Making Miniature books with Axel Scheffler
What does writing look like at High Ercall?
At High Ercall we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing.
The intent of our writing curriculum is to:
- enable our children to build on and acquire new substantive knowledge, be successful at the transcription aspects of writing - by progressively teaching all aspects of the writing curriculum: grammar, handwriting, spelling (see below)
- develop the disciplinary knowledge of writing - how to be a writer and successfully compose and structure ideas - to edit, redraft, and craft writing for a range of purposes and audiences
- follow the National Curriculum expectations for each year group - including aspects of formality and the control of standard English
- deliver a curriculum accessible to all to enable children to know more and remember more, building upon their starting points
- recognise that literature also plays a key role in supporting the children’s development – culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually
- make links across the curriculum - to write for different purposes and also to use writing to record and share ideas proficiently in all curriculum subjects
Our curriculum has been built to include our key curriculum drivers:
- our school values, the 5Rs
- the role of active learning
- building our children’s understanding of diversity.
In their time at High Ercall, we ensure the children access a wide variety of literature and a well mapped writing curriculum to support this broader development and disciplinary knowledge. In our curriculum we have also considered the journey of a child through the school, so that our curriculum is progressive even when a child remains in a class for 2 years. Each class plans contexts for writing carefully to ensure that there is no repetition of learning.
The writing curriculum is clearly sequenced to develop substantive knowledge. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary; a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. 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. A clear, fluent and taught handwriting style is essential in developing early writing fluency.
The writing curriculum is clearly sequenced to develop disciplinary knowledge. We know that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement, and that of others, in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to support the skills being taught in school.
What do we want children to be able to do by the end of Year 6?
We follow the National Curriculum expectations for writing and expect that our pupils will have met or exceeded the expected standards for Year 6 pupils. Our writing targets extend to expectations in Year 7, both nationally and for our local feeder schools, to support transition into secondary school.
We expect our children to develop the substantive knowledge in writing (transcription and composition) progressively as they move through school. Phonics is taught systematically through from Reception, and this supports the development of phonological skills within spelling, as well as recognising and spelling key words. There are clear expectations set out in the curriculum for each year group, and targets set across school. By Year 6 we also expect our children to be able to evaluate and edit text and apply substantive knowledge to effectively write for a range of purposes. This is built into our writing curriculum and targets for the children.
How will this support the children in lifelong learning?
It is essential that by the end of their time at High Ercall in Year 6, our pupils can write with confidence, and write for a range of writing purposes, to use their knowledge and skills in any subject in their secondary education. It is also essential for us that our children have developed the knowledge of a range of genre, to write for entertainment as well as for information, and through this use a wide vocabulary which they can apply to all subjects. In this, reading and writing are intrinsically linked.
Implementation (link to English policy)
How is the curriculum for writing organised and how do we teach it?
There is a clear and progressive long-term writing curriculum starting in EYFS, up to Year 6. This covers all the substantive knowledge in the National Curriculum, including into Year 7, but also extends the expectations of when concepts are introduced to give the children opportunities to hear new vocabulary, see different grammatical features modelled and understand certain concepts earlier. This ensures there is a cohesive language used by all staff across school, but also that there is clear progression in modelling and teaching across all classes.
The curriculum is organised into purposes for writing – to ensure continuity of teaching new knowledge and reinforcement of learning objectives through a half term.
These are writing to:
A balance over the year is expected and detailed in the English Policy.
Teachers promote writing with reading, and look for ways to inspire and motivate pupils so that they see themselves as ‘writers’. Teachers establish the purpose and audience for writing and make teaching objectives explicit to pupils so they know why they are studying a particular text type, the kind of writing activities they need to undertake and what the expected outcome will be.
