At Tudor Primary School our aim is to provide a high-quality education to develop creative writers. Our aim is to enable children to write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through reading and listening to writing, others can communicate with them. Through engaging in high-quality activities linked to engaging texts, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Through the core texts selected and studied, the pupils at Tudor Primary will learn to appreciate rich and varied literary from across the world.
We aim to
- Teach the programme of study and objectives within the National Curriculum
- Effectively compose, articulate communicate and organise ideas coherently for a reader.
- Write for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences across the curriculum including science, history, and geography.
- Effectively use and understand and have knowledge of grammar and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
- Acquire and use a wide range of vocabulary and figurative language.
- Spell accurately and develop a fluent, legible handwriting style.
- Develop an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
The following factors underpin the design of our writing curriculum:
- Learning journeys are planned and designed around high quality and engaging whole class texts that are used for both reading and writing.
- Pupils are exposed to high quality models for writing linked to the quality text and genre being studied. Models are shared and deconstructed by the teacher with the children to scaffold the writing skills specifically taught. It is through this process that children will learn to produce high quality pieces of writing themselves.
- Pupils must be given a clear understanding of the
- Pupils are provided with a learning journey which includes
- Pupils are given time to develop a piece of writing . This will include opportunities to plan, write, edit and improve their work.
- Pupils are given regular opportunities for self/peer assessment and to reflect on feedback provided by the teacher or teaching assistant.
- Pupils are provided with the opportunity to discuss their writing to generate ideas, rehearse and reflect upon their writing.
- Pupils are explicitly the grammar, spelling and punctuation objectives as specified in the National Curriculum which are linked to the genre being taught.
- As pupils progress through the school, they revisit key writing skills and genres in different contexts.
- Teachers support children in making links and develop their understanding by making connections.
The writing curriculum is carefully planned alongside the aims of the National Curriculum guidance for Key Stages 1 and 2 with clear progression across year groups. Pupils in EYFS will be provided with every opportunity to engage in writing and talk around writing. The curriculum is planned to ensure that a wide range of literature from different cultures and heritages is explored and valued.
Pupils learn through carefully-planned provision which is continuously accessible for pupils in both Nursery and Reception in order for them to develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. This is linked to the whole-class text being studied, supporting the development of subject schema. Quality adult-interaction with pupils and focus groups provide experiences for them to practise developing core skills. In Reception, pupils learn the correct formation of letters and learn to spell some common exception words.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
At Tudor Primary School we use Talk for writing which is based on the Pie Corbett approach in order to support our children’s literacy skills. A wide range of literature from different cultures and heritages is explored and integrated into the writing process. The Talk for writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through 'talking the text', as well as close reading. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading it and analysing it. Through fun activities to help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their genre, children are helped to write in the same style.
Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before they begin reading, deconstructing and analysing a model text and then writing their own version. Talk for writing works on 3 basic principles:
Stage 1 – Imitation
Stage 2 – Innovation
Stage 3 - Independent Application
The Imitation Stage
Once the teacher has established a creative context and an engaging start, a typical T4W unit would begin with some engaging activities warming up the tune of the text to help children internalise the language and writing skills required. This is supported by an exemplar text to help the children recall the story or nonfiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the ingredients that help make it work. In this way, the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so they can talk about the ingredients themselves – a key stage in internalising the toolkit in their heads. Within this stage, any new grammar linked to the genre is taught.
The Innovation Stage
Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with more advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of text focused on so the children can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers create their own text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say. The key activity in this stage is to deconstruct a model text to explain the purpose and audience of the piece of writing along with why the author has used particular writing techniques. Shared writing helps the children to write their own. During this process, children are encouraged to use their writer’s voice. This process enables the children to write and strengthen their toolkit so they start to understand the type of ingredients that may help. Once they have finished their own paragraph/s children should be encouraged to swap their writing with a response partner alongside where improvements can be made.
The Invention/ Independent Application Stage
Within this stage, the children are given the opportunity to write independently using the core text as a stimulus to ensure that the writing is purposeful and the intended audience is clear. This includes teaching the editing and proofreading process. This stage will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress so the children can become independent speakers and writers of their text type. At the end of the unit, the children’s work can be published or displayed. The teacher will now have assessed which features and skills to focus on in the next unit to move the children forward.
We follow a highly structured spelling programme which is the Read Write Inc. spelling programme. Children are explicitly taught spelling on a weekly basis. In Years 1 and 2 this is closely linked with phonics. Spelling patterns are then linked back into the writing. In addition to this children are taught and learn the common exception words for each year group. These are regularly tested with the children.
As a school we have chosen to use the Nelson Handwriting Scheme as this provides a clearly structured programme with full coverage of the technical aspects of writing (including letter formation, basic joins, printing, speedwriting and slant). These skills are taught on a weekly basis in each year group.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation are taught or revisited within each unit of learning. In most instances, that taught is linked to the genre that is being taught, however skills are also revisited and retaught where a gap or misconception has been identified. Children have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in writing across the curriculum in order to make meaningful links. When new content is introduced for the first time, teachers may also devote an entire stand-alone lesson to ensure pupils’ understand the concept fully.
We recognise the importance of vocabulary on future academic success; particularly that of known as tier 2 words and topic specific vocabulary known as tier 3 words. Vocabulary s therefore explicitly identified and planned for in every year group in order to ensure our children can access the curriculum appropriately
We have high expectations for our pupils however there are some children who may require additional support and scaffolds within the lesson with writing. Scaffolds used with the lesson include:
- Colourful Semantics
- Word banks
- Sound mats
- Writing frames
- Visual images
- Pencil grips
Children who require additional support with their writing skills predominately have their needs met through quality first teaching in the classroom however in some cases additional support is provided outside of ‘normal’ lessons through:
- Colourful Semantics Interventions
- Speech and language interventions
- PixL interventions
- Additional handwriting support
Children who require additional support with their writing skills predominately have their needs met through quality first teaching in the classroom however in some cases additional support is provided outside of ‘normal’ lessons. Interventions are time limited to ensure that children do not miss out on the curriculum and progress is tracked carefully. We use the following interventions in school:
- Small group writing sessions are run by support staff who have received specialist training.
- PixL interventions are used with small groups. This is aimed at pupils who are need further support with writing skills including grammar and spelling
- Individual handwriting books for pupils who need further support with forming letters and joining.
Through the explicit teaching of the Writing skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time. Teachers use a range of strategies to gain information about how well a child has understood an objective during the lesson including:
- Effective questioning and collecting evidence from written work completed.
- Whole class and individual verbal and written feedback.
- Peer or self-assessment.
Summative assessment strategies are used to track pupils’ progress in writing which include:
- Assessment of writing in books tracked on class writing grids
- Moderating writing across the school and between schools
- Assessing the level in which the pupils have achieved in writing.
Parents are provided with the child’s attainment and progress in writing during parents meetings and in the end of year report.