We believe writing skills are vital to the development of children and recognise the importance of cultivating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. A range of genres are studied and promoted and a range of writing opportunities are offered. Our broad and balanced curriculum offers rich, quality stimuli which are used as inspiration for writing as well as providing the best opportunities to broaden and improve children’s understanding of vocabulary. We want to inspire children to be confident in the arts of speaking and listening and can use discussion to develop their learning.
It is our intention that by the time children leave Gosbecks Primary School, they have a thorough grasp of literacy skills which will give our children the tools they need to prepare them for their future life.
Our children as writers are encouraged to:
- develop enjoyment and pleasure in writing
- spell quickly and accurately through a knowledge and understanding of phonics, word structure, spelling patterns and word recognition
- develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation using legible, correctly formed and (eventually) speedy handwriting. Children are taught to use ‘joined’ handwriting from year 1 onwards.
- develop, articulate and communicate ideas, organising them coherently for a reader, with clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
- use grammar correctly, building on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use.
- know and use grammar terminology to talk about their writing and how it helps a reader to understand and enjoy what they have written.
- write fluently across a range of genres mapped within our curriculum, for a range of real purposes and audiences
- understand the skills and processes that are essential for writing: thinking aloud and re-reading their writing to check their meaning is clear
- plan, revise and evaluate their writing
- provide opportunities to develop the four strands speaking and listening: speaking, listening, group discussion and drama
- provide a model of speakers and listeners through day-to-day interactions
- articulate their ideas and provide purposes and audiences for talk.
- encourage conversations and opinions and respect the views of others
- provide opportunities to perform to a larger audience, in assemblies and productions
- developing the ability to listen with attention and understanding asking and responding to questions appropriately
- provide a range of experiences where children can work collaboratively through role play, hot-seating, drama and discussions.
English is taught in a carefully developed sequence of learning, ensuring that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for their age group. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities ensuring that a range of genres are covered. Teachers follow the teaching sequence of writing: read, analyse, plan, write and review and plan stimulating lessons which incorporate ICT, Talk for Writing, collaborative learning, and provide a motivation and purpose to write. Teachers begin by deciding on the skills that they want to teach the children based on formative and summative assessment, following the English progression documents to ensure progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. A variety of recommended texts are used to plan, structure and teach English lessons and a WAGOLL, which showcases the main features of the chosen genre, is created/used based on the main writing outcome and forms the main part of the learning journey and where relevant makes cross-curricular links with current topics being studied. This immerses them in the genre and teachers will always strive to connect purposeful writing opportunities to the topic. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high-quality writing from each child.
- Whole school teaching of English takes place daily – this is inclusive of opportunities for the teaching of reading, writing in a range of different styles and genres, opportunities for speaking and listening, and dedicated sessions for grammar, handwriting and spellings
- Use of guided writing sessions to model writing skills, teaching children how to compose, amend and revise their writing. Use of elements of ‘Talk for writing’ approach.
- Celebration of writing using the newsletter to publish children’s work online/ and or displaying work on the golden board give their writing a purpose and audience, also providing home/school links and motivation for writing.
- Teach grammar and punctuation in the context of children’s own writing, as well as through weekly discrete lessons.
- Teach strategies for spelling to enable children to become confident and competent spellers. Weekly use of Sir Linkalot and spelling frame to support this.
- Use of Cambridge Penpals to support teaching of handwriting weekly begins with mark-making and patterns at EYFS and ending with joined handwriting at the end of year 6. Individual letter joins are taught with the leader feeder cursive style.
- ‘Live’ feedback given to the children about their learning which enables them to adjust their learning based on the instant feedback provided by teacher and LSA’s.
In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessment grids in the children’s writing journals are used as on-going records to monitor progress
- Children in EYFS are assessed through adult led activities and observations.
- Summative assessments each term; NFER National Standardised GPS tests.
- End of Key stage SATs results.
- Target tracker is used to track the performance of writing termly. Children who are not on track are identified for interventions in standards meetings
- Writing journals show evidence of high-quality writing across a range of forms both guided and independent.
- All pupil books show high expectations for quality writing.
- Moderation of writing takes place within school and within the consortium of schools throughout the year.
These help us to ensure that our children are on track and if not intervention is quickly planned to support these children to make better progress.
All our teachers are trained and supported to improve their practice through CPD opportunities, regular staff meeting updates, peer review and subject leader support.
Writing in our school shows progression, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Termly formal assessments and continued teacher assessments of each child’s progress is measured. By the time our children are in upper Key Stage 2, all genres of writing are familiar to them and teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, retaining the knowledge taught and interdependently applying this, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
With this embedded approach our children are able to accomplish a rounded understanding of English enabling them to apply their skills to their future endeavours. We promote a love of reading and writing whereby children want to read and write spontaneously, are confident to take risks in their writing and become enthusiastic writers who enjoy showcasing their literacy knowledge and skills.