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English 2014 curriculum - very confused

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lola1982, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. lola1982

    lola1982 New commenter


    Please can someone help. Our school have just started using this (I teach in an international school in Europe) and we've been given no training on it but told to start planning using it.

    We've been told that it is a skills based, not genre based curriculum and so I can't plan for example a 2 week unit on play scripts - as that is genre based. Instead, we've been told to choose a text and teach skills using that text. I understand this - but what if I want the final written outcome to be a play script? Traditionally, using the old curriculum, we'd have looked at play scripts, drawn out the features, planned and written one together etc but I'm being told I can't do this now. How do I get them to write a play script without actually spending some time looking at one?!

    Can anyone point me in the direction of some sample plans so I can see how this works? I've had a quick look but everything I can see is split up into for e.g. 'Recounts - 2 weeks' which I'm being told is not allowed :(

    Thank you!
  2. michaelt1979

    michaelt1979 Occasional commenter

    There are no rules saying you *can't* teach a text type. In fact, I'd imagine it would be pretty hard for the children ever to learn to write properly if you didn't in some form. In fact, some objectives almost require you to. For example, in Year 3/4, children should be taught to

    and in Year 5/6, they should be taught to:

    That said, I am the first to say that the old method of spending 2 weeks on each text type was not a great approach. I always recommend spending longer periods on several similar texts. I group them using the old GCSE writing triplets, so we only teach 4 main writing groups:

    • Writing to inform (newspapers, reports, recounts, etc.)
    • Writing to persuade (adverts, letters, etc.)
    • Writing to discuss (reviews, balanced arguments, etc.)
    • Writing to entertain (fiction, poetry, etc.)

    That way, rather than a disjointed long list of features, children start to recognise similarities and differences across a whole range of texts - and you can spend longer on them. So, for example, we might spend half a term on writing to inform, in which we might write a non-fiction report about a planet, then a newspaper report about the moon landings, and finally a biography of Neil Armstrong. There are lots of similarities between these different text types because they're all about writing to inform so often include common features such as subheadings, time connecting phrases, etc.

    By spending longer on the group, rather than flitting from one to another, you can really embed some of the key aspects, and also draw out some of the more subtle nuances, rather than children thinking that every text must fall into a single category.

    I have blogged in a bit more detail about this here:


  3. lola1982

    lola1982 New commenter

    TThank you so much for this. Our head told us that in any given week we might end up teaching int=structions, poetry, fiction and information texts, for example, as we would be teaching skills associated with them rather than the texts themselves. I can't get my head around it! I will take a look at your blog and thank you again for your reply.

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