Living in a world where the fundamentals of reading and writing lay the foundations of all learning, we believe that English should be at the heart of all aspects of school life. Therefore, at St Joseph’s we aim to deliver an exciting, ambitious and innovative English curriculum that enables and empowers our children to become enthusiastic and successful readers and writers with a deep love and understanding of the English language. We believe the sequential development of reading, writing and communication skills are key for academic success and lifelong learning.
Our writing cycles last 5 weeks and they are linked to the history or geography being studied in class for that half-term. This model allows us to link reading, writing and foundation subjects together creating a holistic model. The focus for each half-term alternates between fiction and non-fiction with the first half of each term being fiction based and the second half, non-fiction. During the second half-term we also cover our poetry unit. Teachers introduce the children to a variety of texts linked to the history and geography and to the writing genre being covered.
At St Joseph's we use the Talk 4 Writing model to teach writing. With this model, children are firstly given the opportunity to read and 'immerse' themselves in texts. We explore authorial style, vocabulary and sentence structures then use these to complete 'short bursts' of writing. After that, children are giving the opportunity to 'imitate' the text being studied. Here, we 'box-up' the plot of the text and complete shared writes. Finally, during the 'innovation' stage, children complete their own independent write based on all the work previously completed.
As a school we believe in developing reflective learners that can independently assess their work and 'fix' errors. Additionally, we have implemented the model of 'triads' where children come together in threes to assess the work of one another.
Each week we have three dedicated writing lessons in school, however, writing across the week also takes plave in a wide range of others subject areas as well, such as Religious Education, History, Geography and Science. In doing so, children are able to practise and perfect their writing skills learnt during each writing cycle.