Our Approach to the Teaching of Writing
Supporting your child with writing in KS2
At Tattingstone Primary School, we know that punctuation and grammar (SPAG) terminology is often difficult to understand so we hope to provide parents with a guide and examples for parents to help their children with SPAG at home.
Below is an overall outline of all the SPAG terms children will need to know in primary school with definitions and examples of these. Plus, there are specific SPAG expectations for each particular year group. To help your children practise, encourage them to write stories at home using different punctuation and grammar (see below for story inspiration).
Following our visit from James Campbell, the author of 'Boyface', the children have been inspired to write stories and we hope they can continue their writing at home too. Writing stories are a fun activity for children to improve their writing, try out their SPAG skills and use their imagination.
We have provided parents and pupils with links to a story writing guide; story writing inspiration and websites that will give you story titles and allow you to create characters and settings. Encourage your child to use as many SPAG features as they can for their year group.
Examples of the KS2 Expected Standard
The government have provided examples of writing for KS2 to identify the language, punctuation and grammar that needs to be included to be successful at different levels (working towards expected level, expected level and working at greater depth level). All SPAG features are highlighted in different genres of writing. Please see the link below.
Our Approach to the Teaching of Reading
At Tattingstone we believe in fostering an interest and pleasure in reading which continues to develop as the children learn to read confidently and independently.
The school follows the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme throughout the school, teaching pupils in 'phonic families' to suit their ability for between 20 - 30 minutes per day. All children take part in daily quiet reading, either independently or with an adult, as well as guided reading sessions whereby a group of pupils share a book with an adult. Within school pupils read the Read, Write, Inc. fiction and non-fiction books which accompany the phonics scheme. However, all pupils are issued with a reading book to take home and share with an adult, these come from a variety of schemes, which ensures the pupils are provided with a variety of choice at parallel levels. Pupils are also introduced to an extensive selection of children's literature from a variety of authors.
As pupils become more competent in their reading they are able to access the Accelerated Reader programme. Children are assessed to gauge which level of books they should read. Pupils are then issued with books at the appropriate level. When they have read the book they take a quiz on the computer to judge their understanding, or comprehension of the book. As pupils improve and read towards the upper end of their range they are re-assessed and they are able to choose books from a more difficult range.
We are in the process of creating a new library which is fully stocked of books which are not on the Accelerated Reader programme. Once the library is up and running children will be able to come and take out books.
In Key Stage 2, as 'learning to read' becomes 'reading to learn', pupils are exposed to an ever widening range of material in order to promote enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Shared reading, together with shared writing, continues to be a feature of the reading programme.
How will I know if a book has an Accelerated Reader quiz?
To know which quizzes are on Accelerated Reader (AR), visit the AR BookFinder website: www.arbookfind.co.uk. Here you can conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes.
Please bear in mind that just because a child can read the words in a book this does not mean the content is appropriate. The interest level of the material must be considered. Interest level is based on content- a book’s themes and ideas- and indicates for which age group a book is appropriate. The chart below shows which ages fall into each interest level.
LY- Lower Years
MY- Middle Years
UY- Upper Years
Ages 14 and above
These are recommendations. It is the responsibility of teachers and parents to use their best judgement when guiding children to appropriate books.
In most cases, a book’s interest level co-ordinates with its book level. Many books, however, have a low book level but are appropriate for upper years and vice versa. For example, both Oscar, Cat-About-Town by James Herriot and Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman have a book level of 4.0 since both books have short sentences and vocabulary that is simple. Noughts & Crosses is intended for older pupils; therefore, it is tagged as Upper Years, while Oscar, Cat-About-Town is tagged as Lower Years.
If your child independently reads a book at home, (a book not provided by the school), and the book is on the Accelerated Reader system, your child will be able to take a comprehension quiz at school based on that book. Your child will need to have the home book with them in school when they take the quiz, to ensure that the quiz offered is based on the same edition of the book.
At Tattingstone Primary School we use the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) teaching sequences. The lesson plans use high quality books to teach children the various English skills in line with the National Curriculum expectations. Each teacher selects two or three books over a half term to focus on. Within each teaching sequence, will provide children with the opportunity to write several different genres e.g. a story, a letter, a newspaper report.
Year 5 & 6 read ‘The Silver Donkey’ in the autumn term and write stories in response to the text. They also read some modern poetry and prepared poems of their own to read aloud. The class also learned about the WW2 Poets – Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon & Rupert Brookes. In the spring term the children learned how to write a persuasive letter, short story (with a blurb) and hold a debate.
In the autumn term, Years 2 ,3 and 4 read ‘The Promise’ which focused on diary writing and newspaper reports. In the spring term, ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ was the book that inspired the children to write stories and learn about information texts. They also wrote Haiku style poetry.
For Years 1 & 2, in the autumn term they read ‘The Magic Finger’ and ‘Claude in the City’. Both these stories involved writing about what might happen next and included writing their own version of Claude in the City. In the spring term class read ‘The Story Tree’ and ‘The Sweetest song’. Children created a story mountain to show the main events in the story and then they rewrote the story in the correct order. After that the children were then given the opportunity to write their own version of the story. This summer term they are working with ‘The Puffins book of fantastic first poems’. Children are learning to recite a variety of poems and then changing words to make their own versions.
The reception class have been engaged in daily Read Write Inc sessions. In the spring term they used the book “Oh No, George!’ to write their own extension of the story and learn about dogs and their behaviour. This term, the children have been reading the book ‘Yucky Worms’; finding out facts about worms and how helpful they are in the garden.
Tilly, a PAT Dog
We are fortunate to have Tilly, a PAT Dog, visit Tattingstone CVECP School each week to listen to children read.
Tilly provides reassurance to nervous readers, encourages positive social behaviours, enhances self-esteem, motivates speech and inspires children to have fun whilst reading. To find out more about PAT Dogs, visit the Pets As Therapy website; http://petsastherapy.org/what-we-do/read2dogs/
Our recent visit from James Campbell - Author
Recently we had James visit and what a success it was. Children were fully engaged and laughing for a considerable amount of the time. He was certainly very inspirational and children came out of the sessions buzzing. Some comments from the children included how hilarious James was, he was amazing and we didn't stop laughing.
James is a comedian and has published several books funny books including 'Boy Face and the Quantum Chromatic Disruption Machine', 'Boy Face and the Tartan Badger' and 'Boy Face and the Uncertain Ponies' and children have certainly enjoyed listening to these (Each class reading a different one)
Below are some comments about James and a link to his website.
Here is his website;
“I’m told that I am not like other author visits. I do talk about my books, of course, but only in such a way that I can inspire the children in their own writing. For me, the most important thing is to show the children that they can do it too. I was brought up in a council house in Cambridgeshire. I went to a normal school and no one else in my family was a writer. If I can become a successful, published author then any of your children can. In fact, any of your children can do anything. I mix this kind of motivational speaking with discussion of techniques that they can actually apply to their school work. This combination and making sure that everyone is laughing while they learn is what, I think, makes my work so well received.” James Campbell
We are pleased to announce that the Team Tattingstone Spellers won 'Last Team Standing' at the East Bergholt High School Spelling Bee on Wednesday 21st March. The Yr4,5 & 6 children showed great confidence and resilience as they stood on stage and spelt out tricky words, competing against 8 other local primary schools. We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved. Well done TTS!
Quote from a parent:-
Thanks for organising the Spelling Bee this morning, it was a really good morning and nice to do something completely different! My daughter was so pleased and proud to have been brave enough to get up there and do it. She said " I almost didn't do it mum but I'm so pleased that I did because it was great". Winning a trophy was a bonus too!