At St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, the teaching of writing is of paramount importance within a broad and balanced curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child within our school, regardless of their background, leaves as a competent writer and with an understanding of the conventions of Standard English and when to use it effectively.
The ability to write with confidence for a range of purposes and audiences ensures that children leave our school fully prepared for their secondary education, ready to achieve their aspirations and thrive in their adult life. Our writing curriculum encourages children to immerse themselves in different text types, understand the features and impact of these, and realise the importance of them beyond education. A secure knowledge of spelling and grammar and an understanding of how to edit writing is taught throughout the school in a systematic and progressive way. The content of writing lessons is planned to build on children’s previous knowledge as well as introduce new learning in a fun and memorable way. Our whole school English overview demonstrates high- quality, progressive texts, which are used to inspire, encourage and motivate our children to develop their writing skills across the year groups. Children leave St. Teresa’s with a deep understanding of different text types and how to construct them effectively.
We have carefully created a curriculum that encourages our children to demonstrate their abilities in spoken and written language effectively. The National Curriculum and EYFS Framework are used to inform the planning and delivery of our writing curriculum at St. Teresa’s. Spelling is taught through the ELS scheme in EYFS, KS1, and for some children in Year 3. In Key Stage 2, spelling is taught in discrete lessons and new spelling patterns and rules are applied within the English hour.
Skills progression is very carefully mapped out from EYFS to year 6 and it is our aim to share high-quality texts in a range of genres to enhance our children's level and range of language. Writing is taught explicitly in daily English lessons and skills learned are regularly reinforced within lessons across our curriculum. We share the key focus skills that the children will be working on at the beginning of each unit and plan engaging opportunities for the children to apply these throughout before building up to an extended piece of writing. We consistently allow time for our children to edit their work through self or peer marking which is such an important step towards preparing pupils for naturally proofreading their own work and making relevant amendments.
We begin a unit with an exciting and memorable learning experience to enthuse and stimulate our children, creating interest for the forthcoming unit of work. During ‘Reading Week’ our pupils are immersed in the language and structure of a text, where they build on their knowledge of a particular genre and develop specified reading skills. We use ‘link texts’ to inspire our children to explore alternative books linked to the current genre, which provides an opportunity for our children to branch out and develop their independence when choosing a book to read.
Alongside the English hour, our Key Stage 2 children benefit from short guided writing sessions weekly. Within these sessions, class teachers focus on the needs of the children from week to week and adapt their teaching accordingly to suit current needs.
At St. Teresa’s, we fully recognise the importance of spoken language as this underpins the development of reading and writing. Oracy is a high priority for our children and we weave opportunities for talk into every unit of work, using a variety of strategies. One of our strategies is talk for writing, where the children take part in lots of activities such as story mapping and drama, providing the strong foundations needed for an outcome of quality writing. Our EYFS and KS1 children take part in 'drawing club' which is a highly effective programme in providing opportunities for our Teachers to listen to and model well-spoken language and explore new vocabulary in a small group situation.
We aim for all of our pupils to leave our school as keen writers who write clearly and confidently for different audiences. We want our children to be able to communicate effectively through a range of forms and to have developed a genuine love and appreciation for writing. During regular book studies, our children speak very highly about their English lessons and always look forward to sharing their learning experiences. They speak willingly and enthusiastically whilst being proud to share the work they have produced.
EYFS Drawing Club
We introduce the children to new stories, cartoons or traditional tales throughout the year. They are then introduced to new vocabulary which we help create actions for, to help them remember the words and practice speaking in small groups lead by an adult.
We do 'Get Up, Stand Up Vocabulary' at the beginning of each session, introducing and developing the children's use of adventurous vocabulary.
The children love wearing their, 'I love Drawing Club' badge when participating in the session!
The children then enjoy drawing a picture to go with the story! Our reception children have thoroughly enjoyed drawing club this year and have worked really hard. We have seen wonderful progress with their writing and application of phonics, getting ready for Year 1!
At St. Teresa's, we use the Essential Letters and Sounds programme throughout the Infant Department. A small number of pupils within Lower Key Stage 2 also access the programme.
Click the link below to visit our Reading page.
For useful videos and explanations, please click on the Oxford Owl link below.