The national curriculum for writing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- acquire a wide range of vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 there are two dimensions for writing:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
Additionally, pupils will be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Pupils will learn how to spell quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Pupils will also be taught that effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
At Havannah Primary School, we want all children to enjoy becoming writers. The writing curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful writers, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
Our intent is for all pupils – irrespective of their needs, abilities or background – to learn to write fluently, developing their own writer’s voice. The quality of language that pupils hear and speak is vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding writing. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We cultivate a love of writing and communicating through vocabulary rich and high quality literature, using Ready Steady Write by Literacy Counts. By inspiring and developing an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and providing meaningful and exciting provocations to write, we develop a habit of writing widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing; can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.
Ready Steady Write uses engaging, vocabulary-rich texts to create a wealth of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum. The books provide a wealth of opportunities:
- to develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum, through sentence accuracy sessions;
- explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identifying the purpose and audience;
- plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
Building on this foundation, we teach literacy using a range of strategies which include:
- Modelled writing – Teachers model writing and editing to demonstrate the high expectations they have. They verbally ‘think aloud’ in order to make the writing process explicit and provide a rich and varied vocabulary for the children to utilise in their own work. This happens daily, through sentence accuracy.
- Shared writing – Teachers use the ideas from the children to create shared pieces of writing. This enables the children to see the writing process in action as well as having pride and ownership over the finished piece.
- Scaffolding - To develop writing ideas and language acquisition.
- Editing - Using sentence checkers and modelling how to edit writing.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to collaborate and develop social skills both indoors and out. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of quality first teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes.Developing children's independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning. As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.
Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify those children who may need additional support. Formative assessment of writing is completed through teachers’ daily feedback to inform future planning. Teachers use the children’s everyday writing and adapt models and input to meet their current needs. Daily sentence accuracy work is carefully monitored to ensure children are constructing sentences both coherently and accurately. Termly staff meetings allow for whole school moderation of writing to deepen understanding of standards.