At Saint Thomas More Primary school we recognise that the teaching of the writing process is inextricably linked to the teaching of Reading and Speaking and Listening. Consequently, teachers use a variety of teaching methods and emphasis in the teaching of writing which reflects this. Furthermore, we recognise children as individualised learners, and as such, plan lessons to include visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approaches where appropriate which best suit the needs of the children.
At Saint Thomas More, English is at the heart of our curriculum. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding and in order to do this we have adapted the way we teach English.
Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage
At Saint Thomas More School we encourage children to read at home regularly.
Every child within the school takes part in daily English lessons which develops the key skills of reading and the technical aspects of writing. In Key Stage One and the Foundation stage, this is based around the Read Write Inc programme which is the teaching of reading and writing through phonics. This takes place four times per week. One day is set aside for genre based work.
Click here for more information about Read Write Inc
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, children take part in daily English lessons. In Year 3 we use the Literacy and Language programme, and in Years 4, 5 and 6 we plan lessons across a range of genres which allow children to develop the skills that are embedded in the new national curriculum. Our English Curriculum develops children’s comprehension, vocabulary, writing, grammar, critical thinking and discussion skills– in a fun and meaningful way. This is then supplemented by writing in different forms for a variety of audiences. The children write for different purposes: to imagine and explore feelings and ideas, to inform and explain, to persuade and to review and comment. They also see how writing is concerned with process as well as product, being an aid to thinking, organisation and learning. They are taught to plan, draft, revise, proof read and present their writing on paper and on screen, and to discuss and evaluate their own writing and that of others. There is an emphasis on using real models for writing newspaper reports, advertisements and websites.
The links between reading and writing in fiction and non-fiction continue to be made explicit. Pupils use their knowledge of texts they have studied to construct their own writing and have greater control over organisation, language features, vocabulary and spelling.
Many year groups have also started to use the ‘Book Project’ approach as a means to teach English. The children study a literacy rich and challenging text and then all work is planned to stem from this, allowing the children to write in a variety of genres but maintain a strong context. This also develops the children’s comprehension, as daily reading takes place within the lesson, language features are discussed in great detail and the children’s vocabulary is constantly extended as they discover new words within the text and apply these to their own writing.
The teaching of English develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the moral questions they meet in their environment and also in the wider world. Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts brings them into contact with their own literary heritage and texts from other cultures.
Speaking and Listening
We give children a range of purposes for speaking and listening. Speaking and listening will sometimes be taught discretely, but more often it will be taught within other areas of the curriculum. Examples of where speaking and listening might occur within the classroom: Hot seating, freeze frames, reading aloud, presentations, role play and explaining ideas.
Children are given opportunities to develop knowledge of different authors and styles of writing in order to foster a love of reading.
Reading in School
In the Foundation Stage and through Key Stage One, children are taught to read through the ReadWrite Inc Programme. The ‘Fresh Start’ programme and weekly ‘guided reading’ sessions on more challenging texts are also used as an intervention for specific groups of children in Key Stage Two.
In Key Stage Two, children take part in a weekly ‘guided reading’ Comprehension session which is planned to cover all of the APP Reading Assessment Focuses.
Other opportunities for Reading enrichment include taking part in events such as ‘World Book Day’, ‘National Poetry Day’, ‘National Storytelling Week’ or the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’.
Reading at Home
Children are encouraged to read a range of fiction and non-fiction books to support reading at home and these are organised using the Book Bands System. Home Reading books are chosen from a range of different schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and ‘Read Write Inc’.
The National Curriculum
Please click here to find the latest National Curriculum document for English.
Read, Write, Inc.
Please click here to watch the Presentation that was given to parents at the Read, Write, Inc Workshop on 13th October 2015.