English at Mapplewells
At Mapplewells, we understand that Reading and vocabulary are the gateways to the curriuclum and we link this with our writing.
You will see a consistent approach to the teaching of English across our school underpinned by the Writing overview documentation. Children constantly revisit their knowledge gained through the Review and Reflect part of the bespoke lesson design: MAPS for Mapplewells. This links to Rosenshine’s key principles of learning and the OfSted Review papers.
The Mapplewellian staff supported the development of our curriculum vision which was based on the context and needs of our local community. We communicate our vision through the acronym MOVE. Our curriculum principles are Memory (including knowledge), Opportunity, Vocabulary (including reading), Equality and Equity.
Memory (incuding knowledge) – Children constantly revisit their knowledge gained through the Review and Reflect part of the bespoke lesson design: MAPS for Mapplewells. This links to Rosenshine’s key principles of learning and the OfSted Review papers.
Opportunity – to challenge children to overcome personal barriers through culturally rich, memorable experiences which expand their knowledge of wider society through carefully selected hooks. Children are exposed to visits from author’s, theatre trips, exciting hooks, culturally diverse figures and authors, etc. This allows them to encounter and live particular themes and experiences. We ensure that writing supports and enhances these culturally rich and memorable opportunities. To give meaning and value to their learning we encourage all children to edit, improve, publish and perform their writing learning the best ways to communicate their messages. Through hooks, we encourage children to write for a purpose and follow through with intentional outcomes for example sending letter to the target audience.
Vocabulary (including reading) – we expose children to high quality texts and WAGOLLs for each genre. This weaves through the English curriculum. Language is discussed, defined and celebrated. New vocabulary is displayed in blue (blue for new) on working walls and key vocabuary defined throughout the enquiry is displayed on the curriculum boards. Previous vocabulary is displayed in black (think back). We know that the word gap age 3 and reading accuracy at six is a huge indicator to academic success. Children are exposed to a variety of fiction, non-fiction and digital texts ranging across the school. From Key Stage 1 children work through the word of the week exposing them to further new vocabulary weekly. These words come from…
Equality and Equity – every child is a writer at Mapplewells. We achieve this through showing children what is possible, writing for purpose and how their writing can truly affect their readers by making them proud, making them laugh, educating others and portraying different messages experiementing with different styles and techniques. We explore culturally rich texts to enhance the cultural exposure across the school and represent the demographic our children live amongst. Across the school we make writing accessible to all children by allowing all children to be exposed to the same writing, texts and expectations. To enable the success of all children we aim high and plan scaffolds to support all children in achieving the objective.
Writing is closely linked with Reading across the school.
Due to the COVID pandemic the opportunities and stamina in writing was reduced; therefore, writing opportunities are planned across the curriculum and a focus on handwriting is evident in all year groups.
How we teach writing at Mapplewells.
Our writing sequences begins with 'immersion'. During this part of the sequence we immerse the children into the new context of what they are writing, with a focus on vocabulary. Where possible, this links directly to our enquiry driver and gives opportunities to develop speaking opportunities or drama. Next, we then help pupils to focus on the audience and purpose by analysing the author's choices and overall intent. We dedicate a lesson to learning new vocabulary around the chosen context and how to spell these words. Further grammar, punctuation and spelling lessons are then taught in line with the features needed for that particular genre. Children can then develop their creativity by planning out their own piece of writing that enables them to apply the learning they have been taught. This may be done individually or even collaboratively so they think carefully about the writing choices being made. After that, our children then draft out their text in full sentences and paragraphs ready to be edited. Once improved, pupils then write their 'elevate' (or published piece) which demonstrate pride.