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Our Lady and St. Patrick's Catholic Primary School Part of the Stella Maris Catholic Federation

English

Our English Curriculum

At Our Lady & St Patrick's, all children are exposed to high quality texts, which stimulate positive responses to reading, high quality writing, and purposeful opportunities for Speaking & Listening.

 

Writing at Our Lady & St Patrick's

 

Our writing curriculum ensures that all children have many opportunities to write for different purposes. We encourage writing through all curriculum areas and use quality reading texts to model examples of good writing, through The Power of Reading and via 'The Write Stuff'.

 

Early Writing is taught through a number of strategies by experienced teachers. We have recently further enhanced the way writing is taught in Key Stage Two by implementing 'The Write Stuff 'approach (see more below).

 

We also recognise that children need lots of rich speaking and drama activities, to support their imagination and give them experiences that will equip them to become good writers.

For full information on Reading, please visit the Phonics and Reading Page of the Curriculum area of this website, by clicking the link below:

English Planning for Each Year Group

Jane Considine - 'The Write Stuff'

 

As a school we have recently adopted “The Write Stuff” by Jane Constantine, to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. 

 

“The Write Stuff” follows a method called “Sentence Stacking” which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.  An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to three chunks:

 

  1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  2. Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
  3. Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.

 

“The Write Stuff” also reinforces grammar through the use of:

 

  • The FANTASTICs which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing
  • The Grammar Rainbow is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages.
  • The BOOMTASTIC which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual

 

Each Write Stuff writing sequence is based upon quality texts, which allow children to engage in a variety of ways, including the use of film clips, performances and animations.

 

Each unit also includes 'experience days' at the beginning of the writing sequence; this helps children to engage fully with both the text and the author, as well as enhancing Cultural Capital opportunities for all pupils. 

High Quality Texts to Underpin Writing

 

As our class topics are based around quality texts, children experience writing in many different styles and have the opportunity to hear the writing styles of many significant children's authors.

 

Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of these texts to write for a variety of purposes and wherever possible to publish them for a selected audience using a range of writing forms such as: explanations, instructions, balanced arguments, stories and poems.

 

They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing. 

 

We have recently introduced a new writing programme in year 3 to 6, called The Write Stuff, which is intended to fully scaffold children's writing skills as they progress through Key Stage Two. See full information about this above,
 

Spelling

 

At Our Lady & St Patrick's, we have devised our own whole-school spelling scheme.

 

Children are taught spellings, which are and tested weekly throughout KS1 and KS2 and children's progress in spelling is tracked carefully as they move through school, so that any gaps in spelling can be identified and quickly addressed.

 

Children also regularly use dictionaries and thesaurus to check and improve their work. 

 

Grammar and Punctuation

 

Throughout school, grammar and punctuation is taught to match the writing purpose. This begins with teaching and consolidating basic sentence structures in Early years and Key Stage One.

In Key stage Two, children further develop their understanding of increasingly complex sentence structures, and using the relevant technical terms to be able to discuss and justify the choices they have made when structuring their ideas. 'The Write Stuff' also teaches and reinforces grammar within each unit of work.

Children in KS2 undertake a weekly grammar Hammer check, to asses their understanding and skills and to show their understanding of the correct terminology. 


Handwriting

 

Handwriting is very important at Our Lady & St Patrick's, and children are taught to write in a neat, legible style, from their earliest days in school, and using a cursive script from Year Two onwards. 

Handwriting sessions are timetabled daily, with the focus on correct pencil grip; forming all letters correctly by knowing the size and orientation of each letter; using the correct handwriting joins; clear and neat presentation and increasing fluency and speed of writing.  
 

Our Vision Statement - English

 

English plays an important role in both education and in society as a whole. At Our Lady & St Patrick's, we fully recognise that speaking & listening and the development of good communication skills are the cornerstones of all learning.

 

Through being taught to write and speak fluently, pupils learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate and respond.

 

Reading allows pupils the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. Through reading a wide variety of texts pupils acquire new knowledge and build on what they already know. In order to participate fully as a member of society, all the skills of language are essential. 
 
Our Aims

 

  • To promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
  • To ensure that all pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding of the text.  
  • To develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • To ensure that all children acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.  
  • To encourage children to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
  • To write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • To use discussion in order to learn; children should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.  
  • To become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. 

 

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