At Larwood, we are dedicated to deliver an exciting, innovative English curriculum which enables and empowers children to become articulate speakers, inspired writers, and avid readers.
English is not just a daily discrete lesson but is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. It is embedded within all our lessons, and we strive for a high level of English for all. Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children are exposed to a rich, creative, and continuous English curriculum which will develop creative writing, purposeful speaking and listening and foster a love of reading for all.
We believe that, in order to write high quality texts, children need to read high-quality texts. It is our intention to immerse pupils within a text for them to fully understand the vocabulary and structure of the story.
At Larwood, we teach writing by linking the writing to an exciting topic. Class teams work hard to ‘hook’ children by providing them with an introduction to a new topic that is exciting and engaging. Children participate in hands on, Stunning Starters, immersing in an experience that allows them to explore and investigate and consequently write with purpose. This model tracks throughout the term with other hands-on activities.
Children’s good work is published on Pobble.com. This encourages children to edit and make improvements to their writing as they take great pride in being published authors.
We believe that all children should have opportunities to:
- Be immersed within a quality text.
- Be exposed to high quality texts including high level vocabulary.
- Develop a range of methods to communicate their ideas to an audience.
- Write from a range of genres across fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
- Write creatively drawing on their own ideas, interests, and experiences.
- Write for a range of purposes.
- Use writing to demonstrate their learning through cross-curricular writing.
Grammar is taught through the essentials programme and within literacy lessons and this is made clear through grammar specific learning objectives.
Teachers plan sessions based on the whole school grammar progression which is taken from National Curriculum expectations for each year group. Children are then expected to apply their grammar knowledge throughout each piece of writing.
At Larwood Primary School, spelling is a strong focus across the school with daily phonics sessions along with high frequency word and common exception word spellings addressed:
- Learning year group appropriate common exception words
- Revisiting last week’s spelling rule
- Introducing a new spelling pattern for the week
- Time to practise the new rule with a range of activities
- Daily dictation to encourage application.
The spellings being learnt by the children are taken from the National curriculum and cover all the spelling conventions, statutory spellings and common exception words that are required to be learnt throughout key stage 1 and 2.
These spelling lists are then tested the following week. Any spelling that a KS2 child spells incorrectly during the test is noted on a post-it note, and then the child has the opportunity to further practise these during afternoon essentials catch up. Children are encouraged to apply their previously learnt and current spelling rules throughout their writing and teachers’ address any errors being made in their marking comments.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them, and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As a result of high-quality teaching and immersion in high quality vocabulary, children achieve well; this is reflected in results from internal tests, book journeys and pupil and parent feedback. Many of our pupils come to us as highly reluctant writers and leave with the ability to write with meaning and purpose and the capacity to make themselves understood.
Children leave Larwood with an extensively improved vocabulary, a passion for writing and high aspirations to continue to grow and develop throughout their education.