The explicit skills of reading and writing are taught within the English lessons. It is expected that these skills are transferable and applied in all areas of reading and writing across the curriculum. The challenge is that expectations of grammar, punctuation and spelling are used securely and well embedded in all areas.
Writing at St Aidan’s is taught as a ‘Learning Journey’ which involves five key elements:
Stimulate – Children experience a range of stimulus e.g. DVD clip, visit, extract from text to excite and inspire.
Engage – This is when the children see a range of text within the chosen genre identifying key features and empathising with characters. An integral part of this stage is the development of Speaking and Listening; children are encouraged to offer their opinions on the text and explain their thoughts and ideas. This is often through the medium of role play and drama.
Capture – The skills of becoming a good writer is the ability to capture ideas, vocabulary and effective writing styles. Children are taught how to ‘become an expert’ in the chosen genre. It is within this element that explicit grammar, punctuation and sentence structure is taught.
Write – The children now have the tools and skills necessary to begin the independent writing process. The teacher models how to plan an example of the text type, using the ideas and skills learned in the Stimulate, Engage and Capture elements. The editing and redrafting of text is taught to enable the children to become proficient writers.
Present – Children are given the opportunity to understand that writing is for a purpose and has an audience. Final drafts are displayed or shared to empower them and give them a sense of pride and achievement e.g. writing competitions, book making.
“The greater part of writing is daydreaming, dreaming the dream of my story, until it hatches out. I love finishing it and then holding it in my hand and sharing my dream with my readers.” Michael Morpurgo