At St William’s Catholic Primary School, we intend for our children to leave as confident, capable and independent writers, who not only understand the purpose and importance of writing but also enjoy the writing process. We intend for children to use their writing skills across the curriculum.
Following the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum, we plan a progressive programme, which builds upon previous teaching and ensures that each child’s needs are met. We want our children to draw upon a rich exposure to quality literature so that throughout the writing process, they can write as a reader and read as a writer.
We intend for our children to be able to communicate and express themselves effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences.
As a ‘School of Oracy’, we plan opportunities for children to develop their writing skills through the use of dialogic talk by:
- Listening and responding appropriately to adults and their peers
- Using oracy teaching strategies to build their vocabulary
- Articulating and justifying answers, arguments and opinions, giving well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes
- Using spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
- Speaking audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
- Participating in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
- Considering and evaluating different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
- Selecting and using appropriate registers for effective communication
Our curriculum cultivates a sense of independence in writing, whilst being inclusive and enriching. At St William’s we recognise the importance of children acquiring a wide vocabulary. In order for all learners to share ideas, develop vocabulary and to internalise language patterns, we use the principles of ‘Tower Hamlets’ so that they can draw upon an extensive linguistic repertoire when writing.
We also want all of our children to be able to spell new words by effectively applying spelling patterns and rules. They will have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing. We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a legible, cursive, handwriting style in preparation for their move to secondary school. Ultimately, we aim for all children to reach their full potential in writing.
Across school, children receive a daily English lesson. Within each unit of work, carefully sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning of grammar, punctuation and spelling is revisited and developed. Each year group have a yearly overview of writing across a range of genres, ensuring that children are able to write for a range of purposes and audiences.
As ‘A School of Reading’ children use high quality and engaging texts as models for their own writing.
As a ‘School of Mastery,’ daily English lessons follow the ‘Mastery approach’ and are based on the Philip Webb English teaching sequence - prediction, comprehension, text structure, grammar and writing with high quality texts forming the basis of learning.
English working walls incorporate both reading and writing, and around school there are a range of displays to encourage reading at home.
We ensure that children are aware of their strengths and areas for development in writing so that learners can take ownership of their progress. Teachers leave next steps when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do to make progress; children are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen. We also ensure that appropriate scaffolds are put in place for children who need it.
Children who are identified as working below age-related outcomes, those on the SEN register or those with English as an additional language, are provided with interventions or support to help them develop their writing, at a level that is matched to their individual needs. The nature of the intervention will be decided by the teacher, with support from the SENDCo. Provision in class may include working in a small group work with an adult, using scaffolds or using technology to assist with completion of work.
Children leave St William’s as happy, confident writers, who have the key skills and knowledge necessary for the next stage of their learning.
The impact of our writing curriculum will be measured through:
- The subject lead ensures that the National Curriculum requirements are met.
- Pupil outcomes are monitored through deep dives, where evidence is gathered in the following ways: pupil voice interviews, book scrutinies, drop- ins, discussions with staff etc.
- Assessing children’s knowledge of key component learning as set out within schemes of work.
- Assessing children’s understanding of grammatical vocabulary and rule
- Summative assessment of grammatical knowledge and spelling using GAPS tests (3 x per year) and the Single Age Spelling Test.
- Moderation and scrutiny of pupil’s books and professional dialogue between teachers to assess the quality of children’s learning.
- Sharing good practice among staff
- Marking of written work in books against the school’s marking policy
- The writing lead identifies clear next steps, which are determined by a cycle of monitoring, evaluating and reviewing.
- Teacher assessment of writing using independently written pieces to provide evidence of national curriculum skills and understanding.
- Monitoring of progress from year to year ensuring pupils remain ‘on track’ from their starting point.