At the SLC Federation, we recognise the importance of writing as an essential skill to all aspects of life. We ensure children develop a lifelong, healthy and positive attitude towards writing both for pleasure and for a purpose. The skill of writing enables pupils to communicate, with themselves and others, documenting and sharing their knowledge and ideas. Building on experiences, it encourages expression and higher-order thinking skills to develop. So, creating a culture of writing across the SLC Federation ensures our children are given the best opportunities to build their capacity and confidence in a range of writing styles and genres. By creating a stimulating environment and utilising effective resources, we are determined to provide all pupils with a supportive writing curriculum which will allow learners to realise their full, unique potential and develop their:
Writing skills underpin most elements of the school curriculum and are an essential life-skill. Considering the fundamental importance of writing in everyday life, we are driven by the need to develop each learner’s writing ability, thus enabling them to play a full part in society.
The SLC Federation aims:
- To develop children, who are imaginative, creative, independent, inquisitive, inquiring and confident writers.
- To provide children with a range of writing skills and strategies to enable them to write confidently with comprehension, cohesion and enjoyment for a range of purposes, in a variety of contexts and for different audiences.
- To ensure no opportunity is missed to foster an enjoyment of writing amongst pupils and a recognition of its value, by setting work that is challenging, inspirational and motivating, helping them to develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards writing, nurturing a life-long love.
- To provide opportunities to explore a variety of different genres and to be exposed regularly to high quality texts (m
- odern, historical and cultural), providing a model for pupils to aspire to.
- To ensure children have a clear understanding of the writing process: planning, drafting, re-reading and editing their own work.
- To develop children’s ability to self-assess by reflecting on the quality of their writing, encouraging them to construct informed opinions and implement strategies to improve their own work.
- To monitor writing progress effectively to evaluate, promote and maintain high levels of attainment through moderation, formative and summative assessment.
- To ensure that children with writing difficulties are identified early and support is given promptly.
- To work in partnership with parents/carers to develop each child’s full writing potential.
Across the SLC Federation, we are following the 2014 National Curriculum and Development Matters for the teaching and learning of writing skills. We are committed to raising the standards of children’s writing to ensure that all children are progressing and achieving at least in line with national expectations.
The SLC Federation believes that two distinct, but related areas, are involved in teaching children to write: transcription (copying) and composition (creation and make up).
Transcription covers the technical aspects of writing: handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Composition is about sharing their ideas and thinking about the purpose for their writing. We believe both are essential for developing lifelong successful writers and for achieving in the area of writing. It is imperative that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions.
Strategies for the teaching of writing
Our children are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop, extend and deepen their writing skills in and across each phase of education. The use of discrete lessons and Confident Creative Learning (CCL) sessions allow for a broader range of opportunities to create extended pieces of work in a socially collaborative environment.
In discrete lessons, we aim for each child aim to complete at least one extended write every two weeks. Across phases, different stimuli are used to engage the children (e.g. books, films, real life events). Across the two weeks, children will focus on the text type and genre of writing, covering grammar topics that can be used and applied for that particular write. Modelling is used across all phases to set expectations and enable the child to understand what the teacher is looking for. This modelling will take place in a variety of different ways (e.g. pre-written model, a live class write, a live teacher write). Children will be taught to draft, edit and proofread their work prior to and after writing up their final piece in Extended Write books.
Through CCL sessions, children are presented with opportunities to apply the skills they have learnt in discrete lessons to a range of activities based on developing writing skills. These skills could relate to different subject across the curriculum and focus on such areas as spelling, handwriting, grammar or general writing. On these activities, children will work independently to develop their curiosity and love of writing to produce different pieces of work. CCL can also be used as opportunity for different phases to run intervention groups whe
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage will have many opportunities to make marks and write for pleasure and enjoyment, during indoor and outdoor play, