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English @ SLE

You are never alone when lost in the magic of a book.
- Marie Lu
Smile  Learn  Excel
At Shortlanesend School our English curriculum has been developed to inspire and develop our children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. It is important to us that all our children love to read, take pride in their writing and can clearly and accurately communicate their thoughts and ideas in a range of contexts. 
Writing at Shortlanesend School
At Shortlanesend School we aim for all of our children to be able to confidently write for a range of purposes. We encourage and enable our children to be motivated and independent writers, who enjoy writing for a range of purposes and audiences. We want children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell using  phonics, spelling patterns and rules that they have learnt. We want all children to take pride in the presentation of their writing and aim for all children to have fluent, joined handwriting by the end of KS2. We recognise that good writers need time to refine and edit their work and so teach children to identify areas within their own writing to improve to ensure that editing is effective.
Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle is an Early Writing Program we use in Nursery. Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle uses dance and large movements to help children develop the fine muscle control they need for writing. They will learn a new gross motor movement to a piece of music. They will dance using this movement and use it to make marks on paper. These sessions are great fun but most importantly help children to be confident mark makers.
Here at SLE it is no secret that we love books and stories. Drawing Club is an approach where we open up the magic world of tales and stories to children whilst at the same time enriching their language skills and developing their fine motor skills to write about a picture that they have drawn. Drawing club immerses children into a world full of imagination where anything can happen in the children's writing - and often does. For example, linked to The Tiger that came for Tea the tiger ate more than the cake on the table!!
The progress we have found children making through Drawing Club across all areas of child development is amazing with the added bonus of confidence and joy as well as high level vocabulary linked to each story. 
Year 1 Onwards
At Shortlanesend School we teach writing using a consistent approach across the school. We have adopted 'The Write Stuff' approach and from from Year 1 the Writing Rainbow is introduced. All genres are taught and where possible links are made to other curriculum areas. 
Each unit of work includes some Sentence Stacking lessons. These lessons are chunked into three distinct parts, initiate, model, enable.
The Initiate stage is where a stimulus is used to inspire the children and where the children are immersed in a language rich discussion and activities so they have a wealth of vocabulary to aid their writing. 
The model stage is where the teacher demonstrates the thoughts and processes of a writer and articulates writing choices.
The enable stage gives the children the opportunity to show what they can do independently using the vocabulary and skills discussed in the previous stages. 
Children are encouraged to continue to develop their writing skills by 'Deepening the moment' so that they are practising previously learnt skills. 
Each unit of writing ends by giving the children the opportunity to plan and write an independent piece of work that they can then edit and improve.
During sentence stacking lessons teachers give feedback both verbally and written. Sentences are shared and examples used to create the class sentence stack.
Teaching Grammar
The teaching of grammar and punctuation are embedded into both the fictional and non-fictional units. The content taught is progressive and aligned to the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Teaching Spelling
Children are taught the relevant spellings to their year group. In KS1 these can be linked to the RWI Phonics sessions. In KS2 we use The Write Stuff spelling scheme.
Teaching Handwriting
Handwriting is initially taught as part of the daily RWI sessions and then in KS2 we follow the Nelson handwriting scheme.The children are explicitly taught letter formation and handwriting. Handwriting is modelled by the teacher and the children are given time to practise letters and joins so that handwriting becomes natural. This then allows the children to focus on the content of their writing
The impact of the writing curriculum is assessed during and at the end of each writing unit. Gaps in writing are identified by the teacher and addressed within a unit or carried forward to future units as necessary. 
Formal assessments against end of year expectations are made termly and children's progress is monitored, 
Some children will be given individual writing targets and additional support given to enable them to achieve their targets. 
All aspects of English are integral to the curriculum and we expect knowledge and skills taught in English to be transferred to other subjects, so improving cross curricular writing and deepening skills. 
A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
- Susan Sontag
Our children immerse themselves into stories and develop into confident orators through opportunities in lessons to role play as characters from the class reading book, or historical personalities from different periods of time. Class plays provide further opportunities to perform. Our school currently holds an Aspire Silver Award for Pupil Voice.
Across the curriculum children are given opportunities to articulate their ideas and develop understanding through discussions, both as a class, in groups or pairs. We want our children to be effective speakers and listeners, to empower them to understand themselves and the world around them. 

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