Our English writing curriculum is centred around high-quality children’s literature.
The English national curriculum (2014) states that:
‘The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.’
We believe the exposure of children’s literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich context for learning; not only within English as a subject but to support building a reading culture throughout the school. We follow the Power of Reading approach when teaching fiction writing.
By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the national curriculum. We will always aim for our writing opportunities to be meaningful; whether short or long and that the audience is clear. Our final aim would be that that children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area.
Writing in role using a range of genres is key to our approach as is writing a critique of the text and making comparisons – all writing skills that will support children in preparation for their time in secondary school.
We teach daily grammar and regular spelling and handwriting sessions to ensure that our children have the skills needed to produce coherent pieces of writing and are confident writers.
Why is it right for the children at Horncastle?
Through Power of Reading, children are exposed to a wide range on genres. Each term a focus book is chosen for the children to respond to in their writing: a poetry book, a picture book, a book that celebrates a different culture from around the world and other high-quality stories with characters that are both mirrors and windows to the world.
We focus on non-fiction for the first two weeks of every term. Every class focuses on the same non-fiction genre at the same point in the year. From Year 1 to 6, we can see a clear progression of skills. We believe it is important for children to revisit the skills they learn when writing a specific genre.