Children write every day in Year 2. The children’s writing may be based on the stories, poems or non-fiction books that we are reading or on our cross curricular themes. For example during our ‘London’ topic we wrote letters to the Queen, poems and settings. We also travelled back in time to ‘Story Land’ where we visited Elizabethan London and Georgian London. We couldn’t believe the putrid smell from the River Thames when we landed there!
During our visits to ‘Story Land’ we have also met characters from the past such as Blackbeard the pirate and Samuel Pepys. We have also met characters from stories such as Winnie the Witch. It was very exciting and we got to ask them lots of questions about their lives.
For each piece of writing the children have a writing ladder. Both the teacher and the children use the ladder to assess the piece of writing, looking for what is good and what the children could improve. The teachers highlight the successful points in pink and areas to work on in yellow. The children self-assess in green and peer assess in orange. The children love to be ‘tickled pink’ and understand that the yellow highlighting are points that they need to work on. Each day the children are given time to make these improvements after the teacher has marked their work.
Each child has an individual writing target which they work on in all our lessons not just our literacy lessons. This ensures that the children understand that these skills are transferrable.
At St Mary’s C.P School we believe that learning to read, write and spell are one of the most important skills that children will learn in school. For those children that find literacy difficult we run an ELS programme. ELS is a small group intervention. A teaching assistant delivers the group sessions in close collaboration with the class teacher, which is essential for successful application of the programme (DfES, 2007).
The ELS programme consists of planned, systematic sessions (DfES, 2007). The sessions focus on supporting and developing children’s phonological skills, helping them to link sounds to graphemes, decode words and subsequently improve their reading, spelling and writing.