English Curriculum Overview
At Thornton Primary School, we understand that writing is an essential part of the curriculum; we’re ambitious about what all children can achieve, and we strive to create exciting and stimulating writing opportunities for all children. We use peers, other classes and national competitions as an audience. We aim to ensure that all children leave our school with a passion for writing and a high level of English knowledge and skills that they can apply in a variety of subjects and situations.
At Thornton Primary school, we have based our approach on "The Write Stuff" by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. "The Write Stuff" follows a method called "Sentence Stacking" which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
"The Write Stuff" uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers
The three zones of writing :-
- IDEAS - The FANTASTICs uses a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which children can craft their ideas.
- TOOLS - The GRAMMARISTICS. The grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in pupils grammatical and linguistic structures.
- TECHNIQUES - The BOOMTASTICs which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.
Grammar is taught through our writing curriculum. The document below shows where the different grammatical terms are introduced in line with national curriculum requirements. This is a cumulative model where previous learning is revisited, further reinforced, and developed in every year group that follows. Supplementary grammar lessons are taught using Spelling Shed.
We assess the impact of the pupils’ writing through a variety of different approaches. The use of ‘Performance of Writing’ statements helps with summative assessments at the end of each term. Through the triangulation of book looks, lesson observations and pupil interview we gauge the progress being made by the children and address any issues as they arise.
What is The Spelling Shed? https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb/
At Thornton Primary School, we use Spelling Shed to support children on their spelling journey and they progress through a range of games, levels and challenges. The spelling lists on Spelling Shed are grouped together, helping children to learn and apply different spelling rules effectively. Children are able to compete against their teachers and classmates in challenges, assignments and hive games.
Every week, teachers set an assignment linked to the pupil’s spelling words, helping them to practise their spellings in a fun and exciting way in preparation for our weekly spelling test. Children can also choose to practise past spellings to consolidate past learning. Children, staff and parents can keep track of achievements through the points and honeypots that are awarded as the children progress.
The game has been developed to be ‘dyslexia friendly’, using the ‘Open Dyslexic’ font and there are three levels of difficulty to support pupils of all abilities through the spelling lists with appropriate degrees of challenge.
Pupils from Year 2 (Stage 2) to Year 6 (Stage 6) can access Spelling Shed using their personal logins, which are provided by teachers at the start of the academic year.