English at Westonzoyland is interactive, empowering and exciting. As a school we use the Talk for Writing Approach. This way of teaching writing was devised by the author and teacher Pie Corbett. It involves children in actively constructing their learning alongside their teacher. In Talk for Writing there are three stages to the process of teaching writing.
1) Imitation: In this phase children learn stories through drama, story maps and real life experiences. Children learn the structure of a variety of types of stories or nonfiction writing. Through imitating the text children become familiar with the style of writing and language features of the text. This enables them to move to the next stage of writing development.
2) Innovation: In this phase the children use the text as a scaffold to create their own piece of writing which will be modeled on the original work. This is a powerful way to teach writing as children gain much confidence as they go through this process. In the innovation phase, attention is given to improving writing and teachers and children use assessment for learning strategies to work diligently to improve the standard of work ready for the next phase in the sequence.
3) Invention: In this phase children have gained enough confidence to invent their own piece of writing using the story type and language features as a scaffold to their own writing.
Talk for Writing has proved to be a powerful way to teach writing and most importantly the children absolutely love writing because of it. Grammar and punctuation are taught as part of this writing process but these skills are also taught discretely and consolidated through homework tasks in KS2.
Children participate in Guided Reading activities daily. These sessions are designed to improve both reading and comprehension and children are actively encouraged to discuss and question the texts they have read. All children have the opportunity throughout the week, to visit our school library and borrow books to enjoy. Our Reading scheme is compiled from books from a range of different reading schemes which are organised using the Book Banding system. We actively encourage parents to help at home with reading; sharing stories, talking about books and questioning children about what they have read. We ask that any home reading is recorded in a home reading log. We also use bug club for reading online.
We use Read Write Inc Phonics in Key Stage One. In Key Stage Two teachers use the Support for spelling guidance. Both of these programs focus on teaching spelling rules and patterns rather than merely learning lists of words. This empowers children to become lifelong learners.
At Westonzoyland we strive to teach English across the curriculum and as such we use a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, ICT and play scripts to broaden the literary horizons of all our children.