English at Chigwell Row Infant School 

Intent

At Chigwell Row Infant School, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.  

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they leave year two. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement.  

We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school. 

 

Implementation 

Pupils in all year groups, have a daily Literacy lesson. These lessons will be based upon units of work (one of the non-fiction genres, poetry or a fiction unit based upon a class book). They will cover areas across the English National Curriculum, including writing. Within Non-Fiction Units, the Writing Phase will usually come towards the end of the unit so that pupils can apply the skills learned throughout the other phases within the unit (Reading, Speaking and Listening and Analysis). Within Fiction Units, writing tasks may be more frequent with short composition tasks within a Unit and longer composition lessons towards the end. Friday mornings can be used as part of the ongoing unit or to address whole-class issues or complete other written tasks. Within Literacy lessons with a writing focus, pupils will be taught writing with a clear focus on Shared Writing as the main teaching strategy. Teachers will demonstrate, scribe and support writing in order to support pupils at different levels and different stages of writing. 

In addition to this, pupils will be given opportunities to use and apply their writing skills across all areas of the curriculum and teachers plan regular opportunities for this. In terms of planning, teachers will plan units of work based around a class book. Units may be one week long or over several weeks. Teachers may plan the whole unit in one block initially but will amend the plan on a weekly basis, taking into account the learning from recent lessons in order to ensure pupils make the best possible progress. When planning other curriculum areas, teachers will ensure that pupils are given the opportunities to apply their writing skills regularly throughout the term to help them know more, remember more and understand more. Children are given opportunities in the wider curriculum, to use and apply the writing and spoken language skills they have acquired from the English Curriculum by creatively making links where there is opportunity. 

Chigwell Row staff recognise the importance that Speaking and Listening has on Writing. We have tried to create a language rich environment which we believe is essential to the successful acquisition across the curriculum. The development of speech and language is identified as one of the most important parts of our school’s early years curriculum. Staff are trained to deliver the NELI Early Language Acquisition intervention for early years and Talk Boost language intervention in Key Stage One.  

Staff to match oral language activities to learners’ current stage of development, so that it extends their learning and connects with the rest of the curriculum. The promotion and use of an accurate and rich cross-curricular vocabulary throughout school is planned in all subjects. Pupils are given a wide range of opportunities to use and develop their Speaking and Listening skills to help them with the writing process across all areas of the curriculum. With this in mind, we have adopted some of the strategies encouraged by Pie Corbett in his Talk for Writing approach. Teachers may use the approaches they deem appropriate for the lessons they are teaching and the pupils in the lessons. Therefore, ‘Text Mapping’, ‘Boxing Up’ and ‘Magpieing’ may be evident in lessons throughout school.  

Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended write that pupils produce at the end of each unit, and determine to what extent pupils have met the agreed success criteria for that genre of writing. 

 

Phonics 

  • The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage, Year One and those in Year Two who have not passed phonics screening in Year One.  

  • Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.  

  • Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers.  

  • Intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels.  

  • Jolly Phonics is regularly used as an intervention Jolly phonics is visual, audial and kinaesthetic thus increasing the likelihood of rapid progress.  

  • Pupils will be given Reading books which closely match the phase of phonics that they are currently working within. 

 

Impact

Children will make at least good progress in Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment of from their starting point on entry. Children will use their Writing knowledge and skills, in all curriculum areas, to enable them to know more, remember more and understand more. 

  • Pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres   

  • Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded  

  • Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing  

  • Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience  

  • Pupils will leave Chigwell Row being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught  

  • Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home, and contribute regularly to homework 

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