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At New Silksworth Academy we believe that every child has the right to achieve their full potential in all areas of English and that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we help children develop the skills and knowledge that enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety. Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning.
Through our Curriculum mapping, careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking high quality class texts, writing and the topic that are being covered in History, Geography or Science. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.

We aim to develop excellence and enjoyment in English within an integrated programme of Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing and Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation. 
Pupils are given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.

At New Silksworth Academy we strive to ensure all pupils are writers in all areas of the curriculum. Pupils who leave Year 6 will:

•    Have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms;
•    Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
•    Understand a range of text types, media types and genres and use them as models for writing
•    Be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation;

•    Use their developing imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness;
•    Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
•    Use discussion in order to learn –explain clearly their understanding and ideas
•    Write for a range of purposes and audiences

Approaches to Writing 
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the audience, purpose and form is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. 


Early Years

Pupils are involved in planning their own learning e.g. planning the curriculum and related practical areas using their interests as a starting point.

Communication, Language and Literacy activities are planned to reflect different ways children learn.
Effective lessons give opportunities for children to:
•    Investigate and experience arrange of texts
•    Actively learn by giving children opportunities to encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
•    Create opportunities to develop their own literacy ideas and think critically about their own and others’ work

In the Foundation Stage children are given opportunities to:
•    Speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
•    Use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;
•    Become immersed in an environment rich in print and opportunities to communicate.
•    Ignite their interests of reading and writing by accessing a wide range of reading materials
•    Become emergent writers with self confidence in their “abilities” as writers.
•    Read to others
•    Develop self confidence


Key Stages One and Two
Long term writing plans have been developed and are updated regularly to ensure progression of each genre that is taught from Year 1-Year 6. High quality class texts are used as the driver through which genres are taught. Whole school writing projects are also undertaken at specific points in the year which link to either a subject area or a theme, e.g. Christmas, World Book Day.

Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions. 
The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. 

Punctuation and Grammar
Teachers follow the Trust Punctuation and Grammar (PAG) document to ensure all elements of the National Curriculum are covered. Relevant areas of the Grammar and Punctuation expectations are linked to specific genre on our long-term writing plans. 
Daily retrieval sessions are taught to reinforce and consolidate learning from previous years.


The National Curriculum specifies that primary school children should work towards mastering handwriting that is fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy.
Handwriting is a skill which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. Cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. At New Silksworth Academy, handwriting skills are taught regularly and systematically using the Letterjoin Handwriting scheme.
Our aim is that all children achieve a neat, legible handwriting style with correctly formed letters in accordance with the cursive font. Through frequent handwriting practise, we aim that our children develop flow and speed and produce the letters automatically in their independent writing. 
The focus on handwriting begins as soon as a child enters our setting and continues throughout their time at school. In Early Years, children take part in activities to develop their fine and gross motor-skills and recognition of patterns, for example, to form letters using their index finger in sand or using paint. They are given time to practise a correct pencil grip and taught the correct start and exit points for each letter.
By then end of Year 2 we expected our children to form lower case letters of the correct size, relative to one another. Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters, and understand which letters are best left unjoined. Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another. Use spacing between words that is appropriate for the size of the letters.
By the end of Year 6, we expect our children to use joined-up handwriting, write with increasing legibility, fluency and speed, choose which shape of a letter to use, and decide whether or not to join specific letters and choose the writing implement that is best suited for a task.



Approaches to Spoken Language

Pupils are taught to listen and respond to adults and their peers, to ask relevant questions and use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary. Pupils are encouraged to speak audibly and fluently at a level appropriate to the age of the pupil. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.

Opportunities to develop these skills include: School Council, debating, class assemblies, talk partners, drama and school performances.
We recognise the need for all pupils to speak, read and write Standard English fluently and accurately, while acknowledging that a pupil's own dialect, or other language is of prime importance. It is our school policy to promote the use of Standard English. 

Cross curricular Opportunities for Writing
Teachers seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross -curricular links. They plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum.


The Use of ICT
We recognise the important role ICT has to play in our school in the development of Literacy skills. ICT is used on a regular basis to enhance the teaching of literacy and to give all children the opportunity to experience, read and write multimodal texts and develop visual literacy. I Pads are used frequently to support pupils’ research in English and other areas of the curriculum.


Assessment and Target Setting
We have developed Assessment guidelines and KPI’s, based on the demands of the curriculum, to assess progress in writing. Moderation of writing and teacher judgements takes place termly. Assessment for Learning is ongoing and is used to ensure every pupil reaches their potential. Rigorous and focused marking ensures relevant feedback is given to pupils and new areas for development are targeted. Teachers highlight aspects of written work (transcriptional skills) which pupils have to correct, and comments are added by the teacher to encourage the children to improve the compositional aspects of their writing. Dedicated time is given to this at the start of lessons. Pupils are encouraged to use self -assessment; peer assessment is also valued and encouraged.

EYFS Assessment of Literacy and Communication of Language is based on ongoing observation and assessment. Assessments are based primarily on observations of daily Literacy in which staff particularly note the learning the children demonstrate spontaneously, independently and consistently in a range of contexts.