Our Writing Approach
Intent – what we want to achieve
Our writing intent is to ensure that we provide all the children with a curriculum which is aspirational, engaging and ultimately bespoke to meet the needs of the children in our care. A curriculum which is evolving and reacting to the needs of our society.
Our writing curriculum has, the National Curriculum at its heart, but it does not stand alone. Our intent is to instil children with a passion for writing which will endure beyond their academic lifetime.
Currently, our key curriculum approaches being applied are: - Talk for Writing Pie Corbett, The Write Stuff by Jane Considine and Alan Peat.
These strategies are underpinned and enhanced by a rich and varied text based approach to the curriculum. By having varied approaches that target specific elements of writing, it enables barriers to be successfully overcome.
Implementation – how we deliver the writing curriculum
To nurture the children’s passion for writing we have striven to provide children with experiences which will engage their interests and to inspire them to make an investment into learning with such events as live theatre, giving children first hand experiences of classic stories such as The Wind in the Willows and the Selfish Giant, to see how great stories are told and remain timeless.
Authors of the calibre of Liz Pichon the poet Andrew Fusek Peters and Tom Palmer, who have been invited into school to show the techniques of a writer, an illustrator, as well as story tellers to demonstrate the simple process of talk and how stories are created.
Oracy is also supported and developed through our Annual Poetry Reciting competition, with children learning by a heart a nominated poem, which they perform for the whole school. This resulted as an idea from a Governor which we explored. Over time it has become a highlight of the calendar with all children having the opportunity to participate.
Talk For Writing develops those skills of talk and repetition, firstly introduced in Key Stage 1. The initial idea is embedded and this develops into a sequence of actions to accompany the words, followed by a story map to refer back to. Talk For Writing is based on the concept that communication is at the heart of the writing process.
The recent addition of Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff, addresses the skills of selecting precise vocabulary for effect which was not just a concern in the children’s writing, but also on their reading. Added to this, are the use of the lenses within the Writing Rainbow, allowing children to focus on a limited number of aspects in their writing. The concept of a thinking side also encouraged the children to gather their words and thoughts together before committing their ideas to paper.
Alan Peat is used in Year 6 to give the children the confidence to use those technicalities of writing with confidence.
Through KS2 the children are exposed to a range of genres which are mapped out through the four years, and are revisited and built upon to extend and refine the key skills associated with those units.
Where appropriate English units of work are linked to other curricular areas to create greater depth of understanding and to establish a purpose for writing. This has been a constant aim of the teaching of writing to establish a purpose for children to apply their skills.
Interventions such as Read Write Inc, Row the Atlantic/ Paddle the Amazon and the Five Minute Box are used effectively to bridge the gaps in learning.
Impact – how do we measure the impact on children’s writing
Through the explicit teaching of writing skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. Every time a child’s writing is marked teachers assess whether a child has achieved the success criteria. In addition, they identify common misconceptions and individual errors e.g. spelling, grammatical issues. These are then covered during subsequent lessons.
Twice a half-term children complete an independent writing activity linked to a particular genre and this is reviewed against our writing assessment grids. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time.