At St Clement’s, we want our young people to grow up knowing that writing is an important and deeply satisfying life skill, one that helps them make more sense of themselves and their world, one that helps them to communicate effectively. Much more than a skill, writing is the creativity of each child making themselves known through the role of author; it is a means of describing, pondering on, clarifying, questioning, and celebrating aspects of their lives.
As teachers, we believe:
Language and literacy
We develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for children, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
Children are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
We develop children’s reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Children are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and are encouraged to read for pleasure. We do everything to promote wider reading and set ambitious expectations for reading at home.
Children develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They are taught the correct use of grammar. They build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. The writing they do includes narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.
Children’s command of vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. Teachers, therefore, develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on children’s current knowledge. They increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously, they teach children to make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, children expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. We take care to ensure that children are conversant with the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.