The Wye Forest Federation (WFF)
Overview to approach
In the Wye Forest Federation, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through our English curriculum, we support children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language, equipping them with the skills they need to become lifelong learners.
Reading at WFF
Our approach to reading encourages the children to develop a love of reading alongside using a quality-assured scheme, Cracking Comprehension, to ensure children experience the breath of the reading curriculum that provides the children with a nurturing level of challenge and a tangible evidence base of attainment.
Each year, children are immersed in a wide collection of carefully selected texts, ranging from books from differing cultures, children’s classics, themes based on science and foundation subjects, poetry and play scripts to modern day fiction. In addition to a wide range of fiction, children access and interact with non-fiction texts through their enquiry-led learning.
Oracy underpins our entire reading process whether it is learning, practicing and enhancing our reading aloud; engaging in class discussion and debate around themes, characters or writer’s choices to performing poetry or play scripts.
Writing at WFF
At the WFF we adopt a Try, Use, Prove mastery approach to teaching writing which concentrates on starting with raw basic skills (through a purposeful and engaging context), drilling them and practicing the isolated skill (Try It), then giving children a wide range of opportunities to apply those skills in a variety of writing opportunities (Use It) and writer’s licence is given through the completely independent selection of task and stimuli (Prove It). This enables children to focus on individual skills before needing to consider the wider toolkit of writing; this greatly enables writers with previous low-confidence to flourish. As children embed a skill over the course of unit of lessons, learning is remembered and application of previously-taught skills are systemic. The mastery approach encourages a depth of understanding, encourages application of skills in more than one way and exercises metacognition in the writing process.
Precise and effective modelling, application opportunities, strong AfL strategies and live feedback are key to the Try, Use, Prove approach to writing. Children’s oracy around their writing – considering audience and purpose, unpicking other writer’s choices, verbalising their own choices as writers and discussion about their and others’ writing – forms an integral part of their writing journey.
The immersive stimuli and contexts for writing include the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches, such as role-play, hot-seating, freeze-framing, conscience alley, reader's theatre, story mapping and writing in role.
Children receive targeted teaching of a spelling through ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ and are tested on these spellings weekly.
Our home learning expectations supports the children learning and retention of spelling and developing or enhancing their reading aloud, as well as comprehension skills.