Hindsford CE Primary School
Name of policy: Writing
Statement of Intent:
Competence in writing is crucial for the development of children’s communication skills. It offers the opportunity to store information for later retrieval, to interact with others, to reflect and to express ideas creatively. Skilled writers understand the characteristics of writing’s many forms, and are able to adapt their style to suit a wide range of purposes. Success in writing is an important ingredient for children’s progress in all other areas of the curriculum. At Hindsford CE Primary, we have a clear, consistent, whole-school approach to writing which is designed to empower our pupils with the enthusiasm, creativity and technical skills to tackle all writing genres.
The school aims to:
- provide the children with opportunities for writing across all areas of the curriculum, make it relevant and meaningful and allow opportunities for application of skills
- ensure that teaching and learning of writing is consistent across the school, to aid children’s progress
- encourage the children to present their writing to a high standard, using their best handwriting and using checking mechanisms to ensure grammatical accuracy
- develop the children’s understanding of the sound and spelling system to enable them to use it to write confidently and accurately
- ensure the children develop fluent and legible handwriting
- involve the children in the marking and evaluation process, so that they understand how to make progress in their writing
- create a genuine love of writing and an appreciation of its value, so that the children choose to write and are able to organise and structure a variety of texts, whilst developing their imagination and critical awareness
- assist the children in becoming independent writers
At our school we believe that literate children should write with confidence, clarity and imagination.
Our objectives are to:
- have specific learning objectives for each writing session, based on the new learning within the session, which should be shared with the children and displayed during the session
- follow consistently the teaching sequence for writing when planning and teaching writing sessions
- teach the full range of writing strategies including: spelling, grammar, sentence structure and composition
- develop children’s phonemic and morphological knowledge to help them spell accurately
- develop children’s ability to evaluate their writing and identify next steps for improvement
- develop children’s interest in words and their meanings, developing a varied and rich vocabulary
- provide opportunities for children to write in the style of a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and a range of text types in non-fiction
- teach children to use ICT systems to present their work in a professional manner and to draft and re-draft their work efficiently
- develop children’s powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness through exposure to a range of high quality exemplar texts across a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and a range of text types in non-fiction
- provide children with the opportunity to participate in role-play and speaking and listening activities in order to reinforce their creative flair and writing skills
- model each stage of the writing process for children
- enable children to participate regularly in writing activities
- provide activities through which children develop their interest in writing, and write with enjoyment and with real purpose
Organisation and Leadership
Reflecting the leadership structure across the rest of the curriculum, English is lead by a Strategic Subject Lead (Mrs C Ball) who is supported by a Subject Manager (Miss G Worrall). The leaders are teachers from both Key Stage 2 and Foundation Stage. In this way, we ensure that pupils of all ages receive the best possible English teaching provision.
Inclusion and Equal Opportunities
Writing is a skill that is vital for all children’s achievement and well-being. We believe that all children are entitled to high quality teaching and learning, with regard to writing and we embrace the philosophy of inclusion. All children at Hindsford CE Primary have the opportunity to write at an appropriate level through the provision of carefully planned, targeted work in their Literacy lessons and in Extended Writing. Intervention groups are in place to further support children with additional needs or those who have any difficulties in a particular area. The needs of children on the SEN register are planned for as necessary and a variety of teaching methods, based around those which are Dyslexia-friendly, are used to support the learning styles of different children. In this way, no child will be excluded from participating in writing activities.
We celebrate diversity through recognising our children’s skills and knowledge and by the study of material from a variety of cultures. Texts used represent all cultures in a positive light and show both genders in a range of roles. The interests of both boys and girls are taken into account in the selection of materials to support the development of writing. Language games, explicit feedback and clear target setting all help boys, in particular, to make good progress in writing.
Approaches to Teaching and learning
In order to achieve these aims and objectives, we follow a creative and stimulating writing curriculum which makes links with other subject areas. To support the development of writing skills, the children progress through the objectives outlined in the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum.
We encourage the children to write independently from an early age. Whilst an emphasis in Reception is on speaking and listening, story- telling , singing of nursery rhymes and role play, there are plenty of opportunities to experiment with writing through meaningful child led and teacher led activities.
Speaking and Listening
At Hindsford CE School, we know that a large proportion of our children enter Reception with lower than average speaking and listening skills. From the first day of school, we encourage children to listen to and respond thoughtfully to contributions of others, as well as becoming clear and fluent speakers themselves. The importance placed upon oracy is continued throughout the school as we firmly believe that the bedrock to becoming a successful writer is in being able to talk about your thoughts and ideas in a clear and confident manner before committing them to paper. We firmly believe that good oracy will enhance the children’s writing and always encourage the children to talk through their ideas in full and extended sentences. In order to achieve this, various teaching and learning strategies are used, including:
- The provision of role play and drama opportunities to enliven and enrich children’s understanding of character and relationships
- The use of the microphones, dictaphones, the Radio Room and the Immersion Room
- The opportunity to present ideas to various audiences, including classmates, governors and School Council
- Make regular use of talking partners to allow children to develop their thinking
- Use Murder Mystery and Market Place techniques to encourage collaborative talk
Throughout the curriculum the children will be exposed to specific or technical vocabularies, including Maths, Science, Geography and History which they will use in both spoken and written work. Teachers encourage and model the use of new vocabulary in spoken and written language and record new vocabulary on the class Magpie Wall to support future use. In line with the school values and the Behaviour, Conduct and Attendance policy, the children are also encouraged to talk respectfully to those around them, whatever their role within the school community.
