We want all children to develop a love of language. We aim to develop our children’s ability to use spoken and written language to communicate effectively – to listen, speak, read and write both in and for a wide range of contexts, purpose and audiences. We aim to inspire and challenge our children, through a safe and happy learning environment, to achieve excellent standards in writing, including all aspects of the National Curriculum objectives for writing.
Our innovative approach to teaching writing is aimed at ensuring that all children, regardless of background, need or circumstance, are inspired, engaged and develop a love of writing. We want our children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a good understanding of grammar in context and to be able to spell new words by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in our school.
We want our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style as necessary. We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing and aim to develop a legible, joined handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We want our children to understand that all good writers refine and edit their writing before producing a final published copy therefore we want our children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in a piece of writing and edit their work during and after the writing process.
We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure that every child can celebrate success.
We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to deliver lessons rich in writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation through our whole school English curriculum where high-quality texts are used to deliver all aspects of the English Curriculum. Each book on the Reading Spine has been carefully chosen to match the National Curriculum reading and writing requirements as well as linking to our wider curriculum, with history, geography, science and social themes specifically covered. This structure provides the children with a deeper understanding of different genres. We think it is important for our children to value the importance of reading to develop and enhance writing and to see a clear purpose and context for writing.
- We teach through using a clear teaching sequence, which builds on children’s prior knowledge and skills, and makes meaningful connections in their writing. This is to ensure that all children, particularly those who are disadvantaged and have gaps are able to access the learning and have opportunities to write frequently, with purpose.
- To equip our children with knowledge and skills they need in order to write in a range of styles and genres
- To inspire a love for writing so that children have a sense of pride when publishing their work
- To enable our children to articulate their learning confidently and to remember knowledge and vocabulary
- To provide a consistent whole school approach to teaching spellings
- To ensure that any gaps in learning, as a result of COVID, are closed and pupils meet age related expectations in writing
- To prepare and inspire our children for further learning in writing in secondary school and beyond
- To ensure that staff are confident in their subject knowledge and the sequence of the curriculum.
Our implementation: Writing
Early writing is taught through early mark making. Then when the children begin phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing CVC words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous and enhanced provision.
From Y1-Y6, the English curriculum is taught by studying the high-quality text from the Reading Spine, from which various writing opportunities are then derived. Each week, the children are taught to develop their understanding, exploring key themes, events, plot or structure of the texts/experience being studied. From the text/experience, children are taught the grammar elements of the NC, corresponding to the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high-quality modelled text (WAGOLL: ‘What a Good One Looks Like’) before progressing to plan, write and edit a written piece which matches the purpose and audience. Children receive regular feedback from both teachers and their peers in the writing process.
We aim to provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment and within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary in all lessons and use our working walls to acquire an understanding of new and unknown words as well as words in our Tier 2 and Tier 3 lists. We use the Twinkl Spelling scheme for children in Y1-6 (Y3-6 in a two-yearly rotation). Children are given weekly words to learn at school and at home in preparation for a spelling test at the end of the week. We adopt a cross-curricular approach throughout the school to enable the skills that are learnt through the English curriculum to be applied in all other subject areas.
- In EYFS writing is taught through discrete phonics teaching and a play-based curriculum. Opportunities for mark marking are provided in all areas of provision with adults regularly encouraging and modelling the purpose of writing. Physical development is a high priority both indoors and outdoors. Children in Reception are provided with writing opportunities in each area of the classroom.
- High-quality core texts are chosen to inspire high quality published writing.
- From Year 1 – Year 6, a 3-stage approach is followed. Pupils are stimulated to write via an ‘Connect, Collect and Create’ approach, utilising techniques from ‘The Write Stuff’, Literacy Shed +, Talk for Writing and Hamilton Trust.
Connect: via a text/ film/experience
- At the analyse stage pupils will be provided with opportunities to study the features of the writing that indicates the purpose of the writing: inform, entertain, persuade or instruct
- Over two-three weeks, children identify key features of a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) identify and collect key vocabulary, learn grammatical skills and then plan, draft, edit and publish high quality writing.
- Each child has the opportunity to study a suitable poem or poems (linked to the topic theme) and write a fiction piece and non-fiction text each half term.
