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Compare English Blocks & Plans

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Hamilton English uses quality texts to promote engaging teaching: weekly plans are sequences of integrated lessons; flexible blocks help you tailor your teaching.

How do you decide which to use - Hamilton's traditional weekly plans or our new flexible blocks?

Flexible blocks

Using Hamilton’s flexible blocks, teachers can easily tailor their teaching, adjusting the length of time they spend on a genre and deciding on what focuses to incorporate within that block. Hamilton’s flexible blocks keep the teacher in control, so that you can plan sequences of lessons specifically tailored to suit the children in your class.

Teaching is organised into themed blocks which centre around key texts and a corresponding genre. Each block comprises of a small number of units which can complement each other and build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. This is particularly useful for teachers wishing to integrate their grammar teaching in a purposeful, meaningful way. (The precise number of days in each unit varies from 2 to 5, depending on the content and how you choose to teach it.) Cumulatively, the units in a block also work together to enable fully integrated teaching of all aspects of English: comprehension, grammar and writing.

The flexible structure of blocks is easy to see at a glance.

The core unit is at the heart of the plan. It introduces the genre and key text and/or features, and there is often a focus on comprehension and speaking and listening. All other units can build from the core unit if you choose them.

You can select from units focused on:

  • Comprehension - these units include word reading and further comprehension activities. Most KS1 and some KS2 units include a Hamilton Group Reader in the resources: simple and engaging texts that can be projected or printed and are pitched at a reading level accessible to most children in the year group.
  • SPAG - these units provide rigorous, integrated, purposeful and fun activities. KS2 units include appealing and clear PowerPoints that lead grammar teaching and are also useful to refresh your own knowledge. There is a balance of explicit teaching, focused tasks and application in a meaningful context.
  • Composition - the last unit in a Block is often an extended writing activity. It provides opportunities for children to secure the learning from the other units and gives a purpose to this learning. Transcription skills such as handwriting and spelling are often found here.

No unit is completely ‘pure’. There is a focus, but often other elements of English teaching are included. Our experience of language is not pure, and the best learning happens when it is purposeful and in context. You can choose to teach all the units in a block or select the best ones for your class. Teacher notes appear on the front page of all unit planning documents to support this flexibility, and any unit can be used independently.

The length of the blocks is fully flexible. Each teacher can select which units from the block to teach and how long to spend on them.

Explore Hamilton's flexible blocks:
Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

English weekly plans

Hamilton’s weekly plans are the right choice for those teachers who want their teaching laid out in a clear sequence of lessons. Lasting two or three weeks, the plans are themed around a key genre and texts. They incorporate reading, writing, grammar, and speaking and listening in an integrated manner, which progresses towards extended writing activities which provide opportunities for children to apply and consolidate their learning in context. Most plans include quality Hamilton Group Readers (KS1) or grammar presentations (KS2) in the resources. The plans assume that each day has been taught so if you teach instruction writing on Thursday, the plan will assume you have taught imperative verbs in the Tuesday lesson.

Explore Hamilton's weekly plans:
Reception | Y R/1 | Y1 | Y1/2 | Y2 |Y2/3 | Y3 | Y3/4 | Y4 | Y5 | Y5/6 | Y6

Your choice

Mastery is not new to Hamilton - and we can help your children achieve it whether you use our new flexible blocks or our adaptable weekly plans.