At Birchfields, we want our children to have excellent communication skills, both in spoken and written English. We believe that being able to articulate ideas orally, is the foundation to becoming successful writers. We inspire our children to express their ideas and opinions and all learners are challenged to write as authors with creativity, flare and accuracy.
We teach our children to write on a customised version of Pie Corbett’s Talk For Writing that we have tailored to meet the needs of our children and to take into account the high level of children who do not speak English at home. The program develops through the school and eventually in Year 6 children are freer to make independent authorial choices and have reign over their expression. By following a structured sequence of Writing, children are able to develop their Writing voice in a pace which matches their grasp of spoken and written English. The sequence of learning is to have a hook experience which draws the children into the genre and theme of their model text which they learn word for word and then write it errorlessly. This encourages correct grammatical writing and helps children to eliminate common errors that pupils who have EAL often make. The class then learn to innovate and change the model text (which is written in every year group to ensure it matches the ability of the learners and grammatical devices can build from one year to the next) whilst being guided by the teacher and eventually leads them to writing their own piece which has a particular purpose and audience and is 'real' whenever possible.
Spelling in Key Stage 1
- Spelling is taught throughout English lessons and through one discrete 30 minute spelling lesson per week
- Lessons follow the Fast Track Spelling programme and then Oxford Owl Read Write Inc Spelling scheme
- Weekly spelling homework is given every week to reinforce spelling patterns learnt in class and to learn the spelling of age-appropriate common exception words
- Assessment takes the form of a weekly spelling test and regular assessment of application of spellings in the children’s writing
Spelling in Key Stage 2
- Children have two Spelling lessons of 30 minutes each week
- Lessons follow the Oxford Owl Read Write Inc Spelling Scheme
- Weekly spelling homework covers spelling vocabulary from the spelling program plus the 100 words on the NC word lists
- Assessment takes the form of a weekly spelling test
- Weekly in depth marking assesses children’s application of the spelling of words and incorrectly spelling words are corrected by children during response time
- Children also peer and self assess work once a week identifying misspelt words
- Children who haven’t mastered phonics follow a fast track spelling scheme that makes links to the sounds they have learned in reading lessons
It is our intent that all children have a joined, legible and efficient handwriting style. Through our effective, progressive teaching, fine motor skills are developed in accordance with age appropriate skills. We follow the penpals scheme for handwriting and make links with the RWInc handwriting cues to ensure consistency.