"YOU CAN MAKE ANYTHING BY WRITING" C.S. LEWIS
English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves eloquently. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it. We aim to inspire children to develop a love for reading and writing and we work closely together to promote curiosity and enthusiasm for language from Reception to year 6- and beyond! By the time children leave Westbury Park Primary School, they are original and imaginative writers with an exceptionally wide-ranging vocabulary; they are able to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
To create life-long lovers of language who can express themselves clearly, to a range of purposes and with a high level of accuracy. By using Talk for Writing strategies early in the children’s literary journey, they are able to imbibe a wide range of text-specific patterns of language to call upon in their future extended writing and thus write confidently for a range of purposes. Above all, we want the children to love the craft of writing, to be ambitious in what they can create on the page and be proud of their work.
In all year groups, we teach writing through high-quality texts – ranging from picture books to poetry, immersive real-life experiences, such as school trips, inspiring short films or a combination of all. Over their time at the school, children will write a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including recounts, news reports, explanation texts, poems, plays and stories of all kinds. We use drama, role-play, storytelling and discussion to engage the imagination, before moving on to vocabulary exploration, sentence craft and creative writing, giving the children a model text to inspire them further and a text specific ‘writer’s toolkit’ to guide them.
Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1 children are taught the key principles of writing in order to lay a solid foundation for developing their skills later on; during this time, Talk for Writing approaches are adopted in order for the children to be fully immersed in different text types, something which continues into lower KS2. Through this approach, high-level vocabulary and a rigorous approach to accuracy of punctuation is also further embedded.
An emphasis is also placed on developing and maintaining clear handwriting, supported by the Write Well series of workbooks. In tandem with their creative writing, the children are taught the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar which links, where possible, to the extended writing they are undertaking at that time. Building on their knowledge of phonics, the children are given precision guidance on age-appropriate spelling patterns and shown a variety of strategies to navigate the more esoteric environs of the English language, thus helping them to spell accurately. This is extended from year 2 onwards through structured weekly spelling lessons that build upon their phonetic understanding.
Our curriculum teaches the children to add variation and description to their work by developing their vocabulary, including the use of interesting adjectives and adverbs and developing sentence structure using conjunctions and sentence openers. Within each piece of extended writing, the children are given opportunities to edit and upgrade their work, to become the reader as well as the writer, and thus fully enrich their texts whilst maintaining a high level of technical accuracy.
Nessy Reading & Spelling is an internet-based program developed by a team of specialist teachers and psychologists. Developed for students 5-12 years of age with reading differences such as dyslexia, Nessy is a powerful teaching tool for all students, including English as a second language learners.
100 independent learning lessons spread over ten engaging islands employ an intensive, multisensory, and sequential method of instruction based on the highly respected and researched Orton-Gillingham approach to reading & spelling. Lessons emphasise phonemic awareness, phonics, blending, sight words, fluency, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension. Each island consists of a series of lessons composed of strategy videos reinforced with games which teach fundamental reading & spelling skills. We use this to support those children who find spelling a bit trickier than others- and it really makes a difference!
USEFUL DOCUMENTS FOR PARENTS
As a result, the outcomes for writing in Westbury Park are consistently high, wherein, the children are allowed to express their own authorial voices with increasing flair, maturity of expression and individuality.