At Ravensbury, we teach ‘English’ lessons We believe this makes links between Reading and Writing more purposeful and engaging. Whilst very much holding onto the integrity of each subject, we aim to overlap Reading and Writing as much as possible to help the children make connections between being a reader and being a writer.
All children in Years 1 to 6 are taught writing through ‘The Writing Journey’. This starts with a time of engaging and exciting text immersion, which might involve the children using drama to act in role, using photos to initiate conversation and generate ideas or a visitor to the school. The aim is for the children to become completely familiar and absorbed with the text and be more equipped for writing through shared vocabulary collection and capturing their ideas so that they are able to be creative. The sequence then moves children onto writing a First Draft of the selected genre; following lessons are then tailored to the children’s gaps in learning and the skills which are required for their year group. The end of the sequence gives children the opportunity to write a Final Piece and reflect upon their writing.
There are strong and purposeful links between the Connected Curriculum and English. The Connected Curriculum forms an anchor from which our English curriculum is developed. For example, Year 5 study the Victorians in history; this is supported and further enhanced in English by reading Oliver Twist and writing short stories from that period of history.
At Ravensbury, the pink and green marking system is used effectively to show children what they have achieved and what they could do next to improve. Children have the opportunity to act on every piece of teacher feedback, which they respond to using a ‘purple pen of progress’. We also highly value ‘now’ feedback which is incorporated into every lesson to enable children to move on quickly in their learning. Children are encouraged, particularly during the proof-reading process, to engage with lots of self- and peer-assessment to give them autonomy in how to improve their writing.
The timetable is organised so that every year group has two hours to deliver English in the morning, which allows for a balanced, flexible and overlapped programme of teaching for Reading and Writing.