At Swalwell Primary School our children are at the heart of everything we do promoting inclusion and access to learning for all. Within our English curriculum, we want all of our children to enjoy reading and writing through developing a love of literature and texts which motivate and inspire. In our role as an ARMS unit, to ensure access for all of our children, we work closely with external services within the local authority to adapt our resources and learning approaches to ensure and inclusive approach to English for everyone. Our curriculum intent is to provide all children with the ability to confidently communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas through both written and spoken language. Our curriculum is designed around ensuring maximum exposure to high quality texts which allow children to enjoy immersing themselves in the stories and subjects covered. We want our children to talk and write passionately as they develop independence through expressing and celebrating their own unique personalities.
Our curriculum aims are for all children at Swalwell to learn how to write clearly, accurately and coherently, writing with their audience in mind, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts and purposes. Through engagement with our high-quality text-based approach our children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary to broaden and deepen their comprehension of the English language. At Swalwell we want children to appreciate the importance of different word classes and structures considering how language choices and punctuation impact the overall feel and tone of writing and the resulting impact his has upon the reader. Holding the highest aspirations for our children, we do not put ceilings on what our pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. Our children’s written and spoken achievements are celebrated across our school reflecting the wider philosophy of our Swalwell family.
At Swalwell we promote the value and importance of effective communication within our daily teaching of writing and promote a love of reading through both writing and reading lessons.
Our English curriculum is built around a inclusive structured plan of high-quality core texts which expose children to a wide diet of writing lessons in which they are given opportunities to discuss, explore and understand various texts and genres of writing. Through daily exposure to high quality texts, children’s attention is drawn to vocabulary and the language choices made by different authors and the resulting impact upon the audience and the reader. Through this approach, children build a varied cumulative vocabulary of topic specific and broadened language which they are taught to apply within their written work.
Daily writing lessons incorporate reading skills including identifying literal information, using deductions and clues to identify characters actions, feelings and motives and drawing inferences around mood, tone and feeling of writing. Through developing these core reading skills, children’s understanding of language and approaches to writing in context are developed allowing them to further understand the importance of both spoken and written language.
Within daily writing lessons, children are given opportunities to focus upon the discrete teaching of spelling and grammar and explore how this is used across various writing genres. Children are encouraged to express themselves through their writing developing both independence and stamina as writers. Our daily teaching is planned and designed to provide children with maximum exposure to high quality modelled writing and allow them opportunities to write for a wide range of genres and purposes to develop their appreciation for the function and importance of different writing forms. The importance of clarity and cohesion are central to English lessons and are reinforced and taught through the text-based approach we adopt at Swalwell.
As part of the writing process our children are taught how to edit and improve their own work identifying how they can maximise the impact of their writing with their audience in mind. Our children take great pride in their presentation and are challenged to ensure the highest quality of presentation in all aspects of their written work across the curriculum.
The impact of our approach at Swalwell is that pupils enjoy writing, challenging themselves to use key features of the English curriculum within their work. The approach we adopt ensures children’s exposure and engagement with reading is the fundamental base upon which our writing lessons are built. Our pupils are enthusiastic writers who are able to write for a range of purposes and genres assessing their own work against their understanding of the curriculum.
Through our writing lessons, our children celebrate their differences and express their individual personalities through selecting careful vocabulary and language choices which reflect their understandings and experiences. Our children take pride in their work and are encouraged to share their ideas and read their work aloud supporting and celebrating one another’s learning.
Half-termly, teachers’ moderate pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made. The quality of writing in English and curriculum books is evaluated by learning walks, drop ins, pupil voice interviews and work scrutinies. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives in school.