At Cheam Fields, we believe that learning to write effectively is one of the most important things that a child at primary school will learn. We aim to motivate children to become passionate and purposeful writers. Our focus texts have been carefully chosen to motivate, challenge and stimulate our pupil’s imaginations. They often link with our wider curriculum in order to bring greater depth and breadth to the writing process. These texts provide inspiration for a wide range of writing opportunities, allowing children to apply the language and writing styles they have been exposed to.
At each stage of learning, from EYFS to Year 6, children are taught the writing skills and grammar content that fits within their year group. In EYFS, children are encouraged to practise their pre-writing skill and explore mark making as a form of communication. As their skills progress, children begin to form letters and develop an understanding of how stories are structured. From Year 1 onwards, children then begin to write at greater length, building from simple sentences into longer pieces written for a purpose. At Cheam Fields, children will focus on a range of writing purposes including, ‘to Entertain’, ‘to Inform’, ‘to Persuade’ and ‘to Discuss’. Through these purposes, they will explore a range of text types such as recounts, explanations, narratives and many more. Teachers use a variety of tools to develop children’s understanding of a text type including drama and role play, shared writing and using existing examples of a text to analyse and explore key language features. We ensure that all children have plenty of opportunities to follow the writing process from start to finish by developing their writing skills, planning, drafting, editing and finally publishing.
At Cheam Fields Reading is a golden thread that weaves through our curriculum. We explore stimulating texts that represent children’s interests as well as our wider curriculum. These texts allow children to meaningfully engage, share preferences, make personal connections and ask questions.
We are committed to providing opportunities for all pupils to gain an enjoyment of reading and achieve the key early reading and comprehension skills needed to become a proficient reader and to ensure that these skills are transferred to all aspects of life and learning. In all year groups, children are exposed to a wide range of text-types and genres. They have frequent, regular and sustained opportunities to read and to talk together about the books that they are reading individually, in small groups and as a whole class. This helps the children to reach a shared understanding and build on their cultural literacy.
In EYFS and KS1, our children consolidate and apply their phonics knowledge at home through reading a range of books. These include books that closely match their phonics ability and link to the phonics taught during the week, library books to share with their families and a reading scheme book to develop comprehension skills.Children are encouraged to read and re-read a text to revisit, practise and apply new and known sounds and to develop their reading fluency.
Through our own LEO Whole Class Reading lessons in KS1 and KS2, children explore a range of texts in more detail to develop their comprehension. They are taught a range of different reading skills such as retrieval, inference and prediction and practise applying those skills to a range of texts throughout the year. Children in KS2 learn how to provide evidence to justify their answers as well as analyse the language choices that an author has used.
We believe that children should develop a love for reading which will inspire them to read for purpose and pleasure. This is supported by our school environment which excites and enthuses children to read throughout the day.
Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation (GPS)
At Cheam Fields, the teaching of Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) is woven within our writing curriculum. The grammar content for each year group is taught in the context of our writing lessons, in order to provide opportunities for children to apply their skills in a purposeful way.
In addition to this, children will participate in discrete spelling lessons. Our spelling curriculum reinforces and builds on the phonics sounds that are learnt in EYFS and KS1. Children will have opportunities to explore, practise and apply a new spelling rule throughout the week, with opportunities also provided to revise spelling rules from previous year groups.
At Cheam Fields, our handwriting journey starts with the first steps into mark making in EYFS. As children continue their journey through EYFS and KS1, they will use the Read, Write Inc approach to handwriting to become fluent with the sizing of their letters and letter formation. As children move into Year 2 and further into KS2, they begin to join their letters focusing on a ‘Join of the Week’ between certain letters and certain letter joins. The two join types that the children learn are…
The washing line - straight across i.e from an o, w, r, u
The arm join - a diagonal join upwards i.e from an a, d, l
Children have regular opportunities to practise and revisit the different joins so that by the end of Year 6 children are able to write legibly and with joined handwriting.