At Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School, English, and our teaching of it, is at the heart of our curriculum. Our curriculum is designed with the intent that all children, regardless of backgrounds, will become fluent readers with a love of reading and technically skilled, creative writers. The bespoke, culturally rich, spiral curriculum that we have developed will instil in all children a love of reading and writing that will hopefully last them a lifetime. Through our use of high quality, cross curricular texts and vocabulary rich environments, our children are exposed to a language heavy, creative English curriculum. The National Curriculum forms the foundation of our curriculum here at Gainsborough, but we ensure that our children gain additional skills, knowledge and understanding by enhancing our curriculum, when necessary, to ensure that they know more, remember more and understand more. We encourage all children, through the curriculum we have developed, to be motivated, reflective and resilient learners.
As a result of school closures due to the recent pandemic, for the acdemic year 2021/22, we will be prioritising the teaching of missed content to ensure that our pupils can make sense of work that comes later on in the curriculum, including key knowledge, skills, vocabulary, and links between concepts. This forms part of the school's Recovery Curriculum.
Shorter writing tasks will be planned for to allow pupils to focus on sentence structure and planning. The dictation of sentences that includes the words of pupils have been taught to spell, will be completed to help our children consolidate spelling, handwriting and punctuation. We will continue to regularly practise handwriting to improve and increase its fluency, legibility and quality.
Writing is an integral part of our curriculum at Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School. We want every child to leave our school with the skills of a competent writer who:
- can write creatively, fluently and accurately regardless of genre or topic
- has acquired an understanding of the mechanics of spoken and written English through their knowledge of grammar and punctuation
- can spell words accurately that comply with the spelling rules that they’ve been taught or that are contained in the statutory word lists
- can write in a clear, consistent and legible style, taking a pride in the presentation of their handwriting
- has a rich and varied vocabulary to allow them to comprehend others and to express themselves clearly both in spoken and written form
- applies the skills of editing to improve their writing
The wider curriculum at Gainsborough is designed so that our pupils have regular opportunities to use and apply the writing and spoken language skills that they have acquired during English lessons in a range of different contexts.
High quality texts are at the heart of our curriculum and a text based approach to writing is used to ensure writing opportunities, which are carefully planned and sequenced, give pupils the opportunity to write in a range of styles and for different purposes across a range of subjects. Each text is carefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child. We teach pupils to structure and organise their writing to suit the genre they are writing, thinking about the impact that they want their writing to have on the reader and how they will achieve this.
Writing skills are not just taught discretely in English lessons but throughout the day via cross curricular writing opportunities.
We develop and expand every child’s bank of vocabulary through our ‘Word of the Day’ in KS2 and ‘Word of the Week’ in KS1 in addition to our strong focus on subject specific vocabulary right across the curriculum.
The teaching of spelling at Gainsborough is carefully and sequentially planned. There are daily timetabled spelling sessions across KS2 and phonics sessions in KS1 and EYFS. Pupils learn spelling rules, common exceptions words and irregular spellings.
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers will sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as separate stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the children need additional time to embed and further develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Our writing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Children leave Gainsborough Primary and Nursery as confident writers. They are able to write creative and engaging pieces, in a well-structured, technically accurate way. Our children are able to express their views and opinions both verbally and in written form clearly and articulately.
We aim for the % of pupils working at ARE at the end of each key stage to be at least in line with national averages and for there to be no significant gaps in the progress or attainment of different groups of pupils.