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At the heart of our English curriculum, here at Ralph Butterfield Primary School, are our whole school core values. It is our intent at Ralph Butterfield Primary School to provide children with an ambitious, high-quality education in English that teaches children to speak, read and write fluently so that they can passionately and respectfully communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. The teaching of English is at the heart of our ambitious, broad and engaging whole school curriculum; it is embedded within all our lessons and we strive for a high standard of English for all of our children, whatever their starting points. Our main aim is to ensure every single child is inspired to develop a love of literacy and progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Ralph Butterfield Primary School believes that English is vital to children’s development so that they are prepared for the next steps in their learning and future life. A hands on, broad and balanced English programme using objectives from the National Curriculum 2014, determines the knowledge that each year group and Key Stage must cover. A range of exciting opportunities are provided through a range of genres and cross-curricular themes to promote and instil a love of speaking, reading and writing.
We believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love of reading within our children. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to the writing. Children who are provided with a reason for writing, demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes. All children from Reception to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Children are given a range of writing opportunities including the use of paired, group and independent writing tasks. A culture of learning from each other is promoted through these co-operative learning structures; this is developed across all key stages, so that the children learn to respond appropriately and supportively to each other regardless of gender, age, cultural or ethnic background.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop children who:
· show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing
· use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers
· are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing
· have a good understanding of different audiences and purposes for writing
· apply their grammatical knowledge in their writing
· apply their phonetical and spelling knowledge in their writing
· apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum
How our school values are embedded in writing
Children show respect for others through the form and purpose of writing, and in consideration of their audience.
Children are inspired to be creative and aim high in their written work through access to a range of authors and genres, and by being immersed in a range of topics through a broad and balanced curriculum.
Children are encouraged to write to a high standard. They evaluate, refine, edit and proof read their work in order to achieve their best.
Children learn about key moral themes and values through exposure to the writing of others and by reflecting this in theirs.
What this looks like for children at Ralph Butterfield Primary School
At Ralph Butterfield Primary School, our writing curriculum is clearly sequenced to develop substantive knowledge. We want children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words. We want our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. With this knowledge, children can then develop their disciplinary knowledge. We teach our children to be writers who refine and edit their writing over time; we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement, and that of others, in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
Children at Ralph Butterfield Primary School become clear and effective communicators who understand that spoken language can be used to explore ideas, make connections with others and share knowledge. This occurs through discussion and questions for debate, which are planned across the curriculum. Children learn to speak and listen in pairs and small groups, then larger groups. They are given opportunities to present their ideas to peers and to perform for larger groups such as presentations to the school and to families.
Children learn to plan their writing by noting and developing initial ideas. They will draw on reading and research where helpful. When writing, children will select appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning. Children will become more confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes. E.g. writing persuasive letters to the headteacher for the Year 6 children to go on a residential.
In writing narrative, children will consider how authors have developed characters and settings in books they have read and listened to. They will then describe settings, characters and atmosphere and integrate dialogue to convey character and advance action. Children will use further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and guide the reader. Children will learn to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing.
At Ralph Butterfield Primary School, our long-term plan is carefully mapped out; this enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned to support pupil’s retention of knowledge and skills. Children have effective, high quality daily English lessons and frequent opportunities to write across the curriculum. English writing is taught both discretely and through other subjects. Speaking and listening skills support children in articulating their ideas.
Units of writing are carefully planned and contain key elements of grammar, punctuation and spelling appropriate to the year group. Throughout the teaching sequence, the children are given the opportunity to analyse high quality writing examples of a particular text type, practise different writing skills and they complete the unit with an independent piece of writing specific to a text type.
Writing is also celebrated through special days such as author visits, poetry days, BBC 500 words competition, phase production of own stories books. We have our own local authors who come and read their books and explain their personal writing process. On World Book Day, within phases, children collaborated to write their own stories.