WRITING AT ST. WULSTAN’S
Writing is a major part of the curriculum and along with reading, listening and talking, makes a significant contribution to the development of our children as thinkers and learners. Writing involves a set of complex skills that will not develop without structured teaching and practice. Throughout the school the children use a variety of texts to gain more knowledge about improving their own writing. Children read to write and write to read. We have a high expectation of the use of the core writing skills. We value writing and work hard to achieve high standards from all children, within a positive writing ethos. Literacy skills empower individuals to unlock their potential as independent lifelong learners. They have a significant impact on self-esteem, motivation and aspirations for the future. Being literate equips young people to be proactive in their own learning and to articulate their thoughts. In this way they grow in an understanding of themselves as individuals and as members of society.
Writing is made up of:
The programmes of study for writing at Key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. 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. (National Curriculum 2014)
We aim to provide high levels of motivation and active participation for our children at all ages. The teaching of writing and the strategies used by the teachers in each year group varies as the children progress through the school.
- Interactive approaches (e.g. involve children / using whiteboards / use interactive whiteboards/use of ICT)
- Shared sessions where a teacher will be working with the whole class demonstrating, sharing ideas and giving examples. These sessions include both modelling and shared writing
- ‘Talk for writing’ where children have the opportunity to rehearse what they will write and explore new vocabulary relating to the genre they are studying
- Guided Writing sessions where the teacher works with small groups. The teacher focuses on the group’s or individual’s writing needs
- Guided sessions when the teacher works with the whole class, inputs information, mini-plenaries and reminders during whole class writing sessions
- Opportunities for children to practice their skills and knowledge learnt or demonstrated (e.g. through written work in other curriculum areas)
- Focused writing outcomes where children are required to use a range of skills in producing a longer piece of writing
- Encouraging the drafting, editing and publishing process
- Ensuring that the children write every day
Each teaching sequence ends with an opportunity for independent writing within English lessons. There are also frequent opportunities for independent writing throughout other curriculum areas. Six times a year the children do an extended piece of writing which is then used for assessment purposes.
At St. Wulstan’s, we also have intervention groups across all year groups to provide extra writing support when needed.
Within English lessons there is also a focus on structure, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and style. This adds to their personal writing toolkit.
The children have opportunities to practice their handwriting on a weekly basis. When the children have a consistent, fluent and joined handwriting style they are encouraged to write in pen.
Click here for Read Write Inc Letter Formation
Children learn spellings using the spelling patterns from National Curriculum 2014. They are tested once a week. The children work on their spellings using a look, cover, write, check principle and are also required to use the spelling words in the context of a sentence.
Click here for the Spelling Appendix
MARKING AND ASSESSMENT
Work is marked and assessed in line with school policy. Targets are also provided for children to work on within their English work.
Within the curriculum, Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation, have a big focus.
As a school we embed the teaching of GPS in our daily English lessons and teach discrete sessions on SPAG. We use many fun games and learning activities to help children to learn SPAG, for example Kung Fu punctuation, and we use the 'posh' terminology for grammar, such as modal verb, fronted adverbial, noun phrase, subordinate clause.
The following websites provide GPS activities, games and videos. We hope you and your child find them useful.
Glossary for Grammar
KS2 bitesize revision games: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/spelling_grammar/
Literacy activities and games: www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/literacy/index.htm
Terminology and games: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/interactive.aspx?cat=47
Click here for Progression in Writing
Click here for Writing Targets for each year group