Our Values in English
Our Writing Approach
Intent – what we want to achieve
Our writing intent is to ensure that we provide all the children with a curriculum which is aspirational, engaging and ultimately bespoke to meet the needs of the children in our care. A curriculum which is evolving and reacting to the needs of our society.
Our writing curriculum has, the National Curriculum at its heart, but it does not stand alone. Our intent is to instil children with a passion for writing which will endure beyond their academic lifetime.
Currently, our key curriculum approaches being applied are: - Talk for Writing Pie Corbett, The Write Stuff by Jane Considine and Alan Peat.
These strategies are underpinned and enhanced by a rich and varied text based approach to the curriculum. By having varied approaches that target specific elements of writing, it enables barriers to be successfully overcome.
Implementation – how we deliver the writing curriculum
To nurture the children’s passion for writing we have striven to provide children with experiences which will engage their interests and to inspire them to make an investment into learning with such events as live theatre, giving children first hand experiences of classic stories such as The Wind in the Willows and the Selfish Giant, to see how great stories are told and remain timeless.
Authors of the calibre of Liz Pichon the poet Andrew Fusek Peters and Tom Palmer, who have been invited into school to show the techniques of a writer, an illustrator, as well as story tellers to demonstrate the simple process of talk and how stories are created.
Oracy is also supported and developed through our Annual Poetry Reciting competition, with children learning by a heart a nominated poem, which they perform for the whole school. This resulted as an idea from a Governor which we explored. Over time it has become a highlight of the calendar with all children having the opportunity to participate.
Talk For Writing develops those skills of talk and repetition, firstly introduced in Key Stage 1. The initial idea is embedded and this develops into a sequence of actions to accompany the words, followed by a story map to refer back to. Talk For Writing is based on the concept that communication is at the heart of the writing process.
The recent addition of Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff, addresses the skills of selecting precise vocabulary for effect which was not just a concern in the children’s writing, but also on their reading. Added to this, are the use of the lenses within the Writing Rainbow, allowing children to focus on a limited number of aspects in their writing. The concept of a thinking side also encouraged the children to gather their words and thoughts together before committing their ideas to paper.
Alan Peat is used in Year 6 to give the children the confidence to use those technicalities of writing with confidence.
Through KS2 the children are exposed to a range of genres which are mapped out through the four years, and are revisited and built upon to extend and refine the key skills associated with those units.
Where appropriate, English units of work are linked to other curricular areas to create greater depth of understanding and to establish a purpose for writing. This has been a constant aim of the teaching of writing to establish a purpose for children to apply their skills.
Impact – how we measure the impact on children’s writing
Through the explicit teaching of writing skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. Every time a child’s writing is marked teachers assess whether a child has achieved the success criteria. In addition, they identify common misconceptions and individual errors e.g. spelling, grammatical issues. These are then covered during subsequent lessons.
Twice a half-term children complete an independent writing activity linked to a particular genre and this is reviewed against our writing assessment grids. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time.
English is taught on a daily basis within the school, reflecting its standing as a core subject within the curriculum. The English curriculum is mapped out over the key stage with year each group planning units of work which denote the various genres, such as poetry, narrative writing, diary writing and play scripts etc. Over the course of the four years the children will experience a broad and balanced English curriculum exploring the various text types as they progress up through the school. Click on the document below or here to access the areas covered by each year group.
Text based planning
The school adopts a text based approach to the teaching of English where appropriate, using quality texts, chosen to engage and inspire the children. The school has compiled a literature spine which runs through the school, comprising of carefully selected books and stories which will act as catalyst to motivate and enthuse children’s study of literature.
Talk for Writing
In each year group, Talk for Writing features greatly in the teaching of narrative writing. This involves the children playing creative warm up games, taking well known tales and poems, imitating them and then innovating them, creating their own poems and stories by changing and embellishing the original. Using this approach, the children learn the focused text by heart, devising actions to help them remember the pattern of the story or structure of a poem. Once the children have internalised the text, they can then re-tell it, but then create their own version of the story using story maps or boxing up techniques, with the children ultimately writing or performing their own work. This process can be adapted for a variety of texts and has proven to be a highly effective tool in developing the children’s skills of narrative writing.
Cross Curricular Links
Through the school’s creative curriculum approach to teaching and learning, English is embedded throughout the planning and underpins much of the children’s learning.
Many of the English initiatives are shared with the schools within the town of Market Drayton. Staff share initiatives and new approaches to the teaching and learning of English with other English lead teachers, allowing for consistency and cohesion as part of the Town Schools Partnership, thus promoting best practice across classrooms and schools. Governor links are also well established with the link Governor regularly meeting with the co-ordinator to be briefed upon developments within the subject and new ideas being trialled and eventually rolled out across the whole school. It is a very well- resourced subject, with established links with the school library and local library being utilised fully to ensure that the children are exposed to quality texts and research materials to source a given text type or theme.
The Celebration of English
English has a very high profile within the school. The love of books and reading is celebrated annually during World Book Day, and this year the school held its inaugural poetry reciting competition, with the children demonstrating their ability to both learn and recite poems for an audience. This was a very impressive and eloquent performance from all the children and served to inspire other children to participate in future events.
Over recent years, the school has welcomed a number of prestigious authors to the school, including Liz Pichon, author of the Tom Gates books. The children regularly experience live theatre, with performances not only bringing well known stories to life, but also historical plays and performances linked to scientific themes, such as Bunsen Towers.
As well as the award winning author, Tom Palmer, who has visited us several times in the last few years. Once to share his Reading the Game project and secondly to inspire the children to write and discuss his books about the war.
English is at the heart of the teaching and learning throughout the curriculum. It is implicit in almost everything we do. A vibrant force within the school, English is subject which is constantly evolving, continually exploring new approaches to teaching and learning. Ultimately it is a crucial tool in our learning, a corner stone of our academic journey but also a source of enjoyment and pleasure for all.