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Whitstable Junior School

Whitstable Junior School

Learning today for life tomorrow


Our Teaching Philosophy

The development of writing cannot be seen in isolation from reading, speaking and listening/drama. The best writers are the best readers - we read as writers and write as readers! Strategies for writing, speaking and listening/drama therefore form an integral part of our whole school approach to literacy. 

Writing is essentially a combination of many skills and has therefore, many different elements. These include handwriting, spelling, punctuation, grammar and an ability to compose for understanding and effect with a range of different audiences and for different purposes.

Children need to have developed a wide ranging vocabulary to be effective writers, to have creativity, imagination and good speaking and listening skills.

Life experience, exposure to ideas, books, places and events also contribute to a child's ability to become a good writer.

English is taught daily, usually during one of the morning sessions and at the same time across the whole school. This allows us to run a wide range of Read Write Inc teaching groups at the same time. It also is taught across the curriculum as an intrinsic part of the broad curriculum we offer.

The ‘Read,Write Inc’ approach is used for the teaching of phonics, reading skills and spelling. The texts of ‘Read,Write Inc’ are used in lower groups in Lower School and ‘Freshstart’- part of ‘Read,Write Inc’ is used in lower groups in Upper School. The ‘Text- based ‘ cycle is adapted to these books.

We expect children to do at least one piece of extended writing each week either through the Literacy units or as part of the wider curriculum.

As Literacy is an intrinsic part of the school curriculum, wherever possible we link our teaching of Literacy to the topics being studied in other areas of the curriculum.

We use rich texts to teach reading and writing in the four different genres: Writing to Entertain; Writing to Inform; Writing to Persuade and Writing to Discuss (Years 5 and 6 only).

We encourage the use of Talk Partners (TTYP – talk to your partner) to share ideas for writing and orally rehearse sentences. Shared writing is used to model writing and develop compositional and grammar skills together before the children go on to work independently.

Children are also encouraged to edit their work, either independently or with a partner. They use green pen to show where they have corrected or improve their work. This is linked to the use of STEPs sheets which the children use to assess their use of SPAG skills in their independent writing.