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 9 weeks and they are linked to the theme being studied in class. This model allows us to link reading, writing and theme together creating a holistic model. Each class spends 5 weeks of this cycle on fiction, 3 weeks on non-fiction and a week on poetry. Teachers introduce the children to at least 2 new novels; one of these is linked to the theme and the other is sourced from recommended texts. Teachers also introduce a range of non-fiction texts and poems.
At St Joseph's we use the Talk 4 Writing model to teach writing. With this model, children are firstly given the opportunity to '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.
Peer assessment in action
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.