WRITING, SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and Listening underpins all areas of the curriculum and is a crucial area for our children. Our enquiry based curriculum encourages interactive teaching strategies to engage all children (particularly our Vulnerable Groups) in order to raise specific oracy skills as well as Reading and Writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Opportunities such as Everyone Explains; Poem in my Pocket; telling jokes, assemblies and debates are captured digitally to evidence children’s attainment and progress. Teachers use a progressive Question Matrix across the curriculum to support children in asking questions e.g. in oral and written forms.
High oracy levels are an expectation during the teaching of reading with prompts for children to scaffold evidence based answers and opportunities to express opinions. Opportunities to develop vocabulary and, Speaking and Listening are available through Forest Schools, Cr8 (Creative learning) Cookery and Life skills.
Talk Boost activities and strategies are aligned to NC speaking targets so that teachers can reflect the Talk Boost intervention activities during whole class teaching.
Our writing is driven by the Clarendon’s Wrap Around the Text’ which is an integrated curriculum which includes a Literacy Spine, educational visits and visitors, cross curricular opportunities and bespoke whole school WOW events to stimulate children’s imagination and create a love of writing. Genre expectations are set which also serve as a supportive tool to assist teachers. Children write across the curriculum on a daily basis. Within writing lessons children are taught knowledge and skills. Grammar is taught in an integrated way where children are expected to apply this daily learning in short pieces, leading to the quality and quantity expected in extended pieces of writing, normally weekly. Grammar is revised using LBQ and Grammar Starters.
Children use challenge fans (including ISWC- Ideas Say Write Check – for those children that need it), marking ladders (in the autumn term), a rich working wall their vocabulary book and classroom environment to enable them to enrich their writing. Children are expected to apply this learning when working independently. Teachers are supported by a tailored year group Teacher Tool Kit which covers all genres and NC expectations.
Children are expected to use cursive handwriting as soon as they are able but as a minimum in Year 3 using pen. Children show high standards of presentation, RAG each piece of work and use Punctuation Sam for extended pieces of writing. Children are expected to include statutory words where appropriate in their writing to show their understanding.
Wrap around the Text to Engage Writers
Our Writing curriculum is organised using Medium Term Plans which integrate Reading, Writing skills, Spelling, Handwriting and Speaking and Listening opportunities through a series of genres and set expectations. Each half term, different genres are covered to ensure a balanced coverage of non-fiction and fiction. Extended writing opportunities are given for more lengthy written pieces within each teaching unit/genre and also allow children to show their understanding through cross curricular pieces of writing. During the Creative History topics in Learning Links, children have the opportunity to choose their own genre to reflect their learning. Read Write Perform topics enable children to express themselves in a variety of ways including through ICT e.g. i-movies, green screen etc across the curriculum. The English Learning Journey and digital evidence show the wide range of experiences children participate in and the targets they achieve through the variety of initiatives on offer.
Termly WOW events transform our school and provide immersion in a writing experience. Teachers will wrap all the teaching through a quality text (including picture books) to develop a self-reflective approach to all aspects of the writing cycle: reading, analysis and comprehending published texts/ stimuli; planning, writing, redrafting (including using re-drafting flaps), editing and proof reading (using the proof reading hand), publishing/ sharing their output including by reading aloud and drama.
Writing is celebrated weekly through the ‘Star Writer’ award with the piece of work displayed in class. A piece of every child’s writing which they are proud of is also displayed in the class room. The ‘Most Improved Presentation’ award is a bi-annual meeting with the Head Teacher and English Lead. Children enjoy Hot Chocolate, Cookies and Chat whilst sharing their Challenge and Success books.
Self and peer assessment is carried out in KS2 through the Gallery Technique and by underlining in green and red pencil. This mimics teacher marking and feedback, concentrating on technical elements and improvements which can then be used via ‘Flip it’ of good examples in future writing. Teacher marking, ‘on the spot’ interventions and verbal feedback enables children to resolve any misconceptions. It also provides opportunities for them to feedback using pink pen to produce these good ‘Flip it’ examples. Children have the opportunity to edit and redraft their work regularly including through the use of redrafting flaps.
Given our school context (and the needs of our Vulnerable Groups), in the Autumn term, Year 1 children access Rapid Writing as a whole class to ensure correct sentence structure is embedded. Teachers tailor Rapid Writing so that a weekly extended piece is provided and children who entered Year 1 and are working at a higher level, continue to be challenged and extended.
Spelling and phonics
Supersonic Phonics Friends is used in EYFS and KS1. The ‘Support for Spelling’ programme is used after completion of phase 6. Teachers teach and test spelling using the NC statutory spellings. They provide opportunities for these spellings to be applied in children’s writing through Early Learning Goals for emergent writing, shared writing, guided writing and independent cross curricular and assessed pieces of Writing.
Throughout school, children have weekly spellings which they are expected to learn at home. The Collins Spelling Scheme provides structure and teaching support e.g. etymology alongside our tiered vocabulary (which is specifically taught and tested). Children access Spelling Shed in school and at home to provide a competitive element which is celebrated through an annual Spelling Bee competition and bi-annual Spelling Shed Champion. Where children spell zero tolerance words incorrectly, ownership of the correct spelling is encouraged through personalised vocabulary books, word mats in English toolkits and across the curriculum.
Throughout school, vocabulary understanding is developed through direct teaching and practised and applied in independent reading skills sessions, writing lessons and across the curriculum. Subject Leaders across the curriculum have identified the Tier 1(every day or easily understood words), Tier 2(words relevant across the curriculum including NC statutory words) and Tier 3 (subject specific technical words). In particular, selected Tier 2, some Tier 3 and Statutory Words are taught, practised and recorded by the child in their vocabulary book (Years 3-6) which helps them to access and apply words/phrases encountered in direct teaching. In Year 1 and 2 a vocabulary display is used). A range of tools have been shared with teachers to enable them to teach vocabulary in depth and consistently.
The Vocabulary Book includes the child’s personal zero tolerance words that they need to spell correctly and the opportunity to collect and develop their interest in idiomatic/figurative words and phrases. Vocabulary mats of Tier 2 words have been developed for Science, Learning Links and Maths whilst wider reading opportunities across the curriculum identify supplementary vocabulary that is also studied in more depth.
The Head Teacher Vocabulary and associated image, stimulates a curiosity and love of words through ‘Buzzin’ about Words’ where half termly, three words are chosen for whole school study application, shared in the Learning Journey and a class display (including in EYFS). The Head Teacher’s words have been developed over time and are available to children through the Head Teacher Vocabulary Book and ongoing display of the current year’s words. A range of resources support teaching and application. The ‘Buzzin’ about Words’ competitions and regular sticker awards encourage children to collect and have fun with idiomatic/figurative phrases. Play time games such as Pictionary and Scrabble provide further opportunities to have fun with words. In addition children take turns in choosing a word from ‘Mrs Wordsmith’ which is available in every classroom.
The Collins Handwriting Scheme is followed and adapted as appropriate by the teacher. In-house bespoke handwriting guidelines support children throughout school and teacher modelling. Emergent writing is taught from EYFS with a cursive approach expected. Handwriting is taught weekly and with an expectation that taught letters and joins are applied correctly in every piece of work. Children from Year 3 use pen.