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. (National Curriculum 2014)
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
A strong grounding in English will impact the future learning and development of a pupil in all aspects of their life. We want to prepare children with the essential writing skills they will need for later life by providing an enriched and engaging English curriculum, where our children understand the social functions of writing to use different genres of writing appropriately by considering its purpose and matching it to its audience.We aim to ensure all of our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach; this links closely to the way we teach reading, as the text that we use in writing lessons, where possible, is the same text as the one that we use in guided reading lessons Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking our reading, writing and the topic that we are covering in History, Geography, Science or RE for example. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.
Our intentions in writing are for children to:
· Write for a purpose
· See themselves as real writers
· Take ownership of their writing
· See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
· Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work
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 to entertain (narratives, poetry and description) and to inform (letter, instructions, recounts). 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 (to entertain, inform, persuade and to discuss) 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 to support spelling. Handwriting will be consistently joined.
At Scotton Lingerfield Primary School, we teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression document. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. Our writing curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan ensuring all relevant Key Stage end points are covered through a range of different and exciting writing opportunities.
Across both Key Stages, units of writing are planned and taught using a structured writing sequence. Teachers use the Michael Tidd guidance to help plan units of work which gives four main reasons for writing: to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss. Around half of curriculum time to be taken up by “Writing to entertain”, with the non-fiction elements sharing the remaining time. Notably in KS1 the non-fiction focus is only on Writing to inform.
Teachers plan for a sequence of work using the phased planning circles for writing. Throughout the teaching sequence, teachers will use high quality texts and writing examples to inspire writing for a purpose, which can be narrative, non-narrative or poetry based. Planning links closely with a class novel, class topic or a text that runs over several weeks. Teachers will plan authentic writing opportunities and where possible, provide real, authentic audience and purpose for children’s writing.
At the beginning of the sequence (phase 1) teachers will make use of a WAGOLL or WABOLL as an example of how to be successful. Opportunities are planned for children to read as writers, pulling apart texts and looking at key structural and grammatical features. This helps provide children with an end goal. Children are encouraged to use this as a structure but also innovate their writing to make it their own. There is an ongoing focus on oracy throughout all planning stages and children are immersed in and encouraged to use topic specific vocabulary throughout. Children will be taught writing through shared and modelled writing throughout and specifically during phase 2 and phase 3 of the unit. Key grammatical skills and punctuation are taught specifically within each unit and are taught as part of the main Literacy lesson.
They will think about the following using boxed up success criteria:
The REASON for writing. Why are the children writing? What is their purpose? How authentic is it?
The AUDIENCE for writing. Who are the children writing for How real is it? what effect will this have on how they craft their writing?
The FEATURES you may wish to include to make your writing effective for its purpose. What are the main features we need to include to make our writing effective for our audience and purpose? What shouldn’t be included?
The TONE you may wish to use to get your point across. How do we want our writing to sound? Which tone is going to be effective for my audience and purpose? Why?
Pupils are given regular feedback to respond to from their peers and/or teacher, to understand how effectively they have written for the purpose and audience, giving the opportunities to edit and improve their writing. A high standard of cursive handwriting is modelled across school and children are encouraged to imitate this. Handwriting is taught and practised regularly in separate books but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced.
Spelling is taught regularly in focussed sessions within each class, where they are taught spelling rules and they are encouraged to apply these rules in their writing. Class teachers use Headstart Spelling to support with the teaching of the different spelling rules for each year group. From Year 1, spellings are sent home as part of children’s homework. The pupils are then tested on these words in their weekly spelling test.
Repeated practice of writing purposes and text types, ensures that pupils leave our school capable of writing for different audiences and purposes. Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps by using:
The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a range of purposes and audiences. With the implementation of the writing sequence and boxed up success criteria being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work (with support in KS1).
By the end of key stage 2, children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing 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 language, grammar and punctuation.
By the time children leave our school they will:
Assessment and monitoring
All sequences of work begin with a short pre-assessment which is used to inform planning, where the key writing skills are quickly assessed and gaps are quickly identified. At the end of each teaching sequence, children write an independent piece of writing for the taught purpose and text type. Teachers highlight an assessment grid using pieces of independent pieces of work each term, which support end of year judgements.
The subject leader monitors the subject through: