At Featherstone Primary School, we teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum.
The Power Of Reading
We develop our writing skills through a text-based approach. To do this we use CLPE's Power of Reading programme. The programme aims to engage children through carefully chosen texts, across a range of genres, that immerse children in high quality vocabulary, often tackle challenging themes and introduce a range of authors and voices from different cultures. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child
Children are ‘hooked' in at the start of a unit and explore the text through a range of different activities that include art, dance and drama in order to build a deeper understanding of the text. They also develop, along side this, writer’s craft and a deep understanding of the components of writing – planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating, revising, editing and then publishing.
Along side the immersive Power of Reading activities, our pupils are also explicitly taught to write in a variety of Fiction and Non-Fiction genres which help them to utilise and embed their writing skills for different purposes.
We teach our children that stories have many forms and do not always follow the traditional 'Story mountain' where a problem is overcome. We endeavour to expose children to a range of different structures during their time at Featherstone so that the children have a varied writing and reading diet.
Children are also explicitly taught how to use a range of Non-Fiction texts for different purposes. These genres are re-visited many times during a child's time at Featherstone Primary School with an age-appropriate set of criteria each time. This means that children become very familiar with these text types but learn how to improve and use a wider range of genre specific skills each time.
At Featherstone Primary School, cursive handwriting style is taught from Reception. The aim is to ensure all children are able to form letters correctly and begin to join their letters by the end of Year 2. This is consolidated and built upon throughout Key Stage 2 so that children develop their own, joined handwriting style.
This approach is adapted for those with poorer fine motor skills or that find the cognitive load of cursive writing too great, so that all children feel confident to write, regardless of any particular need.
Below is an image and a video to show how cursive handwriting is taught at Featherstone Primary School. There are also two links for handwriting sheets that you can print and use to practise at home.
General Writing Websites
BBC Bitesize - Really useful website for practising and revising content across the curriculum.
Literacy Shed - A wonderful website for finding clips and pictures to to inspire writing.
Online dictionary and thesaurus - Children's dictionary online
Non-Fiction genre games - Games that allow children to practise their writing skills in different Non-Fiction text types.
Oxford Owl - Writing - Useful information for parents about how to help with writing at home.
Sky Writer A useful website for watching and practising cursive handwriting.