Key Stage 1 & 2
Our English curriculum is derived around high-quality age-appropriate stimuli. This includes; texts, media clips or images. We use these to generate excitement in lessons, creating opportunities to develop writing skills. We aim to develop grammar and punctuation knowledge, and understanding so children can use and apply a greater range of skills across the curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres and identify the purpose and audience. Children plan and write a piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and improving. For each quality text, three 2-week writing units are completed. Within this time, children are taught the formal structures of English appropriate to their year group. At the end of the 2-week units, children also have the opportunity to complete a ‘Free Write’ where they produce a piece of writing from an image. These pieces of writing allow class teachers to assess how children apply and experiment with the grammar, spelling and punctuation skills that they have previously been taught.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week.
In Reception and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling through Read, Write, Inc. From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns.
When marking work, teachers identify words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability and the child will practice these as part of their English lesson.
In EYFS, children are taught letter formation and beginning writing as part of the phonics and writing programme from Read Write Inc. From KS1 children adopt a cursive handwriting style using ‘Letter Join’.
At St Joseph’s, we teach handwriting daily at the start of each English lesson. This includes basic letter formation and joins. Teachers model the schools handwriting style when marking, writing on the board and on displays around the classroom. As children progress through school, there is an increasing focus on fluency, consistency and speed. Pen licenses are issued when the Head teacher has seen consistently good handwriting in line with year group expectations.