Learning to write is one of the most important things that a child at primary school will learn. Writing transcends all other subjects of the curriculum and as such, gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world. Learning to write encompasses handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as what we want to write and who we are writing for. At Meadlands, we are passionate about enthusing, inspiring and strengthening the skills of all our authors, empowering them with this lifelong skill. Vocabulary acquisition is at the heart of our learning intent at Meadlands and we recognise the pivotal role that plays in the writing process. Every opportunity to teach and retain vocabulary is taken in every subject which naturally feeds into quality writing. We engage our children in the writing process and seek to make it irresistible.
Quality literature is at the heart of all our teaching, providing children with a meaningful context in which they can explore and be challenged. English lessons use exciting stimuli, such as books, films or images to ignite the children’s imaginations and these are linked to the wider curriculum wherever possible. Carefully sequenced units of work include immersion into our genre using a variety of techniques including drama, analysis, discussion and research. Grammar is threaded through each unit together with practice of techniques for successful writing. Children assess the purpose and audience for each piece of writing that they produce, and have the opportunity to plan, draft, proofread, edit, publish and perform their work. During the course of the year, children develop their writing skills and confidence across several genres which include fiction, non-fiction and poetry units.
Writing is woven through every subject taught at Meadlands and we look for opportunities to link our learning to other topics and subjects, therefore expanding the opportunities to write.
At Meadlands, we believe that speaking and listening form the foundations of all learning in English. In formal and informal situations, we create and encourage opportunities for meaningful conversation, discussion, and debate about learning. Questioning forms the basis of our teaching and we strongly encourage children to be curious and to share their thoughts confidently in a supportive environment. Through spoken language, children learn how other people make sense of the world, how language is used to reason, how emotions and identities are expressed, and how to work together to solve problems. Spoken literacy objectives are woven into our English unit plans.
Vocabulary is a key focus in learning units. Teachers make opportunities to read aloud to the children in all year groups and therefore model vocabulary in context. Language use is also discussed and analysed all the way from Reception to Year 6 with a range of strategies being used, such as “Vocabulary spotlight”, “Purple Tick words”, “Displays in light boxes” and “Etymology and Morphology”
Purple Tick Posters – KS1 and KS2
An understanding of how to use grammar correctly, use relevant meta-language and identify word classes and sentence types is taught both in the context of a piece of writing and also explicitly in whole class work. Linked to the National Curriculum guidelines for year groups, grammar is taught and planned to fit in with relevant genres of writing. Each class has a grammar washing line with the relevant vocabulary to be explored that year. Previous year objectives may also be revisited if necessary.
SPAG KOs for each Year
Understanding how to spell correctly is important in supporting children to organise their thinking around language. Knowing how to apply spelling rules and recognising key words is empowering for children. Spelling plays a significant part of the standardised assessment and is taught throughout the school. The 2014 National Curriculum is used as a guideline as to which spellings should be taught in which year group and the No Nonsense spelling scheme is used for teaching spelling strategies. Further details of our approach to spelling can be found within our Spelling Policy.
Immersing our children into the writing process from all angles creates a buzz of excitement and a feeling of success when each child comes to the end of a piece of extended writing. Every child will have a portfolio of published work that they can feel truly proud of each year which will show the progress they have made on their writing journey.
We take pride in ensuring that pupils are both supported and challenged throughout each stage of the writing curriculum. Progress is monitored regularly. Examples of support given to help pupils achieve their best include phonics interventions; within class support; 1:1 pupil conferencing; and handwriting interventions. The effect of this is reflected in our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 results - consistently above the national average.
Children's hard work and perseverance always pays off! Those children who have consistently maintained a pride in the appearance of their work will be awarded a handwriting pen. This decision is made by Mrs Wreford, our subject leader, on a Friday morning.
Each class teacher will nominate “Star Writers” each half term. Their work will be proudly displayed in the class room for all to admire.
Writing Celebration Assemblies
Once per half term, children’s writing is once again celebrated at assembly time. Introduced and led by our Writing JLT, work is celebrated and shared across the school. All children featured will receive a certificate and sticker.
Every term, a Spelling Bee competition will be held. These will be organised in key stages as follows:
Children will compete in houses, spelling increasingly difficult words over a number of rounds. Participation will be optional. Every child participating earns a HP for their House.
The overall individual winner takes home the engraved Spelling Bee trophy. The final 6 contestants take a finalist prize of a Spelling Bee pencil. All participants get a Spelling Bee sticker.
*Please note that due to current restrictions, the Spelling Bee may be postponed to the Spring Term.
Poetry Slam 2019