At The Berkeley Academy, English is at the heart of everything we do. By the end of Year Six, we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling confidently. We set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish.
Through using high-quality texts that immerse children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, our children will be exposed to a language rich, creative and continuous English curriculum. This will ensure that our children are not only enabled to become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
What do we want from our curriculum?
How do we deliver Writing at The Berkeley Academy?
In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross curricular and linked to our year group themes. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. In writing lessons, we use ‘Read to Write’ units to support teacher planning. ‘Read to Write’ empowers our teachers to provide high-quality teaching of writing through children’s high-quality literature. The units of work focus on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities. Teaching blocks focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons.
Writing is taught daily, and children are given regular opportunities to write to build up stamina, skills, confidence, and enjoyment. Teachers explicitly model the writing process at all stages. This is done on flipchart paper and displayed around the classroom on “washing lines” or on working walls. The children can then use these to support them in their writing, thereby encouraging an increased independence as they move through KS1. This includes the thought processes of the teacher, modelled explicitly through verbalising each step. Throughout the school, we teach the strategy of “think it, say it, write it, check it” to support children to talk through their ideas before writing them down.
So that children know what they need to do to improve their writing, they are given feedback during the lesson and writing targets which are reviewed termly. We understand the importance of these targets in enabling children to be proactive in improving their writing outcomes and skills.
In summary, at The Berkeley Academy we:
At The Berkeley Academy the impact of our English curriculum is that children understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning. We know that this regular moderation is vital to ensure that teachers' judgements are accurate. The impact of a high quality English Writing curriculum will be:
Regular pupil progress meetings are held to discuss individuals and cohorts of children. Children’s progress is closely tracked throughout the year and throughout their school journey. Interventions take place for individuals who are not on-track to meet their end of year targets.
Ultimately, we want children to have a positive view of writing due to learning in an environment where writing is promoted as being an exciting, engaging, and enjoyable subject in which they can express themselves confidently and creatively. We want children to have high expectations of themselves and the quality and overall presentation of the work that they produce. We want to have writers who have a sense of pride in their work and the achievements they make. The impact on our children will be clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills.