Our English Curriculum
Reading underpins our whole curriculum at Pegasus and is the key driving force and tool to support children’s learning in all curriculum areas.
EYFS and Year 1 follow the Read Write Inc programme of study for phonics and early reading to support and scaffold our youngest learners.
In Years 2 to 6, all Writing units are based around a core text to develop and support children’s knowledge of storytelling and the writing process. Each text has been carefully selected so pupils have access to high quality literature, powerful authors and writing/characters who reflect their lives and the community they live in to develop and nurture their love of reading and written English. The school’s core values of Respect, Determination, Creativity, Confidence, Enthusiasm and Ambition have reinforced each core text selection and are explored in each writing unit.
While reading is at the heart of our curriculum, through English lessons children learn that all texts have a purpose, audience and intent. The writing purpose is a driving force for each unit with children understanding why they are writing (to entertain, inform, persuade, discuss) as well as what they are writing. The purpose, audience and written outcome of the unit is shared at the beginning of each unit so the children know exactly what they are working towards e.g. alternate story ending, character description, Oxford travel brochure – examples of these are produced by the class teacher and shared at the beginning of the unit so children are inspired and also aware of the standard of work to be produced by the end of the unit. Over the course of the year, pupils will produce published pieces of work in a variety of formats (letters, brochures, books, leaflets, blogs, podcasts, plays), which are shared widely, so that they are writing for real-life purposes and audiences bringing meaning to their written work.
At Pegasus, all writing units follow a writing process to support the pupils understanding of how to express themselves through the page. This process links initial ideas, oral rehearsal and recursive writing to enable pupils to write with clarity and confidence.
- Immersion within the text – In this phase children read as a writer by exploring the core and supplementary texts to develop a deeper understanding of the text type/genre and how/why the vocabulary, grammar and structure were selected by the author. By exploring a range of texts within the same genre in this way, the children are able to take inspiration from known authors to develop and support their independent writing. The first phase of the writing process will involve many reading focused skills e.g. summarising plots, gathering and understanding vocabulary and creating genre toolkits, as well as whole class immersion and discussion into the genre.
- Deepening understanding – In this phase of the writing process children deepen their knowledge of the text type by exploring and practising the grammar, vocabulary and structure identified in the first phase. The learning objectives are likely to have more of grammatical focus and practise a specific skill in this phase e.g. ‘using time adverbials’, ‘accurately punctuating direct speech’. This can be done through a variety of written tasks that build the children’s stamina and give them opportunities for different activities (character profiles, diaries from different perspectives, news reports, letters). This phase involves predominantly guided practice; learning in small steps, models, scaffolds, shared writing and my turn/your turn as the children learn the tools needed for independent practice.
- Planning – In this phase, children use planning frames, key questions and whole class models to support planning their own examples of the text types. Here pupils are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to develop their own version of the text type being explored, producing ideas which have meaning for them and represent themselves or their interests through the genre being studied.
- Drafting – During the drafting stage of writing, pupils apply and develop the skills they have learnt from known authors in the first stages of the process and their planning structures to support their first draft.
- Editing and improving – The editing phases takes a my turn/your turn approach using a class model to teach the skills of editing for punctuation, grammar, vocabulary, impact on the reader, effect and cohesion. Children will then redraft sections, improve vocabulary choices based on overall impact on their reader and correct spelling and grammar ensure their writing is accurate.
- Publishing - Once work has been edited and improved it is published. Publishing is always be done for a real reason to ensure it is meaningful for the children e.g. for display, to go into a class book, to be published in the school newsletter, shared with another class, posted to someone, etc. It is important for children to know their work is read by many people and to feel pride in what they have created.
Through our carefully planned and well-sequenced writing curriculum, pupils will make good progress.
By the end of Year Six, they will be able to write effectively for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
Throughout their time at Pegasus, pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word by the time they move on to KS3.
The impact of the pupil’s writing lessons will be shown throughout all wider curriculum subjects.
Most importantly, pupils will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education in Key Stage 3 and beyond.