English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
Writing Intent - What Do We Aspire for Our Children?
Writing has an important place in education and in society. It is an essential skill and the ability to write with confidence and accuracy is a tool which will support a child through life. It is our intent that our children understand the social functions of writing in order to use different genres of writing appropriately by considering its purpose and matching it to its audience. Furthermore, it is our intent that every child develops a progressive understanding of grammatical conventions, the way in which punctuation aids understanding and how to apply spelling rules. It is also our intent that all children have a joined, legible and increasingly efficient handwriting style. Through our teaching of writing, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals
At St Anne's Catholic Primary School, the teaching of writing within the English curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become confident and creative writers. Using a Writing Progressive Skills document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out, our teaching ensures our pupils are given the acquired skills and knowledge to further their education journey into KS3 and life beyond the classroom. The Progressive Skills Document is fully compliant with the National Curriculum.
Within the Writing Progressive Skills Document, our progressive objectives identify what pupils should know by the end of each year group and link to prior learning. These enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupil’s knowledge and skills. Within each subject, pupils will develop a deep understanding of key concepts and subject specific disciplinary knowledge which can be used across all aspects of English to organise the substantive knowledge and skills which are taught.. These key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in all areas of the curriculum. The key concepts are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes are firmly embedded within the long-term memory. The expectation is that, by the end of primary school, children will know and understand these key concepts and have the writing skills to be socially and emotionally equipped to enter KS3.
Writing is taught on a daily basis through a structured writing sequence. In daily writing sessions, children are taught different skills with an aim to develop a child who writes with accuracy, confidence and increasing creativity.
These are explored through different text types appropriate to the age and ability of the child.
Composition – Children are taught the structure of different types of text.
Transcription – Children are taught to write legibly and with increasingly accurate spelling.
Within writing sessions, children are taught a range of skills in order for them to develop as confident writers.
Planning – Looking at real texts, children are taught different features of types of text and how to plan both orally and written.
Structure – Children are taught to write cohesively within a range of texts.
Vocabulary – Using awareness of the reader, children are taught to use a range of adventurous language.
Grammar – Children are taught to construct sentences which are grammatically correct.
Punctuation – Children are taught to use accurate and increasingly higher level punctuation including punctuation to create specific effect.
Spelling – In accordance with their age and ability, children are taught different spelling strategies to improve their writing.
Handwriting – Children are taught to form letters correctly according to the school handwriting policy.
In Writing, by the end of EYFS children will:
Be able to write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. They will be able to spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters. It is expected that they will also write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others. Children will show good control and co-ordination in their small movements. They will handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:
Be able to write narratives, both real and fictional. Children will write using past and present tense mostly correctly and consistently. Children will demarcate sentences using capital letters, full stops and question marks most accurately. Children will spell most common exception words correctly. Handwriting will show consistency in letter sizing.
By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:
Be able to write for a range of purposes and audiences showing increasing manipulation of sentence structures. Children will be able to use a range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs. They will select and use grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires. They will use a range of punctuation and maintain tense throughout a piece of writing. Children will spell most words correctly or will be able to use resources quickly and efficiently in order to support spelling. Handwriting will be consistently joined in line with the school policy.
Any child working below their age-related expectation will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives taken from the Curriculum Assessment Toolkit. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.
Characteristics of a Writer
Implementation - How We Will Deliver Our Curriculum
At St Anne's Catholic Primary School, our writing curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan by our highly skilled subject coordinators. This enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support pupil’s retention of knowledge and skills.
We are a Talk for Writing School
Talk for Writing approaches are used from Nursery through to Year 6. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is fundamentally based on the key principles of how children learn. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need orally before they try reading, analysing and recording it. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.
Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing:
During this phase the children create actions to accompany the oral re-telling of the story. They also create story maps, using pictures and symbols, to depict actions and events from the text. The key to success for the children is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They also begin to look closely at the language and text features that have been used.
During this phase the teacher and the children begin to change aspects of the model text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases.
During this phase the children plan and write their own story based on the text type they have been learning. They experiment with the ideas and begin to explore their own style of writing using sentence types from the model text before finally writing their version of the text.
This writing sequence supports the progression of children as writers from novice to expert:
Impact - How Do We Know Our English Curriculum is Effective?
A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our Writing curriculum. The impact of learning is measured through formative and summative assessment. Children are assessed against the Progression of Skills document at the end of each teaching sequence. English books are scrutinised by the English team on a termly basis in order to assess strengths and weaknesses in specific teaching sequences. Teacher assessments in writing are submitted on a termly basis and children who are not achieving in line with expectations are given further intervention sessions in order to address any misconceptions and to allow children to progress with their learning. Teachers within Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Multi Academy Company meet to moderate writing and to ensure that judgements are accurate and fair. These meetings are attended by moderators who have undergone training with the STA and work as moderators across the authority.
The effectiveness of the Writing curriculum is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.