Our Writing Story
At Old Clee Academy, we aim to build happy, confident and resilient Writers!
National Curriculum Intent
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Subject leaders should be able to demonstrate what, specifically, children are supposed to learn, how they go about teaching these things, and how they know whether children have learnt what was taught.
At Old Clee it is our intent to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literacy heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach children how important these skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures. Our aim is that every pupil may thrive as independent lifelong learners.
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. Through speaking and listening, reading and writing children learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. The study of English helps children understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. 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.
We teach writing in a progressive manner from EYFS to Year 6 with our key aims in writing being:
Subject leads have created a progression in text document for OCA. Detailed success criteria’s have been produced for each text type to show clear steps of progression, text features and a knowledge which the writers should acquire from foundation through to year 6. Assessment for learning documents enable gaps in progression or teaching to be quickly identified and addressed.
Teaching SPaG as a weekly focus of ‘Key Instant Recall facts’ allows for a spiralised learning to be implemented in each year group.
In early years we aim to create a community of writers through developing a literacy rich environment where a wide variety of purposeful contexts for writing are provided. We always start with the pupils’ interests and model writing, scribe stories for pupils so that they can begin to think about what they would like to communicate through writing even before they are able to write the words themselves. At this early stage we are already developing an understanding of purpose and audience.
Through reading, pupils are introduced to new vocabulary that they can then be used in their own writing and speech. We foster our love of reading through providing a rich environment which stimulates and encourages children’s reading. We believe in engaging all pupils and have a variety of resources in each class including puppets, story sacks, role play resources and books to develop different interests. Pupils will enjoy a range of texts allowing them to build up a knowledge of rhythm, rhyme and pattern in language.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1 we follow the Talk4Writing approach for fiction writing. Talk4Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular text orally before they try reading and analysing it. Fun and exciting activities (text maps) are used to rehearse the pattern of the language needed for a particular style of writing. The children then write sentences suited to that particular style of text. The planning stage then involves the children writing their own text map and finally the children end the unit writing their own piece of writing. Non-Fiction writing is produced through cross-curricular links such as science, geography, history and visits. ‘Spotlight’ writing will focus on a particular curriculum subject for the full week, therefore producing an extended piece of non-fiction writing and deepening the children’s knowledge and skills in other curriculum areas.
In Year 2 time is spent immersing the children in the genre by giving them good quality examples. Pupils read these to find the features of the text type. Time is then spent looking at the sentence level features of the text type and children practice writing their own sentences. This preparation then gives the children the ideas and skills needed to write their own piece of writing at the end of the unit. Genres such as explanation text and instructions are also taught through a cross-curricular approach.
Pupils will collect and enjoy a range of texts allowing them to build up a knowledge of information and stories, building a wealth of information for spiralisation and retrieval. Quality first teaching will enable children to learn the skills needed to be a diverse writer. Through a whole school metacognitive approach children will understand how they learn best and understand which skills will help them to apply their knowledge to improve and develop as writers.
Key Stage 2
In KS2, writing is taught as a cross curricular approach using a curriculum focus as a driver to develop literacy skills across a broad range of subjects. In writing, our subject is our driver for literacy skills; therefore, we have introduced ‘Spotlight’ writing every other week where children delve into different areas of the curriculum and produce a piece of writing that is integrated within a specific subject. Through these subjects, teachers select the most effective approaches to unpick high quality texts and explore them. These approaches ensure that key reading, writing and curriculum skills are enhanced and that children are being exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and high quality texts which allow them to delve into the audiences and purposes for different genres of writing.
To ensure children have a broad knowledge base of each area of the curriculum, this focus will change on a fortnightly basis. In addition to this, we are building on the children’s cultural capital, ensuring that knowledge is brought into their writing at every occasion, whether this is through their extended writing or as response activities.
The children will also be exposed to metacognitive strategies within all areas of the curriculum, but especially within their writing. Old Clee Primary Academy children will be given a range of different models, success criteria’s and self and peer assessment opportunities to aid metacognitive thinking to improve their writing skills, allowing them to become much more accomplished writers. During these lesson children will be encouraged to ‘magpie’ sentence level features for their own writing and develop their own ideas through the use of our planning tools. The planning tools are then drawn upon to assist the children in constructing their own pieces of writing. During the writing process, children are encouraged to self and peer asses and engage with their success criteria’s to move their writing forward.
Example of children Peer Assessing
The children will delve into a range of different fiction text types and build on their writing skills on alternative weeks. They will follow the five paragraph plot covering 1 paragraph element each week. A top to toe approach will enable children to truly understand the individual paragraph concept in order to produce a detailed paragraph on the specific text element. At the end of each term the children will write their own fiction piece using the five paragraph plot. These skills will be spiralised each term in order for the children to build upon their writing skills and progressed in each year group.
This approach to writing permits children to enjoy a range of cross –curricular texts and accumulate an understanding of the purpose of different types of writing, which they can build upon as they progress through Key Stage 2.
Example of Progression in Writing
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Each year group will focus on a weekly KIRF (Key Instant Recall Fact), which focuses on the curriculum objectives in SPaG to ensure that all skills are spiralised throughout the year and deepened with each re-visit. There has been a higher focus on teaching SPaG objectives and teaching the application of these skills during the writing process. Teachers will promote the application of our SPaG objectives in all curriculum lessons.
Example of Progression in SPaG
Subject leads will monitor impact through termly formal assessments including independent assessed writing tasks and NTS SPaG assessments. In addition, learning walks, book looks, internal moderations and regular feedback.
· Pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres.
· Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded.
· Pupils will have a broad vocabulary bank that they use across their writing.
· Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience.
· Pupils will leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
· Pupils will be confident writers across a range of curriculum subjects and be able to apply what they have learnt to their writing.