The development of our English Curriculum is a key focus this year.
We pride ourselves on how we foster the children's enjoyment of books, even before they join us in reception. Some of our pupils earliest memories are of Mrs Roberts and Mrs Abbott sharing their favourite stories during a visit to pre-school. Each class go on to experience a wide range of texts through individual reading, whole class guided reading and hearing books read aloud by their teachers. World book day is always a highlight of the year with all pupils participating in a range of carefully planned activities based on an over arching theme. Pupils and teachers alike love coming to school dressed as their favourite book characters. We are grateful to all our parents for listening to the children read daily.
Our curriculum ensures that all children have plenty of opportunities to write for different purposes. We encourage writing through all curriculum areas and use quality reading texts to model examples of good writing. Writing is taught through a number of different strategies. We believe that children need lots of rich speaking and drama activities to give them the imagination and the experiences that will equip them to become good writers.
As a school we have 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 chronologically 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:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- 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
Spelling is an integral part of children’s reading and writing development. As children develop spelling competency, their confidence and independence in writing will increase.
Reception and Year 1 are taught spellings as part of their daily phonic lessons.
Year 2 to Year 4 are taught daily phonics, using the "No Nonsense Spelling" program.