Literacy is central to the intellectual, emotional and social development of children and has an essential role in all Key Learning Areas. The development of a high standard of literacy is essential if students are to become active participants in, and shapers of, society. Literacy competence enables people to interact, communicate, enjoy and make sense of the world.

At St Joseph’s Merriwa we believe that:

  • To participate effectively in society, individuals need to develop an active literacy that allows them to use language to enhance their capacity to think, create and question
  • Literacy learning is life long and extends beyond the school context to the wider community
  • Literate individuals are better equipped to effectively participate in a technologically advanced society
  • All students should be given the opportunity to develop their literacy levels to their full potential


At St Joseph’s, English education seeks to assist and encourage students to:

  • develop the range of skills required to be literate through explicit teaching, a clear continuum of learning and using a variety of strategies
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the various types of texts
  • develop knowledge and skills in grammar, punctuation and vocabulary through clearly defined content and text structure
  • develop experience of a range of contexts, such as intercultural experiences, Aboriginal histories and culture, Asian perspectives and environmental sustainability
  • develop the ability to use language effectively and reflect critically on how language works


The English block is allocated between 6.25 – 8.75 hours of teaching time each week. Time allocation will vary according to skill development. English is taught in the morning session and as far as possible without interruption. All reasonable effort is made to avoid booking other school events that would interrupt the daily Balanced English Block.


At St Joseph's a strong focus is being placed on the Pillars of Reading as well as the Simple View of Reading. Teachers also collaboratively plan reading groups and lessons with a continued thorough understanding of Scarborough's Reading Rope, which allows teachers to be more intentional in their teaching of reading and ensure no "gaps" are left in the student's reading.

Writing / Spelling

St Joseph's staff have collaboratively planned lessons and structures in place to enhance student achievement in writing. With carefully structured learning intentions and success criteria throughout teaching and learning, students use their ever increasing skills in phonemic awareness to blend, read, spell and ultimately write cohesive sentences which turn into imaginative and informative texts and narratives.

Oral Language

Joey's students are given multiple opportunities to speak in front of their peers, learn correct articulation of language and structure planned and impromptu speeches. St Joseph's students were successful in winning the Diocesan Public Speaking competition and several received high commendations for their efforts.