“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Sir Phillip Pullman, CBE, FRSL, English novelist.
Our English Curriculum drives our belief that if you have the characteristics of a good reader, you have all the tools you need to become a fantastic writer. Sequences of lessons across all stages of school support and inspire our children to develop their skills and knowledge in the following key areas:
Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Our aim is to:
Nurture children's writing abilities so they become confident, capable writers.
Develop children's abilities to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
Cultivate a rich and vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy children's writing.
Promote and facilitate children's development of a wide vocabulary relating to the whole curriculum.
Develop children's knowledge of writing techniques for a range of purposes.
Teach children to produce well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
Learn excellent transcription skills that ensure each child's writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
Develop a love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
Early Years and Foundation Stage - the Building Blocks!
The children begin to learn pre-writing skills from nursery and reception with a wide variety of fine and gross motor activities in indoor and outdoor provision to improve strength and dexterity in fingers, wrists and arms. Don't be surprised to find children painting sheds or washing floors with mops and brushes. It's all part of the process!
Children in the Early Years also take part in daily Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle and Dough Disco sessions that help to build writing stamina. When the children are developmentally ready they will learn correct pencil grip and letter formation. Children learn to write in cursive (joined up) handwriting and use the Letter Join system from reception. In the Early Years children will progress to writing simple words, labels and lists and sentences. Some will even move on to writing simple stories.
Talk for Writing
Children throughout school enjoy using Talk for Writing to help them develop the necessary skills for writing stories and narratives, as well as non-fiction texts. Through the use of high quality texts from our reading spine, children are taught to write in a variety of styles including prose, poetry, biographies, blogs, explanations, recounts and reports, and to suit different purposes and audiences. The Talk for Writing model ensures that children are given opportunities to 'internalise' texts through drama activities and text mapping using pictures and actions. These strategies really embed the language and structure of texts to develop children's independent writing.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Our children love using MC Grammar's songs to learn tricky grammatical concepts! In addition to using songs to help our children develop and remember their knowledge of grammar, we also use many other MC Grammar approaches, such as 'code cracking'. Though some grammar, punctuation and spelling concepts are taught discretely, our sequences of lessons incorporate these areas of learning, to ensure that children can apply them in context. Expectations of children's application of handwriting, grammar and spelling are high in all subjects, not just in English.