At The Alderton Junior School, it is our aim to ensure our children leave us as effective writers, equipped with the skills needed in writing and communication for daily life and beyond. Learning is made memorable through links across the curriculum that incorporate our exciting topics with English where possible. The teaching of English at our school is both exemplary and consistent through a bespoke, vocabulary rich approach crafted specifically for our pupils' needs. Units are taught through a range of texts and experiences that engage, inspire and encourage all learners to write both at length and with quality. Our writing units ensure children have a purpose to write for which means they will learn that their writing should have an audience, purpose and an exciting and relevant outcome. By the time children reach Year 6, they are able to take imaginative risks with their writing - playing with plots, language and perspectives. They are effective writers and communicators who strike for the best and are eager to share their writing!
The teaching of English at our school includes:
Key Stage 2
Our English curriculum (see overview below) has been written to progress in skill and text type from Year 3 to Year 6, where skill becomes progressively more challenging. The curriculum has been curated for the children of Alderton and is supported by the National Curriculum and the Merton Progression document, which provides details of how each text type could progress for each year group and provides the key skills needed and knowledge for the writer to be taught.
Each year group focuses on an overall aspect of writing:
Year 3: Developing key writing basic skills and language
Year 4: Building on text structure and language
Year 5: Mastering use of language and engagement of the reader
Year 6: Developing and Mastering author’s voice and manipulation of the reader
Each topic is taught through a narrative text, then followed by a linked non-fiction text.
Our bespoke structure to the teaching of English covers experience days that aim to hook the children's interests from the very start of a new writing unit. The unit then progresses to include: vocabulary exploration, speaking, listening and drama opportunities to explore the writing further and crafting writing through shared and independent opportunities.
Children will develop their ability in KS2 to improve and edit their work. They will be taught a wide range of vocabulary to include in their writing through rich, high quality books that often challenge their writing style and their thinking. The children will begin joining their handwriting consistently, increasing the consistency and quality with expectation to be writing with a pen by the end of year three.
They will begin using paragraphs to write longer narratives, which they have planned for, using rich vocabulary and a variety of sentence structures. They will read their own work aloud to the whole class, whilst assessing the effectiveness of what they have written.
Children will be able to reflect upon the audience and purpose of their writing, adjusting their choice of vocabulary and grammar to suit the task. Again, they will be taught a wide range of vocabulary to include in their writing through rich, high quality books that may often challenge their writing style and their thinking.
The children will be able to select a wide range of punctuation and organisational devices to match the genre and enhance meaning. Children will write across many genres from diaries to biographies; poems to reports.
Spelling and Handwriting
Spelling is taught following a dyslexia friendly, No-Nonsense spelling programme which follows a similar lesson structure (see below) to that of our phonics programme. It is taught within blocks of five sessions over a two week period which includes handwriting practise.
Handwriting is of great importance at The Alderton Junior School. Children take pride in their work and are always striving to better their presentation in all lessons. Our expectation is of joined, neat handwriting across the whole school. Children begin year three with a pencil and are expected to be writing in a neat, joined fashion, with a pen by the end of the year. This ensures they enter year four writing with a pen, ready to develop their stamina of neat, joined handwriting.
As well as weekly handwriting lessons, we celebrate handwriting every Friday in our achievement assembly with a 'Handwriting Hero'. This is a popular award that is accredited to children who have made a significant improvement in their handwriting or to those that are consistently working to a high standard of presentation in all of their books. Their work is then displayed for the week on our 'Handwriting Hero' display.
Miss Daisy West