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. 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.
We believe 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 skills 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.
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 enjoyment for a range of writing purposes, to use these skills in any subject in their secondary education. It is also essential for us that our children have developed skills to write a range of genre, 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 expectations of 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 and reinforcement of learning objectives through a half term. These are writing to: entertain, inform, persuade, discuss. 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, though it is not an expectation for all units of work:
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
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 writing skills 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. 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
- End of Key stage SATs results
- Talking to the children about their writing
- Lesson observations and feedback
- Parental response
- Governor Review trails and feedback, including meetings with Subject Lead
All of our staff, senior leaders and Governors are involved in measuring the impact of our reading curriculum in differing ways.