English at Blackheath Primary School
Daily English lesson
English lesson foci are taken from the Cornerstones Curriculum topics, which outline writing genres to be covered in each year group. There is an increased focus on reading as a class, with whole class text book boxes readily available from the library or from corridor bookshelves. The Blackheath Sentence Ladder is used in every classroom in KS1 and KS2 to provide a systematic and consistent way of teaching children sentence structure and punctuation. All children also have mini sentence ladders as part of their individual targets in the back cover of their English book also. We have school writing planning frames and AfL writing frames for the various different genres of writing covered; these ensure that a broad range of genres are taught right from Year 1, to include both fiction and non-fiction. Talk for Writing (Pie Corbett) techniques and planning are also used across school to boost pupils’ spoken language and structure the writing process. These include the use of picture and text maps, working walls, ICT feedback and oral storytelling.
Assessment of Writing
Writing is teacher assessed, and independent evidence is collected regularly for every pupil. Staged targets are ticked off after every piece of writing, to keep track of progress, find gaps to target and move pupils forward. Termly cross-school moderation of writing takes place in staff meetings. Additional support for moderating pupils’ writing takes place during phase meetings.
We follow no nonsense programme for spellings. Every child will be given weekly spellings to practice and children are then tested weekly.
Teachers have begun to take on-board the new New Curriculum guidance for Grammar during this summer term. This includes using more direct use of grammar terms and word classes during English lessons (e.g.’adjectives’ not ‘describing words’). All teaching and support staff have had basic Grammar and Punctuation training this year, which has been tied to on-going school systems and resources, for example using the sentence ladder and Creative Learning Tubs for activities within English and basic skills lessons.
‘Penpals for Handwriting’ is used across school from Foundation to Year 6 to teach pupils how to form letters correctly and then move onto learning a cursive, joined script from as early as Year 1.
English homework is also set within the new Cornerstones Curriculum homework menus, ensuring that pupils have opportunities to write creatively about their topics, including producing poetry, posters and fact files. Additional written homework tasks can be provided by teachers for Literacy specifically to push-on writing standards and also reinforce GPS strategies needed for end of KS2 tests.
If you would like a copy of the staged targets, please click on the relevant stage;
Useful links for parents;
Useful links for children;
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling;
BBC Bitesize English