English/ Writing

Intent:

 At Keevil C of E Academy, English and the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our aim is to ensure every child becomes primary literate and progresses in speaking and listening, reading and writing. We have high expectations and ambition for all our children, and want them all to achieve their full potential in English during their time at Keevil Academyl. We recognise that each child has a different starting point in each year group on their journey in English, and therefore celebrate effort and individual progress as well as attainment to ensure every child can celebrate success.

English is not only a daily discrete lesson; it is the cornerstone to all learning at Keevil by being embedded in each area of learning. We place high importance on children speaking in clear, full sentences and emphasise the importance of listening to others.

Our use of high-quality texts, vocabulary-rich learning environments and a varied and engaging curriculum ensure the English progression of skills are met whilst developing a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.

Implementation:

The school uses the 2014 National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum for directing the teaching of English. At Keevil we have invested in high-quality training for staff in the Little Wandle  synthetic phonics programme.  Within these daily sessions, the children begin by hearing and saying the sounds in words and then learn the codes (letters) that create each sound. This is their foundation in both reading and writing. In the Early Years and Year 1 classes, the children will take home books to consolidate the code/sound they are learning in each unit. They will also take home a book for challenge and one for pleasure. The children continue in this way until their teacher feels they are ready to read more complex texts. From year 2-6 the children move onto the Read Write Inc spelling programme which builds on the phonics learnt previously.

We have a daily reading session in years 1 to 6. This ensures that reading is explicitly taught every day using ambitious, but age related texts. We are developing a focus on vocabulary to ensure the children are exposed to a wide variety of words to increase their own understanding and breadth of vocabulary. The intention is that by the Summer term 2022 all classes will be using a consistent approach to developing the children’s vocabulary skills.

As a school, we have planned a robust, creative and engaging curriculum to deliver the National Curriculum writing objectives and ensure that each piece is purposeful and shows clear progression for all the children. Our writing tasks are based on a main text and makes links, across the curriculum.

To ensure accurate assessment we regularly assess independent writing as a whole staff. We are also beginning to use the No More Marking initiative to assess our writers against other children nationally to moderate our own judgements against other teaching professionals. This rigorous and robust approach allows teachers to plan the next steps for individuals effectively to promote progress and attainment.

Teachers have high expectations through teaching to the appropriate yearly objectives and set work appropriate to the needs of the children in their class. The structure of the lessons is carefully considered, including opportunities for returning to, and expanding on prior knowledge, teaching, modelling and discussion to aid understanding and support children in their independent tasks.

During 'English lessons’, the use of quality differentiated texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum through a combination of approaches/opportunities

 In addition to the above, at Keevil we also implement: 

  • Whole class modelled writing
  • Independent writing
  • Writing different text types and narrative styles
  • Writing across a variety of curriculum areas
  • Handwriting Practise
  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting
  • Use of the Writing Toolkit to add 'sparkle' to our writing.
During the foundation stage at Keevil, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. From KS1, the school adopts a cursive handwriting style. 

Spelling

From Year 2, classes follow the Read Write Inc. Spelling Programme for 15 minutes per day. Through exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.

Children are also taught to

  •  Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings.
  •  Proof-read their spellings
  •  Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills
  • Efficient use of dictionaries and thesauruses. 

Punctuation and Grammar

Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills are taught explicitly during writing lessons and the children identify how authors have used them effectively during their reading lessons. Grammar and punctuation is planned and taught using the 2014 National curriculum year group expectations and children are expected to apply their knowledge in their writing. 

Impact

The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Using a well thought-out, engaging curriculum, children at Keevil are becoming more confident and creative writers.

By the end of Key Stage Two the children of Keevil are very familiar with a variety of different genres and creativity with accurate grammar and punctuation skills can become the primary focus.

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing has improved with skills taught in discrete lessons being transferred into different subjects showing consolidation and a more in-depth understanding of English as a whole.

We aim for children to leave Keevil with a love of reading and writing and high aspirations to develop in the further education.