Below you will find information about how English is taught at Whiteknights, including: Reading, Writing, Spelling and Handwriting.
A Whiteknights writer will be confident in communicating their ideas and thoughts, drawing on their broad knowledge and quality experiences. They are encouraged to take pride in their writing, develop the ability to write and speak clearly and to select vocabulary to suit a range of audiences and purposes.
How is writing taught at Whiteknights?
We use a Talk for Writing approach from Reception to Year 6. This enables children to become fluent, confident writers by exploring high-quality texts with a focus on language and structure before writing their own version. Pupils learn to write for a range of purposes and develop knowledge of a number of text types. The writing curriculum is closely linked with other areas of the curriculum which enables them to write effectively for a range of audience by drawing on their broad knowledge and vocabulary of a topic. Pupils’ knowledge of grammar is strengthened through both discrete teaching and by being embedded in all areas of the English curriculum.
How is writing assessed?
Hot Tasks are used from Year 1 as a way for pupils to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. These are written at the end of the final phase of a unit; pupil have the opportunity to draft, edit and publish a piece of writing which they feel proud of. These are then used by teachers to assess against the National Curriculum.
How can I support my child?
- Creative writing (writing short stories)
- Using opportunities to write about shared experiences (diary or letter writing)
- Writing shopping lists
- Practising writing their name
- Opportunities for drama and role play
- Opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills (having quality discussions)
Early Years and Key Stage 1 - Phonics
We use Read Write Inc. as a Phonics scheme at Whiteknights and we are very proud to have been awarded 'Model School' status since 2016. This was an acknowledgement of the quality of teaching and for our pupil attainment.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1 we use the Read Write Inc scheme to assist in the teaching of phonics. We make use the RWI ‘bookbag’ books that match the phonics the children are learning in school each week. This book resource provides a varied choice of writing styles, genres and artwork styles at every level, enabling the children to become confident readers.
Useful resources for Early Years and KS1:
Year 2 through to Year 6
Pupils in Year 2 through to Year 6 have a dedicated half hour of Guided Reading at the start of each day. Guided Reading books have been chosen to complement the topics pupils are studying within foundation subjects and may also link to the genre pupils are learning about in English lessons.
To further develop a love of reading, teachers read to their classes at the end of most days for 10 minutes.
Learning how to spell is a useful lifelong skill. Correct spelling makes a child's work easier to read and understand, and children themselves take pride in being able to spell words accurately. If children are confident in their ability to spell, they are more likely to use more ambitious vocabulary in their writing rather than avoiding less familiar words simply because they are unable to spell them.
How is spelling taught at Whiteknights?
We use the Read, Write Inc. Spelling programme to teach spelling from Years 2-6. This is an interactive and engaging programme which teaches children the rules and patterns of spelling; there is also a focus on irregular spelling patterns which need to be memorised. Pupils are taught spelling in a daily session of approximately 15 minutes.
To ensure that all children have a firm foundation for spelling, each year group will begin by learning the previous year?s programme in addition to the current year (for example: Year 4 will be taught the Year 3 and Year 4 spelling programme this year).
How is spelling assessed?
Memorising spelling for a weekly spelling test can be stressful, and often children are unable to apply accurate spelling of these words to their writing. Because spelling is taught and rehearsed daily, children will not be given lists of spellings to learn for a test. Instead, children will have a list of personalised spellings for them to practise each week. Their ability to spell these words accurately will be checked during a weekly Log and Learn session. Any spellings that the pupil is not yet confident in will be carried over to the next week's spelling list; when a pupil is confident with the spelling of a word, that word will be replaced by a new word on their spelling list.
Assessment throughout a unit will be ongoing and children will be logging spellings that they find difficult. More formal assessment of spelling will take place every 6 weeks.
How can I support my child?
Parents can help support their children by regularly practising the words in their child's spelling list. Pupils will have their words written on a Spelling Log sheet in their Home Learning Diary:
Some other useful strategies include:
Ask your child whether the word follows a rule, or if it is one of those tricky words (in the scheme they are **"orange" words) which doesn't fit the rules.
If it is an "orange" word, ask them if they have thought of a good way of remembering it. Can they point to the letters that are the tricky ones? Can they use a rhyme or mnemonic to help them? Is there a funny way to say the word that helps them remember it?
Ask them if the word has a prefix or a suffix. Can they find the root word? Can they explain the rules for adding the prefix or suffix?
Check that your child knows what the word means. Ask them to use it in a sentence ? this might be spoken rather than written at first, to check that they understand.
**The National Curriculum outlines word-lists for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Within RWI Spelling, these words are referred to as Orange Words and are taught alongside the weekly spelling rule.
You can view the word lists by clicking on the lists below.
Our Handwriting Policy outlines how we teach handwriting at school.
We have invested in a handwriting program called Letter-join to help the children with their cursive writing.
Any of our pupils wishing to practise their handwriting at home can now log in to the Letter-join website on iPads and tablets as well as desktop and laptop computers. There you will find the same, easy-to-use handwriting resources as we use at school.
DESKTOP AND LAPTOP LOG-IN
Simply go to www.letterjoin.co.uk and log in using the desktop log-in boxes. Log-in details will be supplied to you by staff.
Letter-join will work on the following browsers on PCs:
- Google Chrome
The developers do not recommend using Internet Explorer for Letter-join.
IPAD AND TABLET LOG-IN
Go to www.letter-join.co.uk and select the Tablet Login button. Log in using details that will be supplied to you by a member of staff.
Letter-join will run on the following tablets:
- iPads running at least iOS7 through the Safari browser,
- Windows 8 tablets (8 inch and bigger) using the built-in browser,
- Android tablets (8 inch and bigger) using Google Chrome, Firefox or Opera
Once logged-in, you will be able to watch how to form all the letters of the alphabet using the same style that we use at school. You can then trace over the letters and words on your tablet and print out the worksheets from your PC for real handwriting practice.
We are limited to the number of users who can log in to this account, so please only log in with this username and password/swipe code for your own personal use.