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Curriculum Statements

Writing at Bentinck Primary and Nursery School

 

Curriculum Intent

 

At Bentinck Primary School, we recognise that fluency, capability and confidence in English are essential if our children are to have the same life chances as their peers. As an inner city school, we are proud to cater for children from a diverse, multicultural range of backgrounds with a wide variety of needs, and we are committed to recognising and fulfilling the potential of all of our pupils through an English curriculum that is ambitious, engaging and accessible to all.

Underpinning our curriculum is a strong commitment to ensuring that all pupils develop the skills needed to succeed in life – with reading, writing and Oracy at the heart of every subject. We aim to ensure that standards of teaching are consistently high in every class, as are the expectations of all pupils. A comprehensive coverage of the National Curriculum is ensured through a high quality of provision across all year groups, giving each child an acquisition of key skills and knowledge that builds year on year. The curriculum content we provide is tailored by staff to meet the varying needs of all our pupils.

We recognise that to be a successful writer, children must have a secure knowledge of the rules of English spelling, punctuation and grammar, and the ability to apply this in their own writing. To support them in this, we use a colour-coded approach to building effective sentences, as set out in Jason Wade’s Rainbow Grammar scheme. Expected progression through the school is set out in the Bentinck Rainbow Grammar Progression document.

We aim to create a language rich environment across the school, in which our pupils enjoy their learning, feel supported to take risks and aim high. Ultimately, we want students to leave us with an enthusiasm for the subject, and with the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.

 

Implementation

 

Planning;

At Bentinck we follow the requirements and guidance laid out in the National Curriculum English Programme of Study (2014) and in the Communication, Language and Literacy section of the EYFS Framework (2021)

Long term objectives are be taken from the National Curriculum English Programme of Study for each year group. These key skills are then broken down and mapped out to ensure even coverage throughout the year, which is recorded on the Bentinck Whole School Provision document. Where possible, relevant and meaningful cross curricular links are to be made with themes or special events in order to promote English across the curriculum. The whole school planning document provides an overview to ensure varied text types and genres are covered across the school, allowing clear opportunities for skills progression.

Staff use high quality texts as a starting point for all writing activities. (Coverage is shown on the Recommended Reads document for each key stage.) When planning and teaching a new genre, teachers establish the purpose and audience for writing and make teaching objectives explicit to pupils so they know why they are studying a particular text type and what the expected outcomes will be. Rainbow Grammar activities are embedded in planning to allow children to practise, build upon and develop the necessary sentence structures for each specific text type. Oracy activities are planned to support children in the development of communication skills, enable them to explore and share their ideas for writing and to present and evaluate their written work.

Explicit reference to how work will be differentiated for the range of ability groups is shown in planning, including how more able children will be extended and challenged.

 

 

Provision;

English is taught daily across the school in focused sessions, to deliver the skills and requirements as set by the National Curriculum English Programme of Study (2014).

  • F1 focus on preparation for writing by building core strength and working on fine and gross motor skills.
  • F2 have a daily 20 minutes phonics session following the Read, Write Inc programme. In addition to this there is a weekly English focused lesson incorporating a targeted writing task.

Throughout EYFS the development of writing is supported through a wide variety of continuous provision activities, both indoors and outside, using an assortment of writing tools.

In Years 1 – 6, writing is taught through an immersive approach.

This consists of four phases:

Phase 1 – Immerse and Analyse

Pupils are introduced to a text through a wide variety of activities and experiences, designed to engage and familiarise them with the text or genre. They aim to collect the ‘ingredients’ for planning and writing their own version.

Phase 2 – Skills Practice

Having identified key features of a text type in phase 1, pupils practise using them through a series of class, group, paired and independent tasks.

Phase 3 – Plan and write

Following the structure identified in phase 1, children plan and write an initial draft of their piece.

Phase 4 – Edit, publish and evaluate

Pupils revisit, edit and improve their work, eventually publishing a final piece in their best writing book. Finally, pupils evaluate their own and others’ work, identifying areas for celebration and improvement.

 

At the core of our English curriculum is Oracy - learning to talk and learning through talk. We believe that a thorough grounding in Oracy is a prerequisite for success across the curriculum, and opportunities to develop oratorical skills are therefore an essential element of every lesson. 

As well as being taught discretely, English skills are taught through all subjects, with an expectation that pupils will use and apply them with growing independence.

In KS2, EAL learners with a higher level of language need are given focused support by our dedicated EAL teacher. Daily targeted lessons build children’s English language skills and confidence and allow them to access the curriculum as fully as possible.

 

Delivery;

A variety of teaching strategies will be used in the delivery of English sessions, including demonstration, modelling, explanation, questioning and discussion. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by the explicit teaching of specific writing strategies. There is an expectation of a high level of student engagement and participation in every session, and regular and purposeful opportunities for individual, paired and group writing activities are included.

Guided writing takes place as part of a small adult led group session within the independent stage of the lesson. It is dedicated to developing specific writing skills in order to help students to progress. Children are grouped according to their targets and needs and scaffolding resources are provided to structure and support writing.

At the end of each sequence of learning, children have the opportunity to apply newly learnt concepts in a piece of independent writing. A minimum of one piece of writing per half term is developed, edited and improved in preparation for ‘publishing’ in their best book.

 

Support;

English lessons, tasks and materials are differentiated by the class teacher to meet the needs of individual children. The SEND Coordinator should liaise with the English Coordinator and class teachers to ensure that the individual needs of pupils with special needs are met and that appropriate targets are set and are regularly reviewed. Children whose needs prevent them from accessing the whole class teaching activities are supported in small targeted groups by our support team. This may be in or out of the classroom as appropriate. Curriculum content is adapted to suit the specific needs of each group.

Teachers and Senior Leaders will carefully track the progress of groups and individuals throughout the year. Children who underachieve in assessments are targeted for additional support. This involves teachers identifying individuals or a group of children with similar needs and then planning additional targeted teaching and activities for them.

 

Consistency of Approach;

To ensure a consistent approach throughout the school English leads have identified a number of ‘must haves’ that are expected in every teaching area:

  • Vocabulary bullseyes – these are used to introduce new vocabulary for each topic. The bullseye is used to sort new words into ‘expected’, ‘new’ and ‘wow’ categories, with the aim of helping children to aim high with their vocabulary.
  • Rainbow Grammar
  • Dedicated writing areas (From F2 to Y1)
  • Best books for published work (from Y1 onwards)
  • Learning objectives are explicit and shared

 

Marking & Assessment;

Marking is regular and purposeful with a focus on rewarding effort and valuing work. Consistency is ensured through the use of Key Stage specific marking policies.

After each piece of writing is ‘published’ in a child’s Best Book, it is self and teacher assessed on a specially designed form. Teachers track and monitor each child’s progress using the writing target sheet. These inform teachers of the steps required for continued progress.

 

 

 

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