to target the skills identified in the ‘Reading Rope’ model developed by Hollis Scarborough. This approach to reading instruction ensures our students become skilled in both comprehension and word recognition.





At St Joseph’s we draw upon current, evidence based strategies to plan engaging and authentic writing experiences for our students. Children from Prep to Year Six participate in daily sentence level writing activities that support them to craft sentences that are both sophisticated and grammatically correct. Through these highly scaffolded activities, punctuation is explicitly taught and practiced within context.


Building upon this, students directly apply these writing techniques to extended pieces. Writing across a variety of genres, such as to inform, entertain and persuade, students are supported to plan, compose, edit and publish texts that compliment their learning. 


For information on our approach to phonics and spelling, please visit the Spelling page on the website.


Speaking and Listening 

Ample opportunities are provided for Speaking and Listening experiences across Prep - Year Six. Throughout the day children work in pairs, small groups and whole class settings where they are encouraged to contribute their valued thoughts and ideas. 


In addition, structured experiences are built in throughout the term for students to develop their skills. Through debates, learning expos and school assemblies children have the opportunity to express their Speaking and Listening expertise. 

At St Joseph's we foster an environment of high expectations and high support to ensure all students reach their full potential. We have a robust intervention framework that is designed to support any student who requires assistance with the English Curriculum. More information can be found on our Learning Diversity page.