Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum at St Theresa’s. By the end of Year Six we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. At St Theresa’s, we set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish. We ensure that our children feel that they are always ready to write for a purpose and are confident in adapting their style to fit the genre they are writing.
In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross circular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. When starting a genre of writing children are given the opportunity to show what they already know in their independent writing as a starting point for their teacher. From here the class look at examples of different texts and explore the various features of the genre they are studying. Lessons on grammar specific to the genre aid the development of children’s writing as well as learning how to effectively plan pieces of writing for different genres using Sue Palmer’s planning skeletons. Children get the opportunity to then edit and write other examples from the same genre to show the progress that they are making. As well as linking their writing to the class topics, we also try and link their writing to current events in the world and their own interests to make the writing more purposeful and engaging.
Children learn spelling rules at home each week and these are tested in school. Additionally, spelling is taught daily in Key Stage 1, in Phonics lessons, and weekly in key Stage 2. Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps.
Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education.
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at St Theresa’s We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success.
- Children take part in daily Guided Reading lessons, where they are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
- We have an excellent library and a wide range of reading books in every classroom. All children from choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed frequently.
- Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked to the class topic. This offers opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This can be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
- Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Club’, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together. This is led by the children in Year 6.
- Children in key stage 2 who are not yet ‘free readers’, are given additional reading opportunities with staff and parent volunteers throughout the school day.
- We run various reading competitions throughout the school year to foster children’s love for reading such as the Summer Term Reading Challenge.
By the time children leave St Theresa’s, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience.