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English

We are in the process of implementing Talk 4 Writing across the school so our English curriculum maps are in the process of being updated to link with this change. To be published Summer 2020.

In KS1 and KS2, our talk for writing sequence will have a different focus each half term:
 
Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1  Spring 2 Summer 1  Summer 2
Setting  Character Dialogue Action Openings and Endings Suspense
For each focus, there is a toolkit to develop and use in the children’s writing. 
 
 
Each focus follows the same structure which is detailed below:
 

Cold task

The opportunity to ‘have a go’. This establishes exactly where the children are on their learning journey, ensuring that their skills are built on through the next sequence of learning.

Short burst writing

From the cold tasks, the teacher will have identified which grammar and punctuation focuses are needed  during this sequence. These are practised and applied in context through Short Burst Writing. This

helps the children to warm up all the writing techniques they will need to use in their writing to keep the reader engaged.

The Hook

The hook is used to motivate and get the children excited about the text they are using. This could be a filmed message, a character coming to visit, an unusual object appearing or even a complete set construction in the classroom!

Story Maps

Learning the model text is essential in the talk for writing sequence. A story map of the model text is created by the teacher, and sometimes by the children, to help the class internalise the narrative. As they become more familiar with the text, they move from whole class imitation to small group and paired initiation. The children use actions and movement to help them tell the story.

Reading as a reader

Once they have internalised the text, they then look at it in a written form. As the children have learnt it so well, it helps everyone when reading. During this part of the learning, the class focus closely on the vocabulary and their understanding of the text.

Reading as a writer

To lead into the innovation phase, the children look again at the text focusing on:

  • Understanding the underlying structure of the text through ‘boxing up’
  • Recognising and understanding the features that helped to make the writing effective by creating toolkits

Innovation

During the innovation phase, the children create a new plan, which closely hugs the model text. As they write their story, section by section, the teacher writes theirs too. Each day the teacher and TA will work with a different group, as a guided write, to support the children in their writing. The teacher, the children and their peers, will feedback on each others work to aid the editing and improvement.

Independent Application (Hot Task)

At the end of the learning sequence, the children complete a similar piece of writing to the cold task, where the children show everything they now know. At this stage, the focus may come from the the children, their teacher may give them a stimulus to focus on or it may be linked to the children’s wider curriculum. By comparing the cold and hot tasks, it is clear to see the progress made.

English: Intent, Implementation and Impact

Intent

Throughout the journey at Westfield we intend for our children to develop their love of reading and writing.  Our children will leave our school with the fundamental literacy skills to enable them to access their onward curriculum.  Our children will have the reading skills and fluency to be able to understand a range of genres and have an intrinsic love of literature in its many forms.  Children are to be equipped with a range of methods to express their ideas creatively and have the confidence and experience of each of these methods eg. speaking and listening, drama and role play and writing.  The children and teachers will have high expectations for their written and spoken work; these high expectations will be continually modelled by all staff so that the children are always clear as to what they need to be successful at their stage; fluency of language skills will be expected and enabled across the whole of the curriculum; aspirational vocabulary will be taught and clarified and children have the confidence to extend their word choices.

Implementation

Phonics – Children begin synthetic phonics when they join our Nursery.  This is continued throughout Reception and Key stage 1 and used to support any children who need it further up the school. Discreet phonics sessions are held daily. Parents are encouraged to work alongside us to support their child, promoted through modelled sessions during open mornings and parent workshops.

Love of Reading – We foster a love of reading by ensuring the class texts are engaging and appropriately pitched.  Teachers read aloud to the children daily and children are encouraged to select and read books to read at home on a daily basis. A love of literature is encouraged by core reading spine books to include fiction, poetry and non-fiction; selected for interest as well as aspirational literary content.  Birthday books are presented in the week of a child’s birthday.

SPAG – The school follow the Nelson Spelling programme and spelling is taught discreetly through the week from Years 1-6.  Year specific spelling lists are non-negotiable when used within the children’s work.  Grammar is taught through the English sessions and is inline with the curriculum. Spellings are displayed weekly and sent home to practise. Spelling patterns taught either discreetly or as part of English time as appropriate.

Talk 4 Writing – Children are taught from N-Yr6 to get children thinking, talking, reading and writing as readers. Children learn to write within a three part writing cycle where they imitate, innovate and independently write based on a core text. Working walls are used to capture the current learning and children can access resources to support their learning in all classroom.  Washing lines are used to display the sequence of learning.

Vocabulary – Higher level language is developed with “word of the day” and “magpie books/walls”.  The use of children’s independent magpie books are used to record any ideas they have captured during their learning journey. A “never dodge a good word” approach is adopted so that spelling does not hinder vocabulary choices.

Handwriting – The policy is implemented from Nursery and teacher modelling all follows the same script.  In the Early Years children learn to form letters in pre cursive script and this moves to cursive script as the writing skills develop as the children move up the school.

Classroom environment – Every classroom has an inviting book corner and washing lines that show the journey of the learning. High level teacher modelling is evident in all classrooms.  The children’s individual writing journeys are displayed on the walls in their classrooms and sent home at the end of the year.

Whole School Events – World book week is celebrated annually and ‘Open Learning Mornings’ are held.  Each class has a featured author and each year has a featured genre for the birthday books.

Monitoring – The English Coordinator conducts learning walks, book reviews and collects pupil voice to ensure the overview of coverage and to ascertain pupils’ views of English. This monitoring allows triangulation of consistency, pitch and progress across the school.   

Along with regular in school English CPD for all teachers, the English subject leader also attends the County English updates.

Impact

Pupil Voice – Children will tell us that they enjoy reading and are intrinsically motivated to read independently.  Storytelling and book talk is part of the daily life at school and children can freely discuss the authors and texts they have enjoyed reading and be proud to share their own writing.

Knowledge – Children read and write to their full potential and are able to apply their skills across the curriculum.  Children will be clear on the writing process, tell you where they have improved and what their next steps are.  

Evidence in skills – Children are taught inline with the expectations of the National Curriculum.  Teachers’ subject knowledge ensures lessons are taught at a pace that allows coverage and ample opportunities to read and write widely.

Outcomes – At Westfield we strive for all pupils to achieve their maximum potential, by having high expectations and excellent standards. We aspire for all children to have achieved at least Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group, and through daily opportunities for stretch and challenge, aim for many to exceed. Where children don’t reach this expectation, appropriate support is put in place to address barriers in learning in order to accelerate progress.