At Danesfield School we believe that English is an essential part of the curriculum: a subject that not only stands alone, but one that should be an integral part of all learning.
We aim to…
- Deliver an engaging and exciting curriculum that helps develop a love of writing and inspires children to want to write.
- Encourage children to be imaginative, and to bring this to their writing.
- Provide children with essential skills in grammar, spelling and composition that will be life-long.
- Support children to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.
- Develop children into writers with an understanding of the writing process, including proof-reading and editing to enhance their work.
- Support children to be articulate and confident communicators who express themselves and enhance their learning when engaging in discussions.
- Create a culture where children love to write and take pride in their writing.
Children have access to high quality texts and visual stimuli which spark imagination and inspire ideas for writing. Texts are also used to explore layout and language features of specific genres.
Children are taught to use precise grammatical terminology to discuss and learn from the works of notable authors and to explain their own choices. Grammar is taught in context, although stand-alone grammar lessons are taught if necessary.
Lessons are clearly structured to allow children to develop essential knowledge and skills. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary, spelling and grammar. Lessons in KS1 are structured to allow children to discuss ideas for writing before forming written pieces. Children are taught essential knowledge and skills to craft a piece of writing over time in order to build stamina, and sufficient time is given to ensure quality pieces of work. In KS2, teachers guide children through a clear writing process and children have the opportunity to generate ideas, plan, draft, edit and publish their writing.
Children in KS1 write for a range of purposes and audiences and this is developed and strengthened in KS2, with children enhancing their understanding of a writer’s craft and seeing themselves as authors. In KS2, writing purposes are repeated across the key stage, across the curriculum, to solidify understanding of text types and to enhance skills in grammar, sentence construction and punctuation. Text types include writing to: entertain, describe, perform, instruct, persuade, discuss and explain.
In KS1, vocabulary is explored in texts and collected for writing. In KS2, children are encouraged to draw upon what they read when writing and to ‘magpie’ vocabulary from shared texts. Classes have word walls or working walls to use for collecting and exploring vocabulary and children make use of these in lessons. In KS2, children also independently access dictionaries, thesauruses and word mats.
In KS1, children are taught how to make simple edits and additions to their writing so that they can begin doing so more independently in Year 2. In KS2, post-writing, children are encouraged to proof-read and taught to edit their work through peer or teacher feedback, Microsoft Teams and the use of editing ‘stations’. Teachers make it clear that writing has an audience and that the publishing of writing is an important aspect of the writing process.
Correct letter formation is taught from EYFS. Handwriting is taught within lessons in KS1, and outcomes in KS2 are recorded in writing books to promote a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes. Our handwriting programme is used throughout the school to maintain the high expectations in presentation, as well as being reinforced by teachers in modelling. In Upper KS2, handwriting lessons or interventions can be taught, if necessary.
In KS1, for children to become fluent, creative writers, they are encouraged to express their ideas through speaking and listening opportunities, including partner talk, role-play and hot-seating. These lively, interactive learning exchanges provide all children with the tools and knowledge necessary to become successful writers. In KS2, drama techniques are explored and repeated to enhance children’s spoken language, presentation skills and to use as stimuli pre or post-writing. In addition, there are opportunities across the curriculum for children to enhance their spoken language, through exploring vocabulary in ‘book talk’ sessions in whole-class reading; carrying out formal presentations; taking part in class performances and engaging in debates.
In KS1, the Phonics Shed phonics scheme is used to teach spelling and Spelling Shed is implemented in Year 2 once the systematic synthetic phonics programme is completed. In KS2, spelling is taught and tested weekly. Each term, children are tested using a PiXL Spelling Tracker test that allows teachers to identify gaps from previous year groups and fill those gaps.