Curriculum: Writing

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How we teach English at Lainesmead

At Lainesmead, we use a book as the basis for our lessons. This book is carefully selected to take into account the class topic and the age and appropriateness for the children. Opportunities will be planned for children to deepen their knowledge of these texts through a range of activities designed to provide children with appropriate and effective vocabulary and the knowledge of structure and grammar to write clear and organised fiction and non-fiction texts.

During the week, children will have explicit handwriting, spelling and grammar lessons. We use the Westover Spelling Scheme to help plan spelling lessons and ensure that children are meeting age related expectations by the end of their year group. We use the cursive handwriting script from Years 1 to 6 using the ‘Teach Handwriting’ scheme.

In the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) children should be given opportunities to:

• speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities.
• use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum.
• become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication.
• Use the inside and outside space to role play and develop writing skills.

When children start in Foundation Stage the organisation is more flexible based on free flow play with modelled activities and support. Children are observed during child initiated play where they apply the skills they have learnt, both inside and outside the classroom.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, English lessons are held on a daily basis and last for approximately 60 minutes.

Children will also be exposed to and explicitly taught new vocabulary in the form of ‘WOW words’ each week as part of their English lesson. These words will be carefully chosen from their book or will be words that they can use when talking and writing about themes in the book. They will be given the opportunity to learn and explore these words in a range of contexts and be provided the chance to use them in their own writing.

Lessons start with a reflection where necessary. This is when children are expected to review and edit their work from the previous lesson. They are taught, through modelling by the teacher, how to edit spellings, punctuation and how to check for sense. Teachers also allow children the opportunity to complete the whole writing cycle – planning, writing, reviewing and editing and finally publishing at least once a term.

Teachers use a range of teaching strategies, including:

• Story telling
• Modelling
• Shared Writing • Scaffolding
• Explanation to clarify and discuss
• Questioning to probe pupils understanding, cause them to reflect on, and refine their work, and to extend their ideas.
• Investigating ideas
• Discussion
• Listening and responding.

Work is differentiated to meet the needs of all children. We endeavour to set work that is challenging, motivating and encourages the pupils to talk about what they have been doing.

We encourage children to:

• Write with confidence, fluency and understanding:
• Write effectively in a variety of genres
• Plan, revise and edit their own writing
• Develop their imagination and creativity in their writing.
• Develop fluent and legible handwriting
• Develop their knowledge of phonics and the spelling system, and use this to read and spell with accuracy.
• Build a growing vocabulary and use it effectively in their own writing.

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