In This Section
At Nicholas Hawksmoor, we aim to ensure that all children leave us with the ability to confidently write at length across a range of genres, with a solid understanding of the grammatical skills required, in order to be clear and coherent in what they want to say.
We have adopted the Kinetic Letters scheme for handwriting in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 to provide a consistent and systematic approach to the fundamental skills needed for children to become confident writers. This scheme enables children to develop their automaticity in formation, orientation and placement of letters, which frees up space in their working memory. Children who are able to write legibly, with fluency and at pace, can focus on the content of what is written and are more likely to develop into creative, imaginative writers.
Our children will write across a wide range of genres throughout their time at Nicholas Hawksmoor. High quality stimuli are integral to engage and inspire children to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Extracts from modern and classic novels, poems and non-fiction texts along with video clips constitute a large part of these, however where possible we encourage the use of drama, music and first-hand experiences from trips and visitors to give writing a clear purpose for our children. As part of our curriculum offer, we ensure that our children are exposed to a diverse range of writing from many different cultures that broaden their understanding of the world that is both around them, and that lies ahead.
Key grammar skills are embedded throughout our writing curriculum and where necessary explicitly taught at an age-appropriate level. In Key Stage 1, children are taught the basic skills to construct clear and accurate sentences to ensure they enter Key Stage 2 being able to access the rich curriculum before them. Throughout Key Stage 2, grammar skills are systematically taught and subsequently revisited to enable children to become confident in their use and manipulation.
We use the Read, Write, Inc. scheme for delivering our spelling curriculum. This is introduced in Year 2 once the children have the required knowledge in order for them to understand the alphabetic code. For those children who are not yet ready, then continued focus on phonics is essential to give them the skills needed to progress in their learning. RWI spelling is designed for all children to access throughout Key Stage 2 and systematically builds upon good phonic knowledge in order to spell words and patterns of growing complexity. The short, daily sessions engage and inspire children through a variety of fast-paced activities, which embed understanding of key spelling patterns to long-term memory through regular and repeated revision. Children do not receive weekly spelling lists to learn from this for homework, but will have access to the common exception word lists as exemplified in: National Curriculum – English Appendix 1: Spelling.
Speaking and Listening
All subjects across our curriculum play a significant role in developing key English skills, particularly speaking and listening. Other subjects are planned with an emphasis on building vocabulary progressively, and understanding its meaning and application in context. We draw on the themes of our curriculum intent to provide pupils with opportunities to engage directly with our local and wider communities. For example, presenting at community events; planning and leading local initiatives in addition to interacting and interviewing a wide range of visitors to our school.
Each year the English curriculum enrichment includes visiting authors, attendance at the film festival, theatre visits, topic specific trips, Young Shakespeare Company visits, house writing and poetry competitions, children’s participation in drama and choir productions – all of which present creative opportunities to build the character and confidence within our pupils.