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It is our intent at Regent Farm that the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum and taught through an inclusive, inspiring and challenging curriculum. Through the teaching of English, children develop the essential knowledge and skills to succeed and thrive in life. The skills taught in English ensure that children can access all other areas of the curriculum with growing independence and confidence to equip them for their future.

At RFFS, our vision is for creativity to be at the helm of our English curriculum and for children to learn new skills in a fun and engaging way. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary skills. The teaching of writing is given a high priority ensuring there is a clear purpose to all learning and children are provided with opportunities to practise their skills across the curriculum throughout the day.

How do we teach writing? 

 In EYFS, children receive a daily English lesson which is taught through a ‘book of the week’. Teachers use exciting and enriched picture books as a stimulus to teach new vocabulary and build upon their emerging literacy skills through some focused whole class teaching, group work and individual tasks. The children hear the shared story each day and writing is promoted using both the inside and outside learning environments.

In addition to this, they use muscle exercise dough disco and squiggle whilst you wiggle daily to develop children’s mark making into writing. This approach uses neurological and physiological movements to create marks. They sandwich this between a phonics session so children make links between handwriting and letter formation. Phonics is taught daily in ability groups, based on the needs of children. The children follow a structured phonics programme: Read, Write, Inc which takes place daily (see our phonics policy). Throughout the day there is continuous provision in the writing areas and role play areas to write and staff provide exciting stimuli to engage and motivate children. 

KS1 and KS2, children have daily English lessons which build on the children’s previous knowledge. The teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. The teachers plan using the progression document/ National Curriculum objectives. Writing in English lessons is taught throughout the school using a quality text/ stimulus which exposes the children to a wide range of genres as set out in the NC 2014.

Not knowing what to write is often a huge barrier to writing so our teachers carefully select a text or stimulus that inspires and engages the children. Through a dynamic and multisensory approach, we use playdough, music, objects, artefacts and images which stimulates the children’s imaginations, ideas, language and vocabulary to enable children to create outstanding stories, poem and compositions. Speaking and Listening is an important part of our curriculum and all staff have high expectations and model the spoken language to our pupils. Teachers from EYFS upwards plan opportunities for children to develop their speaking and listening skills so they can talk to a variety of audiences and for different purposes, in English lessons and across the curriculum.  

Writing using props

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” Martin Luther

We have high expectations of our children as writers and we as adults model high standards of writing and vocabulary. We want our children to develop and sustain a good pace for writing so that in KS2, children can write confidently at length. Spelling, Grammar and punctuation will be taught in lessons and if children are struggling with spelling or have received a dyslexia diagnosis, then an intervention programme will be put in place to improve their skills. We ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit word lists from the National Curriculum and the weeks spellings are sent out each half term for pupils to practise at home. The children are tested on these each week in school and these spellings are tracked.  

At Regent Farm First School we follow the Martin Harvey method for teaching Handwriting and have high expectations of work presented. We use a consistent approach of teaching handwriting throughout the school using the guidelines and clear terminology to ensure high standards across the school.

Around our school to celebrate writing, you will see...

  Story workshops with Chris Bostock

Throughout the year the importance of writing is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits and a range of trips/educational visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. There are displays around the school and in classrooms which promote a love of writing and during our awards assembly the children’s written work and achievements are acknowledged by all. Staff display the children’s written work for others to see and for the younger children to aspire to.  In EYFS, early writing is displayed in lockers on the wall to celebrate the children’s work. The work is regularly changed to show the children’s progress. 

We encourage our children to write for a purpose and with an audience in mind. The children have opportunities to share their creative stories with younger children and the children’s letters are shared with the intended audience. We want all of our children at Regent Farm to know that we value their written work.

What is the impact of our writing curriculum? 

Regular and ongoing formative assessment informs planning and teaching. Adult support in class and targeted interventions, support and enable the success of each child. The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable 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, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.  We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.