Our aim at The Rosary Catholic Primary School is to develop pupils’ writing abilities within an integrated program of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Pupils are given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum. We view the acquisition of language skills to be of the utmost importance and so the teaching of all aspects of English is given high priority.
Writing is integral to our pupils’ whole language experience; it is a crucial part of thinking and learning. We encourage pupils to be independent writers and teach them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Pupils are taught to apply their writing skills across all areas of the curriculum.
By the time pupils leave our school, they will have mastered a range of skills that will support their future development. These are –
- To have a sense of curiosity and enjoyment in writing by providing pupils with the opportunities to search for meaning in high quality texts and giving pupils plenty of opportunities for creative writing.
- To have experience Cultural Capital in a variety of different forms by exposing pupils to a wide range of experiences; school trips, experience days, pantomimes, book week and poetry week.
- To be resilient, independent and self-motivated pupils who participate in class debates and discussions where they are able to express themselves and boost their confidence and self-esteem.
- To ask questions and to problem solve by planning lessons that are built around curiosity. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and explore texts and search for meanings.
- To be global citizens of the twenty first century pupils are given plenty of opportunities to read books and learn about different topics, cultures and significant individuals. Pupils are given opportunities to discuss the challenges in the world today and develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills through discussions.
We guide pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and the ability to spell new words by effectively applying spelling patterns and rules which they learn throughout their time in primary school so they can employ these skills in their everyday lives.
We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we provide opportunities for pupils to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing by editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We want our pupils to find love of learning and become confident, proficient, empowered writers by the time they leave our school. Lastly we want pupils to:
Aspire, Believe, Achieve: Together in Christ
We teach Writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum.
We use the Power of Reading programme as the basis of our English writing work as we believe that the scheme provides a range of texts that motivate and inspire children. Pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 study six high quality Power of Reading texts that motivate and inspire children each academic year. Pupils study texts that help them to enrich their writing through extending their vocabulary and phrasing. These texts contribute to pupils’ love of reading and writing through the richness of language, interesting plotlines and character development. Based upon these texts, pupils write an extended piece of writing. We call this the Big Write. Pupils are given opportunities to participate in drama, spoken language activities and writing for a variety of purposes. Teachers demonstrate high quality modelling within each English lesson and encourage pupils to include key vocabulary (linked to their Topic), structure their work appropriately into coherent paragraphs and use the grammatical skills and punctuation taught at their year group level. Opportunities are planned for children to use knowledge from other subjects within their English writing and vice versa. As part of developing speech and language across the school we have a strong emphasis on developing oracy skills through vocabulary stem sentences and drama lessons.
During Power of Reading lessons, teachers make explicit references to genre features, as well as word and sentence level work within the context of writing. Pupils contribute to the class composition by sharing their ideas. This is also the time when pupils are given the opportunity to discuss, verbalise and refine ideas before committing to writing. The shared writing sessions, help pupils generate a list of features that they would expect to use. This can be used by teachers and pupils alike as one way of assessing pupils writing and their understanding of the purpose and organisation.
Pupils are taught spelling strategies and provided with spellings each week. Each spelling list provided follows a structured programme of spelling ‘word families’. We use the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ method of learning to spell. Pupils are tested on their spellings weekly. Our expectation is that pupils will then use these words/spellings correctly in subsequent written tasks.
Weekly Grammar lessons follow the requirements of the National Curriculum for each year group. We teach grammar skills and pupils apply their skills within the Power of Reading writing tasks. This is designed to make the important link between the various aspects of grammar/punctuation and real texts; this makes the learning of grammar and punctuation meaningful and exciting for children.
Pupils learn correct letter formation in Early Years through the Read, Write Inc. programme and we follow the Nelson Scheme for handwriting in KS1 and KS2.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the Power of readingand being well established and taught thoroughly in all key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
We measure the impact of writing curriculum in the following ways:
- In-Class Feedback
We understand that feedback in linked to progress and has to be timely to make an impact. In class feedback is used to support teacher’s workload, ensure it is as immediate and timely and specific as possible, and leaves the teacher time to focus on individual identified needs. We use ‘hot marking,’ whereby the pupil receives immediate feedback and are able to respond to marking during the lesson.
- Corrective Teaching/Summative Assessment
All marking in writing books follows the school’s marking and feedback policy. All teachers provide next steps during the writing process and this feedback may be delivered verbally (VF) or as written feedback. ‘Hot marking’ is encouraged whereby teachers mark work with the pupil and provide them with immediate feedback. Hot marking addresses any misconceptions during the lesson, however if a pupil has not met the learning question there is timely support so that they are able to continue on the learning journey with their peers. Teachers adapt their planning for the next lesson to ensure there is time to address these misconceptions. It may be addressed in the next lesson, by a Teaching Assistant or in small groups during the lesson. The misconceptions may also be addressed through in class marking, conferencing, and verbal feedback or with the use of mini plenaries.
- Teaching Assistants and Interventions
When we identify need, the Teaching Assistants deliver short, focused, interventions. The interventions are repeated over a week, either, daily or a specified number of times per week. The interventions are specific to the need and they are given until the misconceptions are addressed or the gap in learning is reduced.
Same day interventions are also used to pick up on misconceptions from the current days teaching and learning.
Teachers engage parents through September welcome meetings. and Parent Consultation ensures an effective partnership to ensure children meet their age related expectations.
Writing is moderated internally to ensure we make robust judgements, particularly on transfer between key stages. Teachers also take part in external moderation at a Local Authority and Deanery level. Every term, teachers meet to moderate writing and ensure that teacher assessments are accurate.
Formal Assessment Cycle
- KS1/KS2 SAT’s in May
- Year 1 Phonics screening in June
- Big Write assessments – every half term
- Weekly spelling tests
- Writing is moderated by all staff and then Teacher Assessment agreed based on the child’s performance in class.
- EYFS is assessed and recorded using the Evidence Me programme. This is used to add photographs to the learning journeys of each child based on the EYFS objectives.
- Termly book monitoring
- Learning walks
- Pupil voice
School reports are issued at the end of the school year. Pupils are given a grade and targets for the following academic year for English.
The main intended impact of our delivery of Writing is that all pupils enjoy writing across a range of genres, can write for a range of purposes and audiences, and become confident and effective communicators. They will amass a varied vocabulary that they can use across the curriculum and can apply spelling rules and grammatical concepts in their work.
We also aim to ensure that our pupils are proud of their writing and have opportunity to see it on display and shared with others in the school and with their families.
Looking forward, we intend that by the end of Year 6 most children are meeting ARE and are ready for the secondary curriculum.
We hope that as pupils move on from us to further their education and learning that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow.
21st Century World; 21st Century Learners
How can you help your child with Writing?
We encourage fortnightly participation in Inspiration station writing challenge. Pupils take home a picture with guiding questions and create an imaginative story. Pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 love this challenge because their imagination take them into a new undiscovered world and let them put their creative thinking onto a paper in the form of a narrative.
Writing Progression Map