Whitstone Community Primary School
Writing Curriculum Statement
Writing is a priority at Whitstone School. It is at the core of all we do.
Our Intent is;
- To provide pupils with exciting and engaging stimuli to spark their interest in writing.
- Produce high quality writing with rich language, accurate grammar and clear presentation.
- For pupils to write for a variety of purposes and audiences; clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style as required.
- For pupils to develop an understanding of grammar and punctuation and to acquire a wide vocabulary and to use these appropriately.
- For pupils to take pride in their writing and display examples of good writing as a model for all pupils to aspire to.
- To have high expectations of writing across the school.
- To create strong incentives, and a clear purpose for writing tasks.
Handwriting and presentation
In Reception, children are taught standard letter formation. We use the Read, Write, Inc. resources to support our teaching. In Year One, we continue to develop clear and neat letter formation with consistent size and shape. When children are ready, they are taught how to write in a precursive style. In Year Two and beyond, all modelled writing is fully cursive. Children are encouraged to start joining as soon as they are ready. Children are taught handwriting explicitly and at every opportunity when they are writing. Any child, who finds any aspect of handwriting difficult, will be supported and appropriate intervention will be put in place.
In Reception, a phoneme is sent home regularly after it’s been taught in class, with a suggested activity for the children to apply their learning. In KS1 and KS2, at the beginning of every week, the spellings for the whole week are sent home. Each week’s spellings are practiced in class sessions and at home and are assessed regularly. On most occasions, children working at age-related expectations, should be learning all of the words. Spellings can be topic words, common exception words, words from the national curriculum spelling lists or words that follow a pattern or rule that the children have been learning.
Every week, one child from each year group is selected as a Star Writer and their writing is put up on our “Star writer’ display. They also receive a prize and a certificate in our weekly Celebration Assembly. This serves to add an incentive to improving their writing skills and apply maximum effort to their written work across the curriculum.
Phonics is taught through discrete daily sessions from Foundation to Year Two and, in KS2, regular sessions are delivered where a need is identified. We follow the ‘Read, Write, Inc systematic programme. This means that the children are taught the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language, linking letters or groups of letters with sounds. We use Read, Write, Inc. resources to support all our teaching. We endeavour to make learning phonics as practical, fun, engaging and memorable as possible for our children.
GPS (Grammar, punctuation and Spelling)
Following the National Curriculum, children are taught the relevant spelling, punctuation and grammar rules for their year group. In KS1 this takes place either in the daily English or Phonics lessons. In KS2, GPS is taught in explicit sessions and in context as part of the English unit of work. As with phonics, we endeavour to make our GPS lessons practical, fun, engaging and memorable.
English Units of Work
Writing at Whitstone school is a focus across the whole curriculum. Units of work are planned using objectives from the National Curriculum. When planning a unit of work, consideration is given to what type of writing will give the children the best opportunity to demonstrate the skills they are being taught. Across each year, children will write a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We ensure that there is a clear purpose and audience for each unit, giving the children a real reason to write. We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach in our units of work with each unit beginning with a ‘cold task’ to assess pupils’ prior knowledge and level.
The next phase of a unit is ‘imitation’ and ‘immersion’; children immerse themselves in a set text and engage in a range of activities, which prepare them for their own writing. Following this is the innovation phase, where children have the opportunity to develop the new skills they are taught within a supported framework. The final element of a unit is the invention phase. At this time, children develop their drafting and editing skills before putting everything they have learned into practice in their end of unit progress write. More about Talk for writing can be found here https://www.talk4writing.com/about/
Marking with pupils
To encourage children to self-check, edit, and improve their own work, we use a ‘live marking’ approach. Children across the school are taught how to use a variety of self-help strategies including: success criteria, writing toolkits, word banks and model texts. Once children’s work has been discussed/marked, they can make further improvements using a purple ‘polishing’ pen.
All work is marked in accordance with the school’s marking policy. Positive elements of work, demonstrating progress towards the learning objectives is highlighted and celebrated. Next steps and areas to build upon are made clear to pupils in teacher conferencing and during live marking and are highlighted in their books.
End of Unit writes are assessed using the Ros Wilson Writing Criteria, informing our teacher assessments. Regular moderation takes place, both internally and externally, to ensure our assessments are accurate and consistent.
The writing scale can be found here:
- Pupils enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles. They can write for different purposes and audiences.
· Pupils are proud of their writing.
· Pupils know that others value their writing; they see it on display, used as model examples, made into class books, shared on learning platforms and our Website with their families etc.
· Skills progress (grammar and punctuation) throughout the school is evident in children’s books.
· Pupils are being adventurous with vocabulary choices.
- Writing across the curriculum is the same standard as in English books.
· Next steps marking provides positive support and directs the pupil on their next steps to improve their writing.
· Pupils respond to feedback.
· Pupils use classroom resources/toolkits to support their learning.
· Pupils presentation is of a high standard through following the school’s handwriting policy.
· Teachers moderate pupils work in school and in meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made.
· Teachers track pupils’ progress each half term in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This informs planning and any intervention needed.
- Pupil progress meetings with Headteacher and teachers each term ensure different groups and individual progress is monitored and interventions organised to support progress.
- Intervention sessions enable a greater proportion of pupils to be on track to meet year group expectations or in the case of those working significantly below expectations to make better than expected progress.
- Subject leader provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement annually.
- Subject leader reports to the governors each year so they are up to date with any new initiatives that have been introduced and the impact of these.
· Subject leader conducts learning walks, lesson observations, pupil interviews and book monitoring throughout the year. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.
· Standards being met at the end of EYFS, Phonics Screening Check, KS1 and KS2 are broadly in line with local and national averages. Each year data is analysed and any areas for improvement identified and addressed. These are often included on the School improvement Plan and English Action Plan.