The Teaching of Writing
Foundation and Key Stage 1
Children in the Infants and those in Key stage 2 who have not completed the RWI programme are taught their writing skills through the Read Write Inc programme which occurs daily (see Reading Policy). Children following the programme are taught basic punctuation, grammar and composition skills based on the texts they are reading. They are encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge to spell new words and are given the confidence and enthusiasm to “have a go” at new words that they wish to spell. They have ample opportunities to orally rehearse and explore their ideas through role-play and paired work before committing them to paper.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, pupils enjoy daily English lessons in which there is a balance of modelled, shared, guided and independent writing. The English units are taught over 3 weeks, following a focus on reading in week 1 (comprehension skills, exploring the genre), grammar in weeks 2 (practising specific grammatical skills needed to write in that style) and writing in weeks 3 (planning, grafting, editing and redrafting). Grammar is taught in discrete sessions within the English lesson and children are encouraged to use the knowledge gained in these sessions when they are writing in other subjects. Within the English lesson the grammar content is closely planned to complement the particular genre being covered at the time and also to expand children’s more general knowledge of grammar, meeting the demands of the grammar curriculum.
Following the same approach, spelling patterns and strategies are also taught in discrete session within the daily English lessons. Spelling objectives for these lessons are chosen based on the needs of the class. Additional 15-minute spelling sessions take place 4 times per week outside the English hour, in which both the objectives from the curriculum and the common exception words from the statutory word lists are covered. Children are given weekly spelling lists to learn which include words that contain the same spelling patterns that are being taught in class that week as well as any words that are linked to topic or science work that they might meet in subsequent lessons. Children from both key stages are also invited to take part in termly ‘Spelling Bees’ where they pit their spelling skills against children from other classes by learning and reciting selected words from their class statutory word list.
The children are taught to develop and use a range of writing skills, including ICT skills, drafting, editing and re-draftingskills. They follow the process of planning, drafting, editing and redrafting for all pieces of written work, within all lessons.This allows them the freedom to concentrate on the ideas and content before honing the accuracy of their grammar and punctuation.
Children’s handwriting is developed from Reception onwards, where children are taught letter formation discretely. Once pupils reach Year 2, they begin to learn how to join their letters. There is an expectation that the majority of children will be competent, wherever possible, in a fluent joined handwriting style by the end of Year 4. To help accomplish this, bespoke handwriting sessions are built into the timetable across both key stages. To further promote improving presentation and handwriting, children earn their pencil plus or pen licence when they prove they can use a consistently neat handwriting style. Children with the most improved presentation over each half term have their work displayed and earn recognition and a prize in assemblies.
At Hindsford C E School, we recognise that the skills of writing are particularly challenging for our pupils to master and believe that they need an additional extended writing sessions, which are spread over 2 afternoons, in which to further develop their skills. Furthermore, we believe in the importance of stressing the use of correct writing skills outside the focus of the English lesson. Through these bi-weekly hour and a half lessons, the children build up stamina, confidence and enthusiasm for writing because they are regularly exposed to extended writing opportunities. After an initial grammatical input, the children have a sustained period of time in which to write independently, using the scaffold of differentiated success criteria to work towards age related expectations. In order to support the editing process and develop the process of writing in greater depth, pieces of extended writing are completed over 2 sessions. This supports the process of effective writing including a clear focus on: the sentence and grammar features within the genre, sustained time to write independently using checklists and success criteria, proof reading and editing in line with the new curriculum. As well as the Extended Writing lessons, we provide the opportunity for children to apply their written skills to all areas of the curriculum, and expect children to write at a sustained high level, matched to their potential and current writing level.
Throughout the school the children are encouraged to develop an awareness of the particular strengths in their own writing and that of others, whilst becoming aware of how it may be improved. All writing should be the child’s best writing.
Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and is used to:
– provide the children with clear and regular feedback
– assist the children and teachers in planning their next steps
-evaluate the effectiveness of teaching
Teachers use daily AFL strategies to ensure that all teaching accurately meets the needs of the pupils as they work towards their age related expectations and provides appropiate challenge for all children. Ongoing assessment is recorded as annotations on weekly English planning and informs next steps for groups and individuals.Judgements regarding children’s progress towards the end of year expectations are made termly, after which, children are regrouped and targeted accordingly. Regular moderation is carried out by the whole teaching staff, in addition to inter-school moderation with a small number of schools in the consortia.Teacher assessments for writing using theDfE interim statements for the new curriculum (for 2016 only (identifying standards of ‘working towards the standard’, ‘Working at the expected standard’ and ‘Working at a higher level than the expected standard’)) by year 2 and Year 6 teachers are moderated by the SLT.LA moderation also takes place for Year 2 and Year 6, which we attend.
Monitoring and Review
The SSL and Senior Leadership Team monitor and evaluate the work achieved. In consultation with the governors, the leaders identify areas for development, resource needs and moderate standards across the school.
This policy will be reviewed annually.