Here at St. George’s we are proud of our creative and vibrant curriculum. Every day the children have Literacy lessons which follow the National Curriculum. At St George's we are using Chris Quigley's curriculum planner to ensure our children gain knowledge and experience of a wide variety of literary genres. Literacy lessons involve reading, writing, speaking and listening and drama activities. You can find out more in our Literacy policy on the 'Policies' section of the school website.
Children in Early Years and KS1 have either a daily Phonics or Spelling lesson. We follow a phonics scheme called Read, Write, Inc. The children use their green and red words to help them learn to read as well as completing spelling homework linked to the sounds every week.
At St George's, we know that speaking and listening is an essential tool for becoming a good reader and writer. This is evident when visiting our classrooms and outdoor environment which strongly promote opportunities for the children to explore imaginative role play, story-telling and drama activities. One part of this approach is a strategy known as “Talk for Writing”. More information can be found below:
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style.
Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. It builds on 3 key stages:
• Stage 1 - Imitation
• Stage 2 - Innovation
• Stage 3 - Independent Application
The imitation stage
Once the teacher has established a creative context and an engaging start, a typical Talk-for-Writing unit would begin with some engaging activities warming up the tune of the text, as well as the topic focused on, to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is often followed by talking an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work.
The innovation stage
Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with more advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of text focused on so the children can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first.
The Independent Application Stage
This stage could begin with some activities focused on helping the children understand aspects that they were having difficulty with and should include time for the children to have a go at altering their work in the light of what they have just learnt so that they start to make progress. This stage will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress so the children can become independent speakers and writers of this type of text.