We LOVE writing at Mab Lane! We have English lessons every day, which involve reading and writing, and we also have SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) lessons in the morning. We learn how to write in lots of different genres such as stories, recounts, explanations, newspaper reports and play scripts. Each half term we take part in a 'Free Write' sessions, during these sessions we can write about anything we feel like. We have created some fantastic songs, instructions and stories.
Reading at Mab Lane
Reading is key for the children’s development. Research shows that children with good levels of literacy and who read for pleasure are significantly more likely to achieve well in school.
Children are taught phonics as the main way to help them read. Phonics starts in Nursery and continues in small group sessions until Year 2. If children need extra support, this is provided in the afternoon. When the children move into KS2, we expect to see all children reading fluently.
There are numerous opportunities for parents to attend sessions in school. We hold phonics sessions, stay and read and reading workshops for parents to understand the skills we use to teach the children to read. Feedback from these sessions has been excellent.
Each child takes home a reading book and a reading record so parents can comment on the child’s reading at home.
We are really lucky to have volunteers from the community who come in and read with the children each week.
We encourage all children to read at home and provide opportunities for children to read daily in school. As a school, we promote reading for pleasure and hopefully children will grow to love reading.
Writing is a high priority at Mab Lane and the children are encouraged to write for a range of genres. By the time the children leave Mab Lane, they should have a love for writing and have learnt a range of writing styles and key skills to support them in their lifelong writing skills.
This year Mab Lane are aiming to achieve the Liverpool Writing Quality Mark (LWQM). The staff are really pleased to have been accepted on to the cohort for this recognition and are delighted to share the children’s work.
Starting in our two-year-old’s provision, the children are provided with a range of writing equipment and encouraged to start mark making at that young age. This continues as the children move into Nursery, where they begin to learn to write their name and simple CVC words.
Throughout EYFS provision, children are provided with incremental writing opportunities through the role play areas and continuous provision. These opportunities continue into KS1 and the children continue to retell stories through role play and small world.
In KS2, the children continue to participate in practical and speaking and listening activities. They use this knowledge to support them with their extended pieces of writing.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, the units follow the ‘Immerse, Analyse, Write’ approach for each block of work. This teaching sequence ensures that children have opportunities to practise the key skills whilst building the understanding and knowledge to apply these skills across a range of genres.
Each half term the children enjoy a ‘free write’ session where they are able to write whatever they want such as a song, play, report or story. These ‘free writes’ have created a real buzz around writing and the children are writing for pleasure. During these sessions, staff sit alongside the children and write their own piece of writing.
Purpose of study
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
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 word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers should therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their English – key stages 1 and 2 4 misconceptions. Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
All pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.
Statutory requirements which underpin all aspects of spoken language across the six years of primary education form part of the national curriculum. These are reflected and contextualised within the reading and writing domains which follow.
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading).
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
Key stages 1 and 2 5 Writing The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary
The two statutory appendices – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – give an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study. Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They should also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. References to developing pupils’ vocabulary are also included within the appendices. Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed. This is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, but simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons. A non-statutory Glossary is provided for teachers. Throughout the programmes of study, teachers should teach pupils the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.