English sits at the heart of our curriculum, it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.
Across both writing and reading, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child's vocabulary. Our school is situated in a culturally rich area and serves a 'global majority.' At Joseph Cash over 30 different languages are spoken and 70% of children speak English as an additional language. As a result of this our primary aim is to ensure that children's understanding of language and use of vocabulary is expanded, giving children the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
There are many elements to our English curriculum and our curriculum intent places great emphasis on ensuring pupils have a wide range of hands on and practical experiences that extends pupils knowledge and understanding of the world. By broadening experiences, focusing on 'Oracy' and providing high quality texts and 'hooks' for learning, we are sure our children will develop a love for learning, way beyond their primary years.
Our Writing curriculum enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and in all year groups we teach writing through high-quality texts ranging from picture books to Shakespeare and including immersive real-life experiences, such as author visits and school trips. We have recently adapted our writing curriculum to ensure that children are inspired to write from the books they have been reading. Over their time at Joseph Cash, children will have the opportunity to write a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts including recounts, news reports, explanation texts, poems, play and a range of different stories. We use drama, role-play and story telling to engage the imagination of children and ensure that they are motivated to write.
What does Writing look like at Joseph Cash?
All children have the opportunity to participate in an English lesson everyday.
In Early Years, children use the Read, Write Inc phonics programme to learn new sounds, spellings and punctuation, equipping them with the necessary skills to write words and sentences. This is complimented by weekly, 'Hooks for learning' where activities and stories and planned for based on the children's interests. Children have the opportunity to be inspired by a text and daily challenges ensure that children are motivated to make marks linked to these stories and their interests.
In Key Stage One, Children also participate in the Read, Write Inc phonics or spelling programme. This is taught in small focused ability groups which progresses through the programme using its resources and linked texts. In addition, Key Stage One use 'Talk 4 Writing' which explores oral retelling and enables children to develop their vocabulary and structure for writing. Children are encouraged to 'cold write' on a particular skill/text and lessons are carefully planned to enable 'gaps in learning' to be addressed through the unit. Children have the opportunity to learn a text by oral rehearsal, equipping them with the skills to write their own stories or non-fiction texts later on. Children explore the features of a particular text and use their knowledge to plan and edit their writing as well as discussing the feelings and actions of particular characters and their own opinions of the text. The unit is completed by children writing a 'Hot task' to celebrate their progress.
In Key Stage Two, Children's writing is all focused on a particular text each half term. This text is often linked to their creative curriculum theme. Children have the opportunity to read the whole text and different genres are then taught linked to scenes from a text. This enables the children to have a deeper understanding of characters and narratives, as well as exposing them to rich vocabulary. Similar to Key Stage One, children will write a 'cold write' for teachers to understand what the children already know as well as planning lessons to address 'gaps in learning'. Spelling and grammar is taught within shared and guided writes to ensure that children can see the link between SPaG and writing. Children are excited to write and see writing as purposeful,
I love it! Ahwais 5KW
Writing across the curriculum
In addition to the writing opportunities as part of the English teaching sequence, there are planned activities within the creative curriculum to encourage children to apply their writing skills within a context that is distance from the point of learning. This provides stimulating and purposeful opportunities to write, whilst revisiting and revising previous skills and learning.
Handwriting starts in Nursery where children begin to make marks and patterns with resources. In Reception and Key Stage one, letter formation is a focus through daily phonics sessions.
In Years two-six, a different handwriting focus is taught at the beginning of each English lesson for the children to practise and apply to their writing. At Joseph Cash, we celebrate this journey from letter formation to joined up writing by reward the children with a 'Pen License' presented to them in assembly.