English - Writing

English Statement of Intent

To deliver an exciting, innovative English curriculum which enables and empowers children's written and oral communication and creativity through collaboration and engagement with a variety of high quality texts.

Implementation

At Glenmere, writing it taught daily in English lessons with the use of Talk 4 Writing. At the start of a writing unit, ‘Cold Writes’ are used as a way of assessment. This is used to assess the needs of pupils and to inform planning and teaching, alongside the expectations set out within the National Curriculum, ensuring that pupils learn, develop and consolidate skills throughout the year. At Glenmere, we use the Writing Progression Map to sequence key writing skills across year groups. Each year group is split into three terms: autumn, spring and summer.

Our writing curriculum has a number of different elements: handwriting and spelling (transcription), composition and grammar and punctuation – all of which then contributes to well composited pieces of work

Handwriting and Spelling

A structured programme of spelling is implemented across the school, starting with phonics in EYFS and Key Stage 1 (further information can be found in phonics and early reading). As pupils progress the introduction of ‘Spelling Shed’ is made, which includes explicit teaching as well as within writing lessons.  As a school, we follow a cursive handwriting school – Letter-Join. This is first introduced in EYFS and taught progressively through to Year 6. The scheme weaves in vocabulary and handwriting from other areas of the National Curriculum. Children are taught to use the correct letter formation, sizing and joins which are expected to be applied within their work across the curriculum

Composition

At Glenmere, children are exposed to a range of genres through the use of Talk for Writing. Within the English Curriculum, each year group has a Yearly Overview, including both fiction and non-fiction, as well as poetry. Each writing unit involves a pre-writing assessment referred to as ‘Cold Write’. Lessons are then split into 3 phases: the imitation phase, the innovation phase – which includes a wealth of modelled writing from the teacher – and then the independent application and invention (otherwise referred to as a ‘Hot Task’).  The Hot Task is an opportunity for pupils to independently apply the skills they have obtained which will then be assessed against the National Curriculum. Working Walls play a vital role in supporting the teaching and learning in the classrooms, displaying vocabulary, story maps, ‘what a good one looks like’, shared write, toolkit and grammatical elements. Children are expected and encouraged to use these walls to support their writing throughout.

Grammar and Punctuation

We believe that grammar should be taught in context and, therefore, is taught within the English lessons and applied across the curriculum.

Impact

Throughout our units of work, ongoing assessments are made by teachers: observations, discussions, marking and feedback as well as questioning to identify understanding. Within each unit, children produce both a ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ write which form a basis for assessment. Teachers assess the work which is written in ‘Author Journal’ and mark against ‘Teaching Assessment Framework’. Pupils use the ‘Assessment Framework’ as a tool for target setting alongside the teacher. Termly assessments are then completed to monitor and evaluate progress in relation to previous key stages.

Impact is also monitored through the use of learning walks, observations and book looks as well as the use of pupil voice across the school.

Reading at Glenmere

We, at Glenmere, believe it is important to teach children both the skills of reading using their knowledge of phonics developing this into becoming competent readers as well as teaching the skills of comprehension. With that in mind we have introduced VIPERS – a strategy from The Literacy Shed.

V – Vocabulary

I –Inference

P – Predict

E – Explain

R – Retrieve

S – Sequence (KS1) Summarise (KS2)

Lessons are taught on a daily basis using a variety of different stimulus: picture books, video clips, extracts from books, short texts and pictures.

In addition to this, we have introduced Book Talk which works on children being in small groups, based on ability and verbalising answers to sentence starters as a group, with a particular focus on using evidence to support their answers. 

For individual reading, we use the book banded system from EYFS up to Year 6, progressively getting more difficult. Books within Key Stage One focus on a mix of high-frequency and decodable words in order to develop a range of reading strategies

Within these book bands, we use a variety of different schemes in order to give children a wider variety of reading opportunities – all working in line with the book banded expectations. We use books from Oxford Reading Tree, Rising Stars as well as Oxford University Press in the form of Project X books. Higher up the book band, there is a wider variety of genres covered, looking at longer novels and more detailed texts. Pupils in KS1 are also provided with 'Rocket Phonics' books from 'Rising Stars'. These are closely matched with the phonics teaching within class.

Alongside the reading book pitched at individual's reading levels, children at Glenmere are also encouraged to have a 'Reading for Pleasure' book from the wealth of books within the classroom. We feel this is important to balance between children reading for enjoyment but also to develop their reading skills within books aimed at their reading level: both fluency and comprehension.

Our 'English Curriculum' provides detailed information regarding the coverage from year group to year group, including the progression of skills in writing. At Glenmere, we also see it important to ensure pupils are exposed to a variety of rich texts, therefore, within the curriculum, there is a breakdown of books covered within the different key stages.

Finally, the Glenmere Reading Handbook, provides further details on the teaching of reading, including all the systems in place.