English - Writing
At Orchard Lea Federation, we believe that language and English is fundamental to the overall development of the child and their access to the curriculum in all its aspects. We recognise that the acquisition of English, both spoken and written, will empower our pupils and provide the foundation for all future learning. We aim to provide an English curriculum that is text rich, relevant and provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
When our children leave Orchard Lea Federation, they will aspire to be avid readers who have an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. We want all children to be able to read fluently and widely, being able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they study. We promote a culture of reading across our Federation, not simply as a life skill, but to develop a love of books and literature. This will not only support the children’s learning across the curriculum but will also enrich their lives. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their reading. Thus enabling them to be successful communicators throughout their lives. We strive for every pupil to leave us with the necessary skills to access the reading and vocabulary demands of the secondary curriculum and beyond.
We wish for all of our children to be inspired to write and see themselves as successful authors. We want our children to write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair. This is achieved by ensuring there is real purpose for writing and by providing exciting and stimulating contexts to capture their imaginations. A child at our Federation will start their writing journey by text marking and drawing simple images to encapsulate their ideas. As they progress through the schools, key skills will be weaved into our curriculum to ensure all children are successful writers. We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat handwriting style. We aim to expose our children to a rich and wide range of vocabulary so that they are able to decipher new words and use them when speaking and writing both formally and informally. Children will work in collaboration with each other during shared writing sessions and learn the value of other’s viewpoints. In addition to this, teachers explicitly model the process of writing using shared and guided techniques, meaning children are exposed to high quality demonstration, exploration and discussion of the choices writers make.
By the time children leave us, we want them to become effective authors who write from their chosen viewpoint with their audience and purpose in mind, consistently evaluating what they have written. It is essential that our pupils see writing as a cyclical process. We want our pupils to value editing and care about their written work, understanding that improving it is an integral part of being a writer. We achieve this by teaching our children a range of strategies for editing so they are able to apply these strategies to improve their independent outcomes.
At Orchard Lea Federation, we know that reading is one of the most important life skills for our children. In our wider curriculum approach to the teaching of literacy, we expose our children to a range of reading behaviours, and develop their love for reading. In our Infant School, this includes story telling opportunities through our ‘Helicopter Stories’ and our ‘Story Stones’. Our curriculum has clear links to high quality texts and our exciting enhancements in continuous provision help the children apply their literacy skills in a context that is purposeful to them. Alongside this, we recognise it is equally as important to develop a programme for teaching the skills necessary to recognise individual letters and sounds. To ensure children can develop their reading and writing independence as they move through their school adventures. As a Federation, we use the RWI approach to the teaching of synthetic phonics. This document provides further guidance as to how we use this approach to provide the best outcomes to all of our children. Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study – Key Stages 1 and 2. Our curriculum is drawn from these documents.
Through our daily English lessons, the teaching of English writing follows the Hampshire Learning approach and is led through text rich, purposeful, well-developed learning journeys, where all children are challenged and supported to reach their full potential. In writing, teachers plan and teach learning journeys with a clear written outcome using the three-step approach to writing (stimulate and generate; capture, sift and sort; and create, refine, evaluate.) This journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary.
The planning of our curriculum takes the existing experiences of our learners into account ensuring that learning is accessible for all, including our disadvantaged and SEND children. Children are stretched and challenged by vocabulary choices, text type, choice (audience, viewpoint and form) and scaffolds and writing prompts are provided where needed. Children are provided with personal targets linked to the National Curriculum so that they are aware of what is needed to be successful in their writing.
High quality children’s literature is central to our English curriculum. Teachers use text extracts as a stimulus for writing and as a way to explore how authors use a range of techniques to have an impact on their readers. As well as using high quality text extracts teachers also use picture books, video clips and novels, including heritage texts, as stimuli for writing. This often then permeates into other areas of the curriculum (art, history, science etc.)
Our spelling and handwriting guidelines separately detail how these two skills are taught.