“Description begins in the writer’s imagination but should finish in the reader’s."
Writing at St Giles
At St Giles, we strive to ensure that children are equipped with the writing skills that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
We teach writing using ‘The St Giles Approach’, employing five main stages in our teaching sequence; immersion, skills, analysis, planning and writing and a high quality fiction, poetry or non-fiction text is used as the vehicle for teaching.
English at St Giles is exciting, engaging and inspiring with many creative activities taking place daily. These have included Ancient Egyptian God or Goddess dress up days to inspire a free verse poem, CCTV videos of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood to begin a sequence all about writing a wanted poster and using different materials to build the Eiffel Tower as part of a chronological explanation text learning sequence.
As the children progress through the school, they receive a rich and varied curriculum, due to high-quality teaching, careful assessment of learning and well-reviewed planning.
Handwriting at St Giles is taught mainly through our spelling lessons. The children are taught to look at relationships between letters, how they look within the word and in upper KS1 and throughout KS2, how they should be joined.
In EYFS, the children begin their writing journey by forming print letters, in line with government recommendations. Teachers use the Little Wandle ‘formation phrases’ to teach accurate formation which helps the children to understand.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)
SPaG is an abbreviation for spelling, punctuation and Grammar. Children are expected to learn these skills from year 1 and in order for a child to reach the required level of knowledge, they must see examples of accurate SPaG and be able to use SPaG accurately in both their English lessons and independently in their writing.
SPaG is weaved through our English curriculum, taught daily. Children are provided with examples of how a chosen aspect of grammar can be used within their focus genre and taught the correct way to use it in their own writing. The same aspect of grammar can be used in multiple genres, meaning that over each academic year, the children are able to recall previously taught knowledge and build upon it.
To help at home, please take a look at our Grammar Glossaries under the Parent tab - helping your child to learn.
In KS1, spelling is taught using our Little Wandle phonics programme, with particular focus on the ‘grow the code’ chart. This enables the children to see the different ways in which a grapheme or phoneme can be represented and helps them to see how they can select the correct one.
In KS2, spelling ‘The St Giles Way’ is consists of 4 short burst lessons a week, lasting approximately 10-15 minutes each. Our revised approach focusses on different graphemes that make the same sound, enabling children to understand when it is appropriate to use each one which is a direct progression from teaching in KS1.
Each Monday we will send home the ‘spelling card’ which includes the graphemes or patterns that will be studied that week, along with some word examples, other words to focus on and a handy ‘hint’ to help the children understand why it is used in this way.
In each lesson, the children will recap previous graphemes or spelling patterns before moving on to analysing and investigating, handwriting, a partner quiz to check understanding and a fun spelling game. They will then complete a ‘quiz’ each Friday where teachers will quiz the children on some of the words from the ‘spelling card’ plus some other words which use the week’s focus graphemes or patterns.
At St Giles, we understand that reading, phonics, spelling, handwriting and SPAG should all have an equal focus in order for children to be given the right tools for writing.