English

Our English Curriculum

Intent 

At Haslingfield Endowed Primary school, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, cursive handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process with the use of a purple polishing pen. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.

 

Implementation 

Classroom organisation: 

We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for children that need it to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as writers’ toolkits, word banks or a greater level of modelling. Those children that are greater depth are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features. 

 

Spellings: 

Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Our school uses the ‘No nonsense’ spelling scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week. These spellings are a combination of the spelling rules that they have learnt that week and the statutory spellings for that year group. Children are encouraged to edit and check their spellings within their writing and use a dictionary and other resources in the classroom to help them. 

 

Grammar and Punctuation: 

Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with

the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills. 

 

English Lesson Sequence: 

Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be a Big write which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria. Children will be given a writing checklist to work from to support them. Every narrative unit is linked to a carefully chosen text that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their extended writing outcome for that unit. A WAGOLL – What a good one looks like – is created based on the stimulus text and supports pupils to identify and mimic the identified features in their own writing. Non-fiction units are also taught through a quality WAGOLL that may be based on a stimulus text or may be related to another curriculum area. Every half term, all children take part in a whole school cold write, where the children are given a specific stimulus to base their writing around. 

 

Marking and Feedback: 

Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson verbally with the children. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy, following the marking code that is in the front of all children’s books. The teacher’s deep mark at least one piece of writing weekly and provide next steps for the children to improve on further.  The children are given regular opportunities to edit and improve their work using a purple polishing pen, both before the work is marked and after, responding to teacher’s feedback. Teachers update assessments on to Target tracker regularly but at least every half term. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended write that pupils produce during their big writes and determine to what extent pupils have met the agreed success criteria for that genre of writing. Teachers will refer to the TAFS in Y2 and Y6 and the TAFs that have been developed for other year groups as a support for making judgements and to inform planning.

 

Impact 

By the time our children leave Haslingfield Primary all pupils will have enjoyed and have had the experience of writing across different genres. Our children will have a wide and ambitious range of vocabulary and have a secure knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and the audience. All children will leave our school with an understanding and be able to apply the spelling rules and patterns that they have been taught. Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded and closely differentiated to their needs. Through close home/school partnerships our parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition at home, and contribute regularly to homework.