Welcome to Archaeology and the National Curriculum: Part 3. To catch up, read ‘Can the whole of the National Curriculum be taught through Archaeology?’ and ‘Archaeology and the National Curriculum: Part 2’. So, where am I up to? Ah, yes! KS1 English, En3 Writing.
Under the heading ‘Knowledge, skills and understanding’, the first category for writing is Composition.
As part of this, pupils should be taught a number of things that can be undertaken with reference to learning about the past or through taking part in archaeological activities. For example, the objective a. use adventurous and wide-ranging vocabulary can be encouraged when writing about the past, describing visits to heritage sites or taking part in other archaeological activities, such as a workshop. In this way, children will also be able to b. sequence events and recount them in appropriate detail, and c. put their ideas into sentences. Likewise, as they do this they can be taught to d. use a clear structure to organise their writing.
In order to fulfil the next objective – e. vary their writing to suit the purpose and reader – children can be asked to write, for example, a leaflet describing an archaeological site designed for visitors to the site, such as that illustrated below, created by a pupil of Curbar Primary School about the site of Arbor Low in the Peak District. They could also be asked to write a short story about the past designed for children in Reception, a ‘police’ report describing evidence found as part of a ‘time detectives’ topic, or even try their hand at persuasive writing to encourage tourists to a particular Heritage attraction in their local town.
As they embark on such activities, children will necessarily be introduced to other examples of writing and will be able to f. use the texts they read as models for their own writing.
‘Planning and drafting’ is the next category. Whilst children embark on the suggested activities to fulfil the objectives for composition, they can be taught to…
a. write familiar words and attempt unfamiliar ones
b. assemble and develop ideas on paper and on screen
c. plan and review their writing, discussing the quality of what is written
d. write extended texts, with support [for example, using the teacher as writer].
Likewise, using archaeology and the past as the context, pupils can be taught the objectives relating to punctuation:
a. how punctuation helps a reader understand what is written
b. the connections between punctuation and sentence structure, intonation and emphasis
c. to use capital letters, full stops, question marks and to begin to use commas.
a. write each letter of the alphabet
b. use their knowledge of sound-symbol relationships and phonological patterns [for example, consonant clusters and vowel phonemes]
c. recognise and use simple spelling patterns
d. write common letter strings
e. spell common words
f. spell words with common prefixes and inflectional endings
g. check the accuracy of their spelling, using word banks and dictionaries
h. use their knowledge of word families and other words
i. identify reasons for misspellings.
to handwriting and presentation:
a. how to hold a pencil/pen
b. to write from left to right and top to bottom of a page
c. to start and finish letters correctly
d. to form letters of regular size and shape
e. to put regular spaces between letters and words
f. how to form lower- and upper-case letters
g. how to join letters
h. the importance of clear and neat presentation in order to communicate their meaning effectively.
and to understanding standard English and the structure of language:
a. how word choice and order are crucial to meaning
b. the nature and use of nouns, verbs and pronouns