If you are wondering where the next Roald Dahl or Benjamin Zephaniah will come from, the answer could be St. Joseph’s.
Our school is full of budding novelists and poets. We have plenty of aspiring playwrights and journalists too. On any given day, children might be reporting on rare plants in the Amazon or the discovery of a new Gruffalo footprint. Some will be corresponding with their constituents, eager to win a few more votes. Others could be preparing their debating notes. Is Harry Potter a true hero? Now there’s an interesting question!
We encourage our children to explore newspapers, design advertisements, write scripts and keep up a diary. We want to nurture within them a life-long love of writing, not only because it is stimulating and enjoyable, but also to help them enthusiastically talk, perform and positively engage with a range of subjects across the curriculum.
Our children are taught how to gather ideas and develop core skills, such as drafting, editing and revising. They are taught grammar, punctuation and spelling. They are skilled in the importance of good handwriting so that their finished work is legible and attractive. All of this prepares them well for the demands of secondary school.
Since 2021 we have been using The Write Stuff programme to really develop our students’ creative writing. The programme is carefully structured and learning is layered week by week, with children building-up writing skills daily. It involves teacher modelling to demonstrate effective writing, collaborative work and a chance for pupils to edit work to further improve.
We believe our young writers need to experience the world beyond the classroom. Each year-group will visit a London theatre and participate in a workshop. We encourage parents to join us on those trips to see how immersed the children are in these productions. Currently, we are working with The Young Shakespeare Company.
Is it too much to hope that we might find the new bard at St Joseph’s? Maybe it could be your son or daughter!
Miss N Bickmore