Rationale & Aims of Writing
At Prince Rock Primary School, writing is integral to every element of our curriculum with explicit and intrinsic links made to the teaching of oracy and reading.
The aim of the early years writing curriculum is to help practitioners to support children’s learning and development by closely matching what they provide to each child’s current needs. This is underpinned by the building positive relationships, the development of enabling environments and celebrating the uniqueness of every pupil.
Initially, our children will begin to discriminate between the marks that they make. Following this, our children have opportunities to talk and ascribe meanings to marks that they see in different places supported by systematic phonics programme. By the end of their journey through early years, our children will use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They will begin to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others and spell some words correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Key Stage One
As our pupils move into year 1, they use developing skills to encode the sounds they hear in words (spelling skills), develop the physical skill needed for handwriting, and learn how to organise their ideas in writing. Alongside this, pupils will develop their vocabulary and understanding of grammar, as well as their ability to spell by encoding using rigorous and systematic phonics programme.
In year two, our children begin to compose individual sentences orally and then write them down. They will learn to spell many words outlined in the English Curriculum (appendix 1) and make phonetically plausible attempts to spell words they have not yet learnt. Our children will continue to learn spelling patterns through a systematic programme – in line with expectations - to support their written work. In addition, as they progress through the year, they will learn to form individual letters correctly, establishing good handwriting habits from the beginning.
During this phase in their journey, our children will experience a wide range of writing opportunities to develop their understanding of writing for a purpose and an audience by publishing their work. Throughout this period, not only will they will encounter a rich and wide vocabulary to enhance their learning experience; they will have the opportunity to use talk, drama and role-play to understand texts more deeply.
Lower Key Stage Two
As they begin to move through lower key stage two, our pupils learn to write down their ideas with a growing degree of accuracy and good sentence punctuation. As they explore different genres, they will consolidate prior writing skills, vocabulary, their grasp of sentence structure and their knowledge of linguistic terminology. To develop as writers, they will have opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of what they write through editing and redrafting in collaboration with teachers and peers. As pupils’ spelling of common words advance, they will become more accurate and include words that they have learnt (see English Appendix 1). Using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology, our children will learn to spell as accurately as possible and apply this within their writing. In addition, they will learn new spelling patterns to continue to build on the early foundations of spelling and use proofreading as a tool to check and correct their choices.
Their journey in writing is designed to build on prior learning, and this is supplemented with the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas. These structures and conventions of writing (drawn from statutory expectations in the National Curriculum) are underpinned with robust, carefully structured grammar learning, which they will begin to apply across a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and playscript writing. Furthermore, as they progress through year 3 and 4, our children will become more familiar with, and confident in using, language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate. Our pupils continue to develop and apply their learning of joined handwriting to increase their pace, fluency and stamina for writing. At points across this phase in writing, our children will have the opportunity to publish and share their writing with a wider audience.
Upper Key Stage Two
As they start their journey into upper key stage two, our pupils will learn to write down their ideas with increasing pace. The structures and conventions of writing from lower key stage two will be built upon so our pupils learn the key grammatical structures to support the development of more sophisticated sentence structures, language choices and punctuation use to produce high quality written outcomes. Their grammar and punctuation – in line with age related expectations - will become broadly accurate. By using the spelling knowledge and strategies that they have learned so far, our children will be able to spell with increasing accuracy as they progress through this final phase of primary school. They will confidently use and apply many spelling strategies to independently proof read their writing including morphology, entomology, patterns and tools such as dictionaries, peers and additional resources.
The curriculum emphasis will be on pupils’ enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary, to support their writing. Over the two years, knowledge of language, plot and organisational structures - gained from stories, plays, poetry, non-fiction and textbooks - will support their development as writers. Building on lower key stage 2, pupils will learn to enhance the effectiveness of their writing through the sharing, editing and evaluation of their compositions. Further publishing opportunities, using a range of media, will give meaningful purpose and audience to their writing.
In their time at our schools in Learning Academies Trust, our children will be supported to develop as confident, independent writers. They will learn use the skills, knowledge and understanding, across the key principles, to produce well thought out pieces of writing in a range of styles, contexts and genres in English and across the wider curriculum.
In order to measure the impact of our writing provision, we complete regular monitoring and assessment cycles which include: Termly Pupil Progress meetings, INSIGHT data tracking, baseline writing assessments at the beginning of each year, termly ‘distance writing’, use of LAT writing assessment toolkit, LAT moderation meetings, weekly spelling tests, termly NFER spelling and grammar tests.
We aim to:
- Use a range of writing strategies throughout the school to develop our children’s writing skills which support the depth and breadth of our writing curriculum.
- Use both scheduled and responsive interventions to support all of our children, including those with SEND and EAL.
- Using a LAT wide assessment tool provides us with detailed information about specific weaknesses and difficulties. This allows us to provide high-quality first support through the use of lesson time, as well as the careful scheduling of interventions.
In direct reference to National Curriculum and Ofsted expectations, we will ensure that:
- Pupils acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing
- Pupils appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage and apply ideas gathered from their wider reading to their writing.
- Pupils write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Teachers and teaching assistants provide extra practise through the day for the children who make the slowest progress (the lowest 20%) through responsive and scheduled interventions
- Teachers instil in children a love of writing through fiction, non-fiction and poems