The Writing 'Big Ideas'
The ‘Big Ideas’ relate to elements within a subject discipline or refer to important concepts that contribute to pupils’ personal and social development. It is essential that the ‘Big Ideas’ within each subject are understood by the children and become part of their common classroom language. In writing, these 'Big Ideas' are:
English for communication, consolidation and community
At Heatherlands Primary School, communication is at the heart of the curriculum. All children will be equipped with the skills they need to interact with the learning in all subjects, and to navigate their daily lives. Teaching and learning in English provides the bedrock for developing excellent communication skills: within spoken language, within reading and within writing.
We have a text-driven English curriculum, whereby high-quality texts support progress and outcomes in reading and writing. Children are encouraged to read widely; in the earlier stages to decode, and then to develop fluency and confidence, which in turn will build their comprehension skills. High quality literature sparks children’s imaginations and inspires high quality writing outcomes in each year group.
As the National Curriculum 2014 states, “Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum.” The school aims to cultivate a vocabulary-rich environment, as a means to helping all children develop their experience and understanding of the world.
Consolidation happens through regular opportunities for the children to put their learning in all areas of English into practice independently, not only within English but in foundation subjects too. These “sites of application” of learning provide robust opportunities for teachers to assess children’s performance.
Through the English curriculum, children consolidate the essential skills for effective communication and are thus equipped to become confident and eloquent members of the community, on a school level, a local level and a global level. They will be given the skills to take an active role in life as a British citizen.
English at Heatherlands
“You can make anything with writing” – CS Lewis
Situated in Library Road, it is no surprise that Heatherlands Primary School enjoys a rich and varied culture of reading! We have worked hard over the last eighteen months to develop the children’s love of books… this year, we are aiming to help the children to become assured and successful writers.
We are putting writing firmly at the heart of the classroom, with our new “See How Far We’ve Come!” displays in each classroom. These writing displays show off each child’s work at different stages of the year. Last week, the children all wrote about the same picture, and the work they produced is visible on the wall of every classroom, demonstrating clearly that we value and celebrate our children’s writing.
Ms J Evans
KS2 Assistant Head and English Lead
The Writing Shack… donations wanted!
As part of our drive to celebrate writing at Heatherlands, plans are afoot to upgrade the wooden gazebo in the bottom playground and transform it into a dedicated space where children can write for pleasure!
The first step for the upgrade is to have some all-weather curtains made so that the space is really versatile. Thank you to one of our amazing parents, Judith Vlaarkamp who will be making the new sides of the shack, and thank you to the Friends of Heatherlands who have agreed to fund some of our writing shack improvements.
I conducted a survey with the Year 6 children to find out what they would like the ‘writing shack’ to look like, and they came up with lots of great ideas. To make their dreams come true, we wondered if anyone has any of the following things going spare, with which we can furnish the writing shack:
Finally, if you are a ‘handy’ person who would like to come in and help revamp the writing shed (for example painting, decorating, small DIY jobs…) please contact me via the school office.
Ms Jude Evans
KS2 Assistant Head and English Lead
Teaching 'tricky' high-frequency words
There are 100 common words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need when they write. Most of these are decodable, by sounding and blending, assuming the grapheme–phoneme correspondences are known, but only 26 of the high-frequency words are decodable by the end of Phase Two.
Reading a group of these words each day, by applying grapheme–phoneme knowledge as it is acquired, will help children recognise them quickly. However, in order to read simple captions it is necessary also to know some words that have unusual or untaught GPCs (‘tricky’ words) and these need to be learned.
Some Haiku's from Miss Lawrence for National Poetry day 3/10/19
A Haiku consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables.
Each line has a set number of syllables see below:
Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables
Soaking dry sponges
Dripped knowledge absorbed slowly
Wring it out later
Knowing they’re able
Teachers unlock potential
And let go the reins
Mrs A - TA for National Poetry day 3/10/19
My job every day
Is as a TA,
In a school that I love to work in.
I read and I write
Make shoelaces tight,
Give stickers for litter in bin.
Displays are my thing
I normally sing,
As I work round the school all day.
I love helping all learn
So housepoints they earn,
And encourage the Heatherlands Way.
Most important of all
I rush to the call,
Of children in all kinds of need.
It is always a pleasure
Each child is a treasure,
Each one a wonderful seed!
All of the children's English work is linked to a wide range of high quality texts by a range of classic and modern authors.
English national curriculum:
At Heatherlands Primary School we follow a pre-cursive handwriting scheme with lead in and lead out lines. Children are taught to begin joining their handwriting from Year 1. Children will begin to use handwriting pens from Year 4.
At Heatherlands Primary School we follow the no-nonsense spelling programme inline with the National Curriculum. Children have spellings they need to learn at home on a weekly basis which they are then tested on at school. Children in Key Stage 2 also follow the cued spelling programme.
Spelling list link:
Annual Spellathon Event
At Heatherlands we have an effective and fun spelling award program called the Spellathon whereby our pupils can learn to spell tricky words at home and be awarded with bronze, silver and gold achievement badges. The Spellathon event runs in parallel to the pupils’ regular phonics and spelling activities.
There are three Spellathon event days over a chosen half term. The Spellathon event will be held on three separate days during different weeks where our pupils can go for their achievement badges of bronze then silver and finally be awarded our prestigious gold award.
Each of our pupils are given their own group Spellathon word lists to get into training with. Each of the words lists will be split into bronze, silver and gold award levels. Children will be encouraged to learn all of the spellings for the achievement badge they hope to go for. They are tested on a random number of words from the word list shared and need to get a certain number correct to be awarded their Spellathon achievement badge.
These words lists can be found on our Heatherlands school website within our children's section for their Year group area. Website address: https://www.heatherlands.poole.sch.uk/class-pages/
Throughout the school year there are various phonics, reading and writing workshops available for you to attend. Details of these will be sent to you by letter.
Advice for hearing your child read and spell: