Our Writing, Grammar and Spelling coordinator is: Miss L Eke
Writing is an integral part of our curriculum. At Towngate Primary Academy, our writing, grammar, puncutation and spelling curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study and lessons take place every day across the academy. Teachers use the National Curriculum and academy progression grids to derive long term plans in the subject; careful consideration is given to the sequence of the curriculum and ways in which the lessons build towards a piece of writing which showcases pupils’ acquired knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers and the English Coordinator pay careful attention to the cohorts in school and tailor our curriculum to meet the needs and interests of our pupils, choosing texts to derive the writing curriculum upon which inspire and motivate pupils to learn; in turn, this establishes pupil enjoyment and engagement in the subject.
We intend that pupils learn how to understand the relationships between words, word meaning, implied meaning and figurative language within writing lessons, whilst ensuring that children are supported in their spelling strategies. We teach a grammar lesson weekly and ensure that pupils are provided with the opportunity to apply the knowledge of grammatical structures and terms into their own writing. Medium term planning allows class teaches to effectively link grammar and punctuation with genres across the academic year. We intend that pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use correct Standard English, knowing when and how to experiment with authorial tone and structure.
Classroom displays for English remain the same all year round; this creates a consistent visual tool which supports pupils’ in becoming self-assured, independent linguists. Whilst working walls are used as a tool for effective implementation in the classroom, key terminology and vocabulary remain consistent for all pupils to access, everyday.
Our English curriculum is derived around a sequence of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
At Towngate, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to writing. We believe that pupils who are provided a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes. Every half term, the English curriculum is taught by studying a high quality text where writing opportunities are derived from this. Each week, the children are taught to develop an understanding of the texts through reading comprehension – exploring the key themes, events, and plot of the texts being studied. From this element of the curriculum, pupils are taught the grammar from the National Curriculum which is taught to correspond to the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high quality modelled text, before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for purpose and audience. Children receive regular feedback from both teachers and their peers in the writing process; class teachers endeavour to provide guidance and feedback during lesson times in order to ensure this has maximum impact on pupils’ outcomes.
At Towngate, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, which is not only celebrated in classrooms here at Towngate Primary Academy. Around school, you will find displays which celebrate authors – including our author of the term displays, inspiring reading corners and spaces, children’s favourite book, authors, genres and recommended reads. At Towngate, we celebrate reading throughout every phase in the academy: we offer First Steps Together sessions for our Nursery pupils and parents, Book Shares in both Early Years and Key Stage One, Story Sharing sessions with the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher, reading open sessions, as well as implementing a book-led curriculum across all phases. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, Shakespeare Week, Book Fairs and sponsored reading events to further enrich our English curriculum.
Each week, we spend time enjoying reading for pleasure in our classrooms during a dedicated reading for pleasure time. When we read for pleasure, pupils are able to choose the books they wish to read and enjoy, can choose to share a book with a peer, read the ‘Picture News’ newspapers to read about the world around them, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to an adult in the classroom reading aloud to the children. Additionally, at 3.00pm everyday, pupils end the school day by sharing a story in their classrooms; adults read a class book aloud to the children to further promote a love for reading into every school day.
We firmly believe that at Towngate Primary Academy, if we support pupils in establishing a love for reading and expose them to high quality vocabulary, this has a significant impact on pupils ability to become authors and developing their own, individualised style of writing.
We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment; we do this with our links to the School Library Service, which ensures we have a wide range of texts displayed around our academy, to correlate with our wider curriculum. We work closely with a range of book fairs in raising the profile of reading to ensure we share the importance of reading with our parents, carers and wider community. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our knowledge organisers and working walls. Working walls are regularly updated to ensure learning is documented within a unit of work. Class teachers ensure that the writing process is clearly evident on working walls, with modelled examples being available to all pupils as the sequence of lessons develops. Within the wider curriculum, school displays of pupils’ work include tier 2 and 3 vocabulary which we hope that through displaying in flashcard form, pupils begin to use this vocabulary in their everyday discussions and therefore broaden the range of academic vocabulary in their reportoire.
An example of working walls which capture the writing journey at Towngate Primary Academy.
We follow Rosenshine’s Principles – 17 Principles of Effective Instruction in order to develop a consistent approach to teaching and learning.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English Writing, Grammar and Spelling curriculum in a variety of different ways. We use National and summative testing to assess pupils’ outcomes for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling as part of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs for Year 6 pupils) and through termly summative assessments across school which enables pupils’ progress and attainment in the subject matter to be evaluated. Additionally, pupils complete writing assessments on a half termly basis, where written work is assessed to inform teachers of pupils’ next steps and successes. The impact of the curriculum can be seen through pupils’ national assessment results.
Through lesson and pupils’ book monitoring, it is evident that pupils are being well supported to acquire the necessary skills and subject knowledge in order to become established and confident writers and work monitored in books demonstrates that the curriculum is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group, with additional opportunities planned for pupils to demonstrate their ability to work at a higher standard. Lesson observations demonstrate that learning is being broken down into smaller steps and modelling supports pupils in the writing process – ensuring that the subject as a whole is regularly being reviewed to ensure learning is being embedded into pupils’ long term memory.
The impact of our writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation curriculum can also be measured through the acquisition of pupil voice and talking to the children about their own learning. Pupil voice indicates that the children are enjoying their learning and can talk about the subject and curriculum opportunities.
British Values in English
At Towngate Primary Academy, our values are at the heart of all we do: within our English teaching in the academy, we strive to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own core values whilst instilling the Fundamental British Values in many opportunities within units of work. Here are some examples of how we consolidate our pupils’ understanding of British Values hand in hand with our own English curriculum:
Please see our twitter feed to explore our English curriculum in further detail!
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
The National Association for the Teaching of English ran a survey to find teachers’ top 100 fiction books all children should read before leaving primary school.
At Towngate, we are committed to ensuring all pupils develop a life-long love for reading before embarking on their next phase of education.
Support your child in developing a love for reading by aiming to read each of the texts suggested before leaving primary school!