At St Mary’s we are committed to raising standards in English and follow the National Curriculum in order maintain accurate coverage across the school.
Our English curriculum places a strong emphasis on writing to ensure all children develop the necessary skills to become fluent, imaginative, independent writers. Within the daily English lessons, teachers ensure that they teach a range of writing skills including spelling, grammar, punctuation and the key features of different types of writing. To develop writing the following approaches are used:
Nursery and Reception
Communication, Language and Literacy is taught and embedded into every aspect of EYFS.
It is important to note that, in the Early Years, it is imperative that we reflect the essential links between the four aspects of literacy development. These are: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Early Years environments, both indoors and out, should display many links to literacy, reflecting its status and importance across all areas of learning.
Adults in our Nursery and Reception classes plan carefully to ensure that their environments are literacy-rich and include print in the form of letters and words.
Children in our Nursery and Reception classes develop their handwriting skills through an interlinking curriculum centred around a combination of adult guided activities and structured play. Getting the balance right between child initiated play, which is controlled, and adult led activities is very important to us.
There are a variety of books in the literacy areas and early writing resources available for the children to access independently. Phonics is also taught daily to develop the children’s early reading and writing skills.
Key Stage 1 and 2:
Daily direct teaching
English is taught every day. Our curriculum is focused around high quality fiction and non-fiction texts. The books selected and planning has been adapted from the ‘Power of Reading’ and designed to fit cross-curricularly with our Science, History and Geography topics.
When teaching writing, teachers model skills, processes and procedures for writing. Daily lessons incorporate a range of important writing skills such as planning, editing and proofreading, spelling, sentence structure and developing ideas.
Grammar objectives for each year group are taught through the high-quality texts in our English lessons. This teaching is reinforced through our writing non-negotiables that are used across all school lessons.
Spelling: No Nonsense Spelling
At St Mary’s we believe spelling is a whole school responsibility.
By the end of year 1, pupils should be able to spell a large number of different words containing the GPCs that they have learnt in their Phonics lessons.
In addition children from Year 1 upwards have a spelling lesson each week targeting specific spelling rules.
We use the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ Scheme. Lessons from this scheme follow a simple model, practise, apply structure building on the structure of how spellings are taught in phonics lessons.
Weekly spellings go home and a spelling test takes place at the end of the week.
Handwriting session takes place daily in KS1 and three times a week in KS2.
We use the letter join scheme which delivers a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning handwriting: https://www.letterjoin.co.uk/key-stages.html
There is also a ‘Spelling-Handwriting’ lesson once a week to practise the week’s spellings in children’s handwriting book.
Through our weekly extended writing session children are given the opportunity to produce longer pieces of writing based around a topic or theme they have been studying. The aim during these sessions is for children to incorporate all skills learnt including spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting. To produce an extended piece of detailed writing based on the core text studied. Children work towards an extended writing piece around every 2 weeks. Teachers then assess these pieces providing feedback, and targets accordingly.