In our school our aim is that every child will learn to become a writer by being given real and exciting opportunities to express their feelings and emotions. By having a purpose for writing; they will become authors of texts and develop a love of writing.
We believe that developing rich vocabulary, widening exposure and opportunities to use and understand ambitious word choices and to develop the technical skills is central to all high quality writing.
Opportunities for extended writing are woven through the whole curriculum and we take every opportunity to celebrate writing as we strongly believe we are teaching ‘authors’ of the future.
Our writing has two components: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). In addition, we also put an emphasis on the writing process: planning, writing, editing and publishing. Much of this work is displayed around school. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas and then organising them coherently for a reader – the implementation and impact of oracy is therefore core to this process. Sensitivity to audience and purpose is also essential, along with an excellent knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
All children have a daily English lesson incorporating reading, writing, grammar, spelling, punctuation and oracy. In Early Years, our children begin using their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds - composing sentences which can be read by themselves or others. Across school, our cross curricular approach ensures that children are given regular opportunities to practise and embed this learning through their writing in other subjects and in real-life contexts. We have high expectations of children’s handwriting and our displays around school increasingly reflect this. To encourage children to adopt a consistently high standard, we have introduced “Pen Licences” – this has had a very positive impact and gives children an even greater sense of pride in their work.
Spelling punctuation and grammar
We place a strong emphasis on the use of Standard English by children and staff alike. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught directly and pupils are expected to apply their learning in all subjects. Pupils are taught to understand grammatical terminology in English, using it accurately and appropriately when discussing their writing and reading.
We recognise the central importance of oracy in a high-quality English curriculum so our children are taught to discuss, debate and perform with confidence. Children learn to justify their ideas with reasons, ask questions to check understanding, negotiate and evaluate and build on the ideas of others. They are taught to give well-structured explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas.
We believe that reading is an essential skill to master for life and underpins our whole curriculum. At the Village Saints Partnership, we aim to foster a life-long love of reading and a love for books.
We strongly believe that reading unlocks imagination, facilitates children’s independence and curiosity about the world around them and develops and enriches their language and vocabulary.
We aim to create confident, independent, reflective and able readers who can read fluently and for meaning, using their skills across the curriculum.
Through our well-resourced libraries and individual class reading corners, children will be immersed in a wide range of genres and will use a variety of reading skills to enable them to access all other areas of learning.
Reading should be a valuable and rewarding aspect to children's learning and consequently should open the door to a world of knowledge.
Our children are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and nonfiction. Every teacher reads the class reader (a high-quality narrative text) to children at the end of the day: this is an opportunity for the whole class to share a story, engaging children’s interest and imagination and providing pupils with an excellent model for expression and fluency. In addition to this, both the Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher run book clubs during lunchtimes to offer further opportunities for children to share and enjoy stories. Our teaching of reading has two dimensions: word reading and comprehension. Teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions. In the early years of school life, we place emphasis upon the teaching of phonics so that pupils begin reading quickly and with confidence. We use the ‘Read Write Inc’ scheme and have a daily routine of phonics lessons from Reception through to Year 2 with children taught in groups based on their need and ability. This complements the teaching of English in their classes, including comprehension and the application of their phonics knowledge. Throughout the school, comprehension skills are taught and developed in English lessons but also through reading opportunities offered in all other subjects across the curriculum. A range of approaches including whole-class teaching, guided reading, independent reading and reading aloud or listening to reading are used. Core to all of these is high-quality discussions with the teacher and reading/discussion of a wide variety of stories, poems and non-fiction texts.