- Writing is a golden thread which runs throughout all of our learning opportunities.
- Keep Up Not Catch Up – progress sweeps ensure that teachers are clear on who is making progress and allows for immediate feedback.
- Pupils have opportunities to respond to feedback and marking to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to meet at least age-related expectations
- We ensure pupils record text modelling and story maps into their book
- Staff mark all writing according to the school marking and feedback policy and provide children with opportunities to edit their work based on their comments
- Pupils have frequent opportunities to observe writing modelled by the teacher
- Pupils have frequent opportunities to participate in shared writing
- Teachers ensure classrooms have ‘Word Walls’ where tier 2 /3 and subject specific vocabulary is captured that supports pupils in extending their vocabulary and this is used regularly in lessons.
- ‘Working Wall’ are available to support children’s writing in each classroom
- Staff allow pupils to ‘magpie’ and record vocabulary/synonyms that they will want to use at a further date
- Teachers provide pupils with writers’ tool kits to identify the language and layout features of fiction and non-fiction texts plus tool kits for the different purposes of writing e.g. persuade
- Children who are working above national expectations are supported through immediate and ongoing feedback throughout writing lessons. Where appropriate, feedback and marking may be used to provide additional opportunities to use greater depth features in their writing.
- Our writing curriculum is ambitious for children with SEND and those who are disadvantaged. Teachers and support staff provide additional adult support, scaffold and resources to ensure that children can access the task set. In addition, feedback and marking response opportunities are used to ensure progress is made.
- Our wider curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities mean that children are provided with a wide range of experiences, which will have a positive impact on their understanding of the wider world and imagination.
- Spellings: We will…
- Ensure pupils receive their spelling teaching by following our spelling progression using the Twinkl Spelling Planning and ensured these are applied throughout the week
- Ensure accurate spelling is expected in pupils’ writing and where errors occur, pupils should at an age-appropriate level correct following NYCC guidance
- Handwriting: We will…
- Ensure all pupils in the EYFS have opportunities for mark making and are taught how to form their letters correctly
- Ensure all children from Summer Term following the Phonic Check in Year 1 onwards are taught to use the cursive handwriting script. All letters start from the same entry point on the line and the pencil should not leave the page for each word
- Ensure that from Year 2 children are expected to use the diagonals for joined writing and begin to join up their writing
- Ensure that all staff model the handwriting cursive script when they write for any purpose within the classroom
- Expected pupils to write in this style of handwriting whenever they write, in all subjects (alternative forms of recording may be suitable for some pupils with handwriting difficulties for more extensive pieces and especially at the drafting part of the process)
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English curriculum in a variety of ways. The quality of writing in English is evaluated by learning walks, drop-ins, ‘pupil voice’ discussions, book looks and summative assessments. This informs the subject leader of the impact of new initiatives as well as future areas for improvement. After monitoring, the subject leader provides feedback to the headteacher/staff and governors and identifies areas for development which is then shared with all staff.
Children at our school will be able to apply the features of different writing genres and styles to their own work and are able to write for different audiences and purposes. All pupils, including the weakest writers, will make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations (where a pupil has an SEN that is hindering progress, expert advice is sought).
The impact of the English curriculum is clearly developing with our revised way of teaching. There is evidence of progress, sustained learning and transferable skills and children are becoming more confident writers. By the time they are in Upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and they are able to apply the skills independently.
- Our pupils are passionate about writing
- Our pupils can access and follow an ambitious writing curriculum that has our vision for exceptionally high expectations as a driver
- Pupils’ standards in books are very strong
- Our end of key stage data is in line with, or above, national benchmarks.
English will be assessed both formally and informally and using Assessment for Learning our planning will adapt to the needs of the pupils.
- 1x per term, each child’s writing should be assessed by highlighting the Writing Checklists to show where evidence of skills is secure. This is generally when a skill has been accurately and independently used 3 times
- Within key stages, moderation of writing should take place prior to data being submitted each term
- Weekly spelling tests and independent writing
- At the end of a unit, children should be given the chance to write an independent piece of writing
Summative assessment - Data to be collected:
- Writing Teacher Assessment (termly)
- SPAG Assessments (termly)