“At Burradon, we strive to ensure that all children will have a positive attitude towards the writing process in order to establish themselves as an author in their own right.”
At Burradon Community Primary School we endeavour to create a love for literacy. We want every child to leave us with the skills of an excellent writer who:
Throughout their time at Burradon, children develop their skills by exploring a whole range of different genres. We follow the Pie Corbett ‘Talk for Writing’ approach as we believe that if children can’t speak a sentence, they cannot write a sentence. Speaking and listening forms a key aspect of writing and it is incorporated throughout the teaching phases. Talk for Writing involves making explicit the thinking involved in the writing process so that it can be internalised and ultimately applied by the children in their writing. The main phases are: Imitation (familiarisation), Innovation (re-using a text which is well known to them) and Independent (making up their own text). Throughout a unit children will experience word and language games, role play and drama as well as analysing texts in depth to create writer’s toolkits.
Early Years and Foundation Stage
In EYFS, Literacy is addressed through the prime area of Communication and Language which covers Listening and Attention, Speaking and Understanding and the specific area of Literacy which covers Reading and Writing. Although Communication and Language is covered throughout EYFS, this area is given greater coverage in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) as it is the foundations on which to build the Literacy element in Foundation Stage 2 (Reception). The element of Writing is also very closely linked to the area of Moving and Handling within the area of Physical development.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
At Burradon, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme. In Foundation Stage 1, the children are taught Phases 2 – 5 with the expectation that most children will be secure in these phases so that they are Year 1 ready.
Our teaching of phonics through Letters and Sounds continues into Key Stage 1. Teaching is whole class based with teachers regularly assessing their children’s phonics ability. For those children who struggle with phonics, we have a dedicated teaching assistant who takes small groups in order to reinforce missing sounds. Children are given a weekly spelling test which includes words based on the focused sound or sounds of that week.
Children are also given the Year 1 and 2 Common Exception Words to take home and are formally assessed on the spelling of these words at the end of each term.
In Key Stage 2, we have a 25 minute GPaS lesson every day. This covers the spelling rules that need to be taught for each year group as well as the Statutory Core Spellings. We incorporate grammar and punctuation into these sessions by either introducing or reinforcing the skills taught during English lessons. Children are also given spellings to take home and learn for a weekly spelling test.
Children are also given the Statutory Core Spellings to take home and are formally assessed on the spelling of these words at the end of each term. Each child then gets their own personal spelling sheet to take home so that parents are informed of how children are progressing with these words.
All teachers have high expectations in the presentation of work in all areas of the curriculum. Handwriting plays an important part and is taught formally using the Nelson Handwriting Program. However other activities take place throughout the week linked to the spelling patterns/phonics children have been learning. When children have reached a good standard of handwriting in all areas of their work, they receive their ‘Pen Licence ‘which allows them to use pen in all areas of their work. It is expected that this will be achieved by the majority of children by the end of Year 4.