At Holmes Chapel Primary, it is our intent to equip our children with the skills to be able to write fluently in a range of different genres as well as being able to communicate their ideas clearly. In order to achieve this, we provide them with rich and varied opportunities which include cross-curricular writing, writing from personal experiences and the use of high quality texts which support the children to become creative, inspired and have a love of writing. We strive for the children to be confident writers with the stamina and ability to write, at least, at the expected standard for their age. We want our children to have the knowledge and understanding of technical grammar and punctuation, and to be able to apply it in a variety of different genres of their writing. In addition, we intend for our children to acquire and develop their use of vocabulary through our teaching, exposure to high quality texts within our lessons and through the promotion of a love of reading across our whole school reading for pleasure approach.
Throughout school, children are given purposeful and engaging opportunities to develop their skills and vocabulary by effectively planning, writing and revising their work. We follow a consistent, structured and supportive writing cycle based on the research-based gradual release of responsibility model and self-regulation where children use strategies to identify their next steps. Objectives are clear and progressive in every year group. We offer high levels of support to those who need it allowing each child to access their year group learning where possible and reach their full potential.
Speaking and Listening
Children across school have the opportunity to enhance their speaking and listening skills by reading aloud their writing, listening to others and reciting and performing poetry, both their own and published.
Grammar and Punctuation
Across school, grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers select, plan and deliver lessons that cover the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking the grammar and punctuation to the genre to make it coherently connected with the intended writing outcome. At times, teachers may sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as a discrete lesson; this is where the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding from a technical point of view, or to consolidate skills before applying it into their writing.
Early vocabulary development is often encountered through reading. However, young readers encounter more unfamiliar words than more experienced readers. Therefore, in addition to developing the process of reading through sounding out and blending, teachers also focus their time on explaining the meaning of language and vocabulary. Across school, teachers introduce age appropriate / genre appropriate language and vocabulary for style and meaning in reading and writing tasks, and discuss it with the children. In addition to this, teachers select, plan and introduce curriculum based vocabulary through our Word Aware scheme in foundation subjects; this introduces key words that are considered important for children to have a deeper understanding, semantically and morphologically (meaning and spelling patterns).
Where children are struggling to meet the age related expectations for reading and therefore being taught at a lower age level than their chronological age, they still follow the programme of study for their correct chronological age in terms of listening to new books, hearing and learning new vocabulary, and discussing these.
We aim for children to develop into confident spellers who are enthusiastic and excited by their use of language and the knowledge of words. We want them to be able to spell quickly, accurately and not afraid of using their skills and knowledge to tackle the spelling of unfamiliar words. In order for this to happen, we encourage the children to make relationships between sounds and letters (phonics), understand the word structure (morphology) and the spelling structure (orthography) of words. We expect the children to be able to discuss words, their spelling patterns and meaning and understand their origins and how they have changed throughout history (etymology).
Early spelling is taught through daily phonics lessons where children are taught how to segment to spell in EYFS and Year 1 (see separate phonics and spelling rationales)
Spelling is taught from Year 1-6 using the Spelling Shed scheme.
Teachers use an investigative approach to learning so that children talk about similarities, differences, patterns and meanings of words and their spellings.
A baseline assessment takes place at the beginning of the autumn term to ensure any children who have not met the previous year’s expectation are identified for urgent intervention
Extra intervention sessions are provided to close the gap between children who are struggling to meet year group expectation and their peers. These are based on diagnostic testing and gap analysis. As advised in the English spelling appendix, these sessions will focus on previous year groups’ learning and/ or may contain more of a phonics reading / spelling approach.
We intend our children to have the skills to be able to write fluently, legibly, and with automaticity and speed. We want confident writers who can successfully form letters with correct and relative size, form different strokes to join adjacent letters, and eventually make conscious decisions to join or understand when letters are best left un-joined. We want our children to take care with their handwriting and being proud of their work, knowing it is presented adequately for the job it is intended (display, note-taking, etc). Handwriting lessons are delivered through the Letter-join scheme.