Subject leads: 

Writing: Mrs Burgess & Mrs Wright

Reading: Miss Allenden & Mrs Wild

Phonics: Mrs Buttery

At Whitby Heath, oral language development plays a critical role in literacy because it provides the foundation for reading and writing. As children acquire more words and learn to use them in meaningful ways, they are better able to understand and use written language. Therefore, closing the vocabulary gap is a priority. We aim to make children word aware and enable them to develop these skills through rigorous teaching of ambitious tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary, both in spoken and written work.

We are currently in a transition phase of weaving an approach called 'Talk for Writing' into our writing curriculum. This approach gives children opportunities to 'talk texts', based on the thinking and creative processes involved in ‘being a writer’.  There is a focus on oral learning of model texts and the oral development of new versions so that children internalise the language patterns that they need for writing. The explicit explorations of these processes, through supportive talk and shared thinking, enables our children to build confidence in writing and become more independent writers. Fun, engaging and purposeful prewriting activities, grammar games, drama and role play help to bring stories alive and make experiences memorable. We also use Pathways for Reading & Writing. 

Our Reception classes follow the Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework and Years 1- 6 follow the National Curriculum for Reading & Writing. By providing a rich, varied reading spine in each year group we aim for all writing to start with high quality texts.  We endeavour to enhance intrinsic motivation, so that all children see themselves as readers and writers. 

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