Wild Literacy and the National Curriculum

Wild Literacy is not about working through and ticking off all the parts of the curriculum; it is a resource to unleash wild creativity with words and help children grow in confidence and ability in a range of literacy skills. Wild Literacy is not about following a neat and designated footpath, but allowing children to roam the wild lands of imagination and creativity. It offers a lot more in the area of creative writing than what is required by the curriculum.

It may be helpful for you however, to know which parts of the National Curriculum are covered by Wild Literacy activities.

The National Curriculum for English/Literacy key stage 1 and 2 (years 1-6) is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335186/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_English_220714.pdf

It is quite long, so I have set out the parts this resource covers.

Areas of the curriculum covered by Wild Literacy activities include story writing, poetry, finding information from non-fiction sources and different forms of communication. The National Curriculum for Literacy sets out a list of general requirements for all year groups in key stage 1 and 2. It then breaks down and extends these general requirements for each year group(s) to make them age and level focused. Wild Literacy is not designed for rigidly structured age or level groups, it is a free and open bank of activities for all ages to use and access as and when they want to. It is therefore not really appropriate to assign specific year group targets/requirements to the different activities. Instead I have set out below general requirements of the curriculum together with extended requirements from different year groups that are covered by various activities. The bullet points are requirements from the National Curriculum for Literacy, some of which I have paraphrased.

Writing

All these different types and purposes of writing are covered throughout a huge range of activities in both the Creative Writing and Topic-Based Literacy Skills sections.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Write narratives about personal experience and those of others (real or fictional)
  • Write about real events
  • Write poetry
  • Write for different purposes
  • Plan or say out loud what they are going to write about by:
    • Writing down ideas and /or key words
    • Discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write
  • Create settings, character and plot
  • Describe settings, characters and atmosphere. Integrate dialogue to convey character and advance the action
  • Read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
  • Identify the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
  • Note and develop initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary
  • In writing narratives, consider how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed

Wild Literacy also covers some of the requirements for Spoken Language and Reading. These are listed below with examples of where Wild Literacy activities touch on these areas.

Spoken language

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on contributions of others

There are several critical thinking activities within this resource that help children to recognise, think through and discuss their own and others’ points of view. You can encourage them to discuss this with you and others, reach a considered opinion of their own and be able to communicate their thoughts either through discussion or written pieces.

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role-play, improvisation and debates
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

There are activities in this resource that give the opportunity to present ideas in different formats including reading a news report, making an episode of Great British Bake Off and Horrible Histories and making a mini audiobook. These types of activity allow your child the chance to try different types of communicating and performance as well as build confidence in presenting their information, point of view and ideas.

Reading

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:
    • Being encouraged to link what read or hear read to their own experiences
    • Becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics
  • Increase familiarity with wide range of books including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our own literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions.

In this resource there are lots of different types of stories to use as inspiration for creative writing. Children will engage with stories from the UK and around the world, from ancient legend and traditional tales (such as fables and fairy stories and tales from Russia and the Caribbean) through to modern stories (such as Harry Potter and David Walliams’ books). Activities provide opportunity to think about their characteristics and how they might relate to our own experiences and ideas.

  • Read and discuss wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books

Lots of activities in this resource encourage children to go fact-finding and motivate them to look through non-fiction and reference books as well as online texts to find information. These can be from historical events, biographies of famous people or to find a recipe or game rules. There is also a section full of tips to help your child read more stories in the Creative Writing section of Wild Literacy. Here you will find lots of different ideas to help different children read more and to enjoy reading.

  • Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read and provide reasoned justifications for their views

Critical thinking activities help children to think about their view on a subject or book and to discuss and share their views in a reasoned way.