We believe that all pupils should be able, irrespective of background or ability, to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately, coherently, and creatively, adapting their language and style for a range of meaningful contexts, purposes and audiences.
Handwriting, spelling and grammar will be explicitly taught to ensure that children are able to understand the conventions of writing and manipulate language to create effects for the reader.
We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing. From Y1, children will learn the cursive script and will present their writing in a variety of ways and write for a variety of genres for both English lessons and the wider curriculum. Through our carefully sequenced programme children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.
Our children are taught to meet the expectations of the National Curriculum:
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
Implementation – what happens
The journey to being an effective writer begins in Nursery. We fully understand that before our children can be expected to pick up a pencil and engage in refined fine motor tasks, they must first become confident and proficient in whole body, gross motor movements; running, jumping, climbing, crawling – the fundamental movement skills. The journey to the page begins in our carefully designed, physically enabling Early Years environments, where our children are encouraged to learn through movement; the physical language of learning.
Throughout Nursery and Reception children learn through carefully considered play opportunities that foster purposeful and progressive social interaction and ultimately, language; the next step in writing development. Before children can write, they must talk. We foster a language rich provision, where all adults’ model ‘talk’, recognising that immersing our children in language is a key step on the road to developing our young writers.
As our children develop their ability to make marks on the page and to ascribe meaning to those marks, phonics teaching then leads the way for the next part of the writing journey. Teachers in Early Years and KS1, model daily how to write (and read) different letters and sounds, building up to increasingly complex words, captions, sentences and beyond.
Our English curriculum has reading at the heart of it, and writing is taught through carefully selected texts that motivate and inspire our children to pick up a pencil and get involved. Writing takes place on a daily basis, with children engaging in small writing activities at the beginning of a new unit of work, rehearsing new content and being guided to assess their own competency. As the unit progresses children are challenged to write at length demonstrating the key skills modelled and discussed during lessons. Their work is assessed each day and children are given personalised next steps tasks to address, enabling them to make constant progress.
From year 1 through to year 6, a piece of independent writing is assessed at the end of each unit of work (typically 2-3 weeks) and at the end of each half term. Teachers use carefully selected criteria to determine each child’s current levels of ability. This then enables us to track each child’s individual progress, and offer further challenge or support where necessary.
Pupils learn pre-cursive handwriting in Year 1 moving to cursive handwriting in Year 2. In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to develop their speed, fluency and presentation of handwriting. Our children are taught to write letters, instructions, reports, recounts, lists, diaries, notes; they are taught to use pencils, pens, keyboards, touchscreens – all in a bid to motivate them, and inspire them to write.
Writing also links on taught content from History, Geography and Science and from the depth study of core texts from the literature spine. Expert subject knowledge is carefully woven into each module, which gives teachers the opportunity to teach and rehearse key knowledge and skills before applying this learning to meaningful extended outcomes. The careful architecture of this curriculum ensures that pupils build on prior learning and maximise purposeful curriculum connections to become writers for life.
During ‘English lessons’, the use of quality differentiated texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum through a combination of approaches/opportunities.
The teaching of writing is central to the success of our curriculum. We want our children to be able to read, write and engage in debates and discussion.
The teaching of English is planned so that learning is sequenced and progressive in the areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
There are four phases to each unit of English:
Phase 1 – At the beginning of a new genre, pupils take part in whole class guided reading. This involves looking at a text more closely, discussing vocabulary, answering a variety of questions and developing inference skills.
Phase 2 – Discovering features of writing and developing sentence work or focusing on a GPS objective.
Phase 3 – Modelling writing and extended writing.
Phase 4 – Editing before writing a final piece.
Teachers use carefully chosen quality texts that support the children’s learning in other subject areas. The texts act as the stimulus to teach pupils to speak and write fluently, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children of all abilities are immersed in high quality literature.