English is taught daily to develop a whole array of skills necessary for the pupils to become highly literate individuals as they grow and advance through the school. We love sharing the writing creativity of our children, so we display their writing achievements around the school as a celebration and in doing so, help to raise the profile and importance of the subject.
The school has implemented a more consistent and progressive approach to the teaching of writing supported by the work of Jane Considine and The Write Stuff. In doing this, we aim to ensure children understand how to apply sentence scaffolds to their independent writing as they develop their expertise. They are also provided with a clearer view of what high quality writing looks like and their learning is structured robustly with any misconceptions addressed swiftly. Using this approach, teachers can give pupils clear guidance with less confident areas, such as cohesion and paragraph formation. Pupils are given a stronger concept of how to build, plan and complete a piece of writing due to narrative maps and non-fiction shapes. They also know how to improve their writing and make it more focussed and interesting. The required grammar and punctuation relevant to the genre will be taught to the children to enhance their writing.
The school's approach to the teaching of writing is heavily supported by relevant grammar and spelling for the genres being studied. This is achieved by providing pupils from Years 3 to 6 with a stronger toolkit from which to achieve the Expected and Greater Depth Standards. The use of tool symbols to represent a variety of grammar and punctuation will act as vital reminders to enable pupils to grasp a better understanding of the key features necessary to complete a more accomplished piece of writing. There are six key themes, such as Sentence Construction, Verbs, Nouns and Noun Phrases, Punctuation, Cohesion and Adverbials.
Each week there will be discrete spelling sessions in groups using the Read Write Inc. Fresh Start Programme and taught themes will be based upon quality texts, allowing pupils the opportunities to "mine" and analyse for examples of the key themes. As a school, we feel that strong writers start from being strong and avid readers. This will run alongside our reading fluency sessions.
Along with interesting and well-chosen class novels, guided reading sessions will enable pupils to experience different themes from established authors. There will be grammar and word level tasks stemming from these; followed by shared, modelled writing; culminating in the pupils undertaking an independent writing exercise utilising the taught techniques.
The writing curriculum is structured around longer blocks (one per half term) focussing on the purpose for writing and what different ‘genres’ or ‘text types’ have in common. The four writing purposes used are writing to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss.
Lower Key Stage Two look at writing to Entertain, Inform and Persuade, whilst Upper Key Stage Two look at all four purposes.
Each half-termly block will consist of a single purpose for writing but will focus on producing two main written outcomes. These written outcomes are planned to focus on the key grammar and punctuation objectives (from the National Curriculum) which work well for the given purpose. Furthermore, our grammar learning is enhanced by discrete teaching sessions and grammar-themed early morning tasks, which help children practise and consolidate their understanding of the various elements. Having two main written outcomes will enable children to secure their skills as many individual targets set would still be applicable throughout the half-term. This will also allow teachers’ formative assessment to be focussed on half-termly key objectives.
Class teachers are able to reorder the writing purposes to suit their teaching, but are not permitted to alter the weightings for the year.
Free and Extended writing are also completed from across the curriculum, particularly in subjects like RE, History, Geography and Science.