“You can make anything by writing.”
At Mossgate, through our logically sequenced and carefully planned English curriculum, we intend to open our pupils’ eyes to human experience; through exploring meaning and ambiguity as well as the beauty and power of language.
At Mossgate, our aim to inspire our children to become enthusiastic readers and writers by:
- Developing confident and independent readers who are able to use a wide range of strategies to read for both purpose and pleasure.
- Nurturing and inspiring children to be passionate, insightful and critical readers, who have a love for reading a breadth of literature.
- Developing their ever-expanding vocabulary in both spoken and written forms.
- Understanding how to use grammar and punctuation accurately to write across a wide range of genres for a range of audiences and understand its value.
- Building stamina for writing through regular and meaningful opportunities.
- Becoming proficient speakers and listeners who can structure their thoughts and express themselves clearly when discussing, reasoning, persuading, debating and performing - using the appropriate grammar and register.
"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you."
At Mossgate, our English curriculum is designed to inspire and motivate our children so they see themselves as writers. To develop the required skills to become confident writers, we ensure our ‘Mossgate Key Learning’ is taught in a logical and scaffolded sequence. Furthermore, we make explicit to the children the learning journey’s intended purpose and audience so they know why they are studying a particular text type and the intended outcome.
Our English curriculum is designed to provide a range of writing opportunities and different levels of support including: shared, modelled, guided, collaborative, paired and independent writing. Due to the interleaving of our English curriculum with our foundation curriculum subjects, children are able to develop the hinterland for a range of topics, allowing them to write confidently and expertly in a variety of genres and forms using a range of stimuli.
Our approach to planning and delivering our English units follows Lancashire’s ‘Teaching Sequence and Skills’ approach. This allows our writers to: develop the desire to write; respond to and analyse texts on the genre being taught to identify the relevant features and skills; plan and gather appropriate content, knowledge and subject specific vocabulary; observe, take part in and create modelled, shared, guided, paired and independent pieces of writing; and finally present their work through a written piece or an oral piece.
To aid our writers, classrooms have a Working Wall to display and reinforce the key features and skills currently being studied. Challenging and useful vocabulary, which has been learnt through our ‘Star Word’ approach or encountered within lessons, is added to our class Wow Words displays / area to allow children to use and apply this vocabulary within their written work independently.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go."
To ensure our children have the necessary skills to thrive in society, they need to have a secure understanding of the world. To achieve this, we prioritise the teaching of reading skills and enjoyment of a wide range of literature, enabling our children to become confident readers, who have a life-long love for reading. By the end of their schooling with us, we aim for our children to be motivated, independent and mature readers. Through the use of high-quality texts, taught within English lessons and read to the children, we strive to nurture an enjoyment and engagement with both fiction and non-fiction texts. We understand that learning to read is a complex process – one that takes time and a multipronged approach. As a result, children throughout school read as often as possible within the school day and at home and have opportunities to select and share books, engaging in insightful conversations about what they read.
Learning to read at Mossgate
During the early stages of reading at Mossgate, we aim to develop children’s knowledge of the alphabetic code through our tailored systematic synthetic phonics programme (further information can be found under ‘Phonics and Early Reading’).
In school, reading is taught, on the whole, through Guided Reading sessions that focus on a book or an extract from a range of genres. Children are taught reading skills that allow them to read with greater stamina, fluency and meaning using our school Reading Superheroes - see Reading Key Learning. Any children who require further support are supported through our Reading Partners intervention.
As our children develop their reading maturity, they are able to choose age appropriate books from our library, which includes a breadth of literature. Each child, through ‘Accelerated Reader’ or 'AR' is provided with a ‘Reading Range’ to help them select books at an appropriate level – allowing them to read for pleasure and to challenge themselves. Children complete a ‘quiz’ after reading each book to test their level of comprehension which is typically weekly.
In addition to this, teachers read daily to our children from a wide range of ambitious literature, pitched just above the reading level the children can read themselves. These texts can be found on our ‘Text Map’ from the downloads below.
“Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.”
Our belief is that speaking and listening skills are of equal importance as reading and writing. Therefore, our aim is for our children to transition to secondary school with the skills necessary to communicate effectively with others in their community and across different contexts and communities using standard English. Within lessons and across our school setting, we model and promote Standard English in both speaking and writing. Exploratory skills are taught explicitly, practised often and used across all areas of the curriculum we teach.
Mr C Thwaites - English Subject Leader