Writing is taught through our rich, broad and balanced curriculum. Rather than ‘English’, we have daily ‘curriculum’ lessons that focus on our current topic. Children may learn the history of WW2 by writing evacuee letters, they could write instructions for looking after our farm animals, they may learn about solar energy by persuading people to use renewable energy, or may write a explanation of how volcanoes erupt. These ‘curriculum’ lessons will involve learning a variety of English skills within an engaging and purposeful context.
Here are some of the things we practise on a regular basis:
We want to celebrate all the amazing writing going on at Edwalton Primary School. Every Friday, teachers will choose a child’s piece of work that they believe showcases that individuals best efforts. This will then be displayed in the hall on the ‘Star Writers’ display and will also be communicated to parents on Class Dojo. Once the work has been on display for a week, it is taken down and kept in a special ‘Star Writers’ folder in the front entrance so that visitors and parents can see the wonderful work that the children have produced.
The children are given handwriting sessions each week. These lessons focus on improving the pupil’s presentation skills. In Foundation and Year 1, the children are taught letter formations, pencil grip and fine motor skills. As they progress into Year 2, we move onto a cursive style of handwriting. The children learn these in groups of letters that we have developed as a school.
Once the children get into Years 3 and 4, they can work towards earning a pen license. Their teacher will decide when their handwriting in ready to be presented in pen rather than pencil. This will be celebrated in class through receiving a certificate and a handwriting pen.
Punctuation and Grammar
Most of the punctuation and grammar lessons are taught within the English lesson and within a context. This is to ensure that children understand the purpose of using these important skills. Some teachers have recently had training to teach grammatical concepts and sentence structure through “Rainbow Grammar”. This has been shared throughout the school and will be featured in all classrooms. This concept gives each part of a sentence a specific colour. We have found that is helping children structure their sentences correctly and helping them become more creative when thinking about how to order their sentence. If you have any questions about Rainbow Grammar, please speak to your class teacher or Miss Flaherty.
Children will have at least 4 weekly phonics lessons from Foundation to Year 1. In Year 2, children will have 3 phonics lessons and 3 spelling lessons to ensure that they are getting a balance of learning sounds and spelling rules. In Key Stage 2 children will continue with Phonics if they have not reached the end of Phase 5. From Year 1 upwards, children will have spelling lessons at least once a week. Each week will focus on a new set of spellings based around a particular spelling rule or pattern. The children will be asked to learn their spelling list at home over the week. The next week will start with a recap and quick check to see if the children have learnt their list before introducing the next set.
Please check your child’s Class Dojo page regularly to keep up to date with the current spelling lists/rules.
Talk for Writing
This is a style of teaching which emphasises the importance of talk in writing
(“If you can’t say it, you can’t write it!”). We encourage children to imitate and ‘talk’ the sentence/story orally before committing it to paper. As well as this, pupils use ‘story maps’ to plan their writing and will often use actions when retelling stories. This helps them to remember specific vocabulary and use it correctly in their own writing. Classes will do a lot of shared writing together and teachers will model as an “expert writer” to show them how to craft their writing.
We have weekly ‘extended writing’ sessions which allow the children to put everything they have learnt into practice and will write a longer piece of work. This might not necessarily be part of their English learning, it could be writing up a Science experiment, writing about someone famous that they have learnt about in Topic or describing an important event in a religion they may be studying. We want to offer children writing opportunities throughout our curriculum, not just in ‘English’ as we believe that they will help the children understand the importance, purpose and pleasure behind writing.
Once the children have completed their ‘extended write’, they will be given the opportunity to ‘up-level’ their writing. The class teacher will look through the writing and decide what the child’s next steps are. The children will then work in a group to practise the next step before implementing into their writing.
Guided writing may also take place within an English lesson where a teacher may work with a group of children who are all working on the same target in their writing.