English at Culcheth Community Primary School
At Culcheth Community Primary School we believe that developing writing skills is one of the core purposes of primary education.
When pupils enjoy what they are writing about, they write more and they write with increased skill and enthusiasm to succeed. We link our text-based writing curriculum, as much as possible, to our topic curriculum to provide our children with language rich, relevant and focused writing opportunities. Writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience. When pupils have a clear sense of a real world audience that lies beyond the classroom, their writing is focused and they approach the task with a heightened sense of purpose. The audience might consist of parents, local government, visitors to the public library or perhaps visitors to the school website. At Culcheth Community Primary School we believe that writing should be both inspiring yet challenging and enable our pupils to become motivated and adept writers in a range of situations.
An English overview for each group is available to download below.
How is writing taught at Culcheth Community Primary School?
We use our topic themes, wherever possible, to provide meaningful writing experiences through contexts and to enhance learning. High quality texts are used to challenge, enthuse and engage children. There is planned progression in the teaching of writing, including exploring features, planning, drafting, assessing and editing through the familiarisation of the text type, the identification of structure and language features, modelled writing, shared writing, supported composition, guided writing and independent writing.
Presentation is a priority at Culcheth Community Primary School and we are committed to providing the children with the skills necessary to write their work fluently, legibly and eventually with good pace. We expect the children to use a cursive handwriting style, which they start to learn in EYFS. We establish high expectations and pride in everything we do – both of ourselves and of the children and we have two taught handwriting sessions per week where the children develop their skills to be able to do this. Children of all abilities are expected and able to present their work to their highest possible standard increasing their confidence and self-esteem.
Talk for Writing
Talk for Writing is an approach which supports children to explore, through talk, the thinking and creative processes involved in being a writer. It is embedded at an early age at Culcheth Community Primary School, with our KS1 children successfully using it to improve their writing. Talk for Writing is an approach that goes beyond the development of children’s general spoken language skills – it allows children to explore the processes involved in being a writer, and extends oral rehearsal so that it becomes a draft for their written pieces. The approach supports the move from talk into writing and is hugely enjoyable for the children. All Key Stage 2 staff have also had Talk for Writing training and are using these strategies to support the teaching of writing across Key Stage 2.
Each class has a topic week every half term. We aim to make meaningful links between subjects where possible and to incorporate and extend children’s reading and writing skills within and across other areas of the curriculum. We place the same expectations on children’s writing within all curricular areas.
In the 2014 National Curriculum, the Government specified particular words which they believe it is important for children to be able to spell at different ages. There are suggested words for Years 1 and 2 but word lists provided for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. From Year 2 upwards we follow the 'Read, Write, Inc. Spelling' programme and resources in school.
The word lists are available on the National Curriculum Overviews below.
At Culcheth Community Primary School a range of different reading schemes are used including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Stars and Bug Club. All of the children are assessed using the Benchmarking scheme and allocated reading books using the book banding system. In this way the children are able to access a rich range of reading material at the appropriate level.
Lexia, an online personalised reading program, is used to support the teaching of reading in the Foundation Stage and Key stage 1 classes.
In Key stage 2, children access ReadingPlus as an additional resource to support reading, develop comprehension and vocabulary.
The whole school also has access to 'Oxford Reading Buddy' which is an online programme that provides the children with access to hundreds of books all the way from Pink (start of Reception) to Black (Year 6) as well as quizzes for each book to check and teach comprehension skills.
Please see our reading page for further information on reading at our school.
At Culcheth Community Primary School phonics is taught through the Letters and Sounds scheme. Additional resources such as Big Phonics may be used to further support learning.
Please see our phonics page for a clear explanation of the different phases and how this scheme is used in school.