Writing & Spelling
Alston Lane Catholic Primary School & Nursery
Writing & Spelling Curriculum Statement
At Alston Lane, we strive to create a positive writing culture and aim to enthuse, inspire and equip our pupils to become skilled and fluent writers who can write accurately and coherently whilst adapting their language and style in a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We firmly believe that to become successful writers, children need to be exposed to high quality talk and a wide repertoire of vocabulary from an early age. We have high expectations of our pupils with regards to spelling and grammar and we encourage children to take pride in the presentation of their written work across the curriculum.
Early reading and writing are underpinned by high quality phonics teaching from an early age. At Alston Lane we follow the Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme starting when our children enter the nursery. In Reception and Year 1, the explicit teaching of the reading and spelling of high frequency, tricky and common exception words are embedded into our daily teaching of phonics alongside the teaching of segmenting for encoding. In Year 2, the children move onto learning the National Curriculum spelling rules using the Essential Spelling Scheme. This scheme builds on the children’s knowledge of phonics by developing their understanding of spelling rules progressively through to Year 6.
At Alston Lane, we teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to age-related skills and knowledge as stipulated in the National Curriculum. Our teachers are experts at targeting support where needed via scaffolding, extra modelling and access to additional support materials such as word banks or phonics cards. Our yearly curriculum overview has been designed to ensure that there is a balance of genres taught across each year group and our key learning documents ensure progression of skills from year to year. All units are based on high quality, age-appropriate, vocabulary rich texts which aim to inspire writers. Teachers expertly plan each English unit using a four-phase approach which helps children to widen their vocabulary, gather content, plan their ideas, write and edit their work. Our English working walls showcase the learning journey the children have been on through the unit and act as a reference point for children to support the composition of their final writing outcome. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught in context during English lessons and the skills are selected to match the genre being taught to allow children to practise and embed their learning.