At Stock Primary School we want all our children to be able to write and communicate effectively. We have high expectations of writing across the curriculum and throughout the school. We believe that writing should be meaningful and for a range of purposes. We deliver a creative and engaging curriculum and wherever possible, we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum. Each term children’s writing is linked to a theme which is designed to be accessible and engaging to the children. It is important that the themes are relevant, inspirational and provide children with the motivation and experiences to draw upon when writing.
Year 1 – Instructions for catching a giant
Year 2 – Fire of London Activities – culminating in setting fire to miniature houses made of cardboard to see how the wind affected the spreading fire (closely supervised by Essex Fire Service)
Year 4 – Romans designing and building a Roman Aqueduct, purchasing parts from a ‘shop’ and using currency of the time. A diary was written to document the experience.
Year 5 – Investigation of a ‘crime scene’ discovered in the school grounds.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are incorporated into our Literacy lessons and the principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding. Talk for writing is used widely across the classes enabling children to learn texts by heart and imitate them. Finally they use this structure to write their own independent pieces. Through daily lessons children explore different genre of texts and identify the key elements; the teacher then models planning and writing explaining how they are using the key skills. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts, and to support their work with a variety of resources, such as dictionaries and thesauruses. Key vocabulary and aspects of the genre being studied are displayed on working boards in each classroom to support pupils’ learning. Children use ICT in English lessons where it enhances their learning, as in drafting their work and in using multimedia to study how words and images are combined to convey meaning.
In January 2014 the Big Write was introduced to the Curriculum to encourage the children to become enthusiastic writers. Big Write does not replace literacy but goes hand in hand with it and impacts across the curriculum. The initial part of the session is for fast, fun activities based on correct use of an aspect of VCOP – vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation. Time is spent reinforcing and reminding them of what they know as well as developing their skills. The children are then given the opportunity to sit silently in an atmosphere conducive to writing e.g. candles burning and extremely soft classical music playing, blinds shut, scented sticks, special coloured paper, special pens and pencils. This enables them to write in a calm and focused atmosphere for sustained periods. The length of time spent writing varies from year to year. In Reception the children begin with Big Talk then progress to Little Write as they develop their fine motor skills and their ability to write and construct sentences.