The following teaching sequence for reading and writing is used as a framework, and includes all taught elements of speaking and listening, reading and writing - all of which are intrinsically linked:
1. use good reading models
2. drama and speaking and listening
3. explicitly taught elements of grammar, language and text structure
4. planning models
5. writing broken into sections
6. proof reading
8. final draft
The writing process breaks down into several steps that will need to be taught and practised regularly:
- Drafting and Writing
- Evaluating and Editing
- Reading Aloud and Sharing
Medium term planning: Each term, the class teacher will use the long term planning to plan coverage of the curriculum, and plan contexts for writing based upon the purposes outlined above. The long term plan ensures clear progression, building upon prior learning and teaching new knowledge. The context for writing may link to the whole class novel, or aspects linked to other curriculum areas such as art or history. The planning takes into account the teaching sequence identified above.
Children with SEND
Our children with any additional needs access the same high quality teaching and learning in writing as their peers. Our curriculum is fully inclusive and supported by our well trained staff. They may also be supported through an Individual Provision Map with, for example, additional 1:1 phonics work through a programme such as Precision Teaching or follow a specific handwriting programme like 'Speed up' to help with fluency of recording. This will give additional provision for that child.
Where necessary an adapted curriculum is fully planned to take into account individual needs within the high quality whole class teaching. In writing, this could mean that a child:
- has a scribe to support with recording
- uses our spelling app on the ipad to support with spelling
- has more visual models to support with the development of ideas
- has extra time to help with processing and organising ideas
- has alternative planning mechanisms to sequence and develop ideas
This is monitored by our SENDCO - Sarah Roberts - and parents are fully engaged and involved.
How do we review learning in writing?
Writing in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children.
Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are consolidating and learning new knowledge and applying these to writing for a range of purposes and contexts. Target pieces of writing are completed at least 3 times a term, and these are evaluated with the children to identify the objectives the children are achieving, and set new targets for the coming weeks.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress.
Sarah Roberts, is our English Subject Leader. There is a clear monitoring cycle in place which evaluates writing teaching and learning, outcomes, pupil and parent voice. These outcomes feed into action planning to continually evaluate and improve our teaching and learning in writing.
Recent subject leader monitoring (July 22), pupil voice, has found that:
Children enjoy writing:
"I like the freedom to put my points in, and I like writing different genres"
"I like writing to entertain. I like it when you can get creative."
"I like taking inspiration from the books we read and write at home."
"I like it that I can express myself - Miss Fletcher lets us use our imagination."
Children can talk about what they have learnt and how their teachers know they are making progress:
"We start with a mindmap – so Miss Fletcher knows what we need to know about. In green I put things that we want to find out – you can magpie ideas from each other. We learnt about the text type – using post it notes and stick things. We know the different features and what is what - Y5"
"Now I use different sentence starters – it is in my book and can go in my book. I can use my big writes. I can use a dropped in -ing or ed clause – it is within the sentence – it is parenthesis and its dropped in and is extra - Y4"
"We have learned new things like repetition to put into our poems. I have got better at writing my y with a tail under the line. My target sheet says to try to use more conjunctions – I try to use them in my writing. I have used but, because, which, and - Y1"
"When we start a new unit – we use a mind map about what we already know – Mrs Lingham uses it to know what she needs to teach us. We use a WAGOLL – we identify features of that category. This helps us so we know what to include in our writing. We can magpie from it too. We have mind maps with ideas for phrases and sentences – we use these in our final piece. We use our books a lot – looking back to help us - Y6"
All of our staff, senior leaders and Governors are involved in measuring the impact of our writing curriculum in differing ways. Governors follow Governor Review Trails each term as part of their monitoring cycle and feedback on the impact of initiatives in school. These trails may involve talking to staff or children, or engaging with parents, or evaluating data linked to writing.
In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Regular assessed pieces of writing (minimum of 3 a term)
- Marking and feedback according to our policy (mainly verbal feedback)
- Moderation of learning across the staff team and with other schools to evaluate the level of our writing
- End of Key stage SATs results - Grammar and writing outcomes
- Talking to the children about their writing
- Lesson observations and feedback
- Subject Leader book scrutiny and evaluating of progress
- Monitoring the impact of Professional Development with staff
- Parental response
- Governor Review trails and feedback, including meetings with Subject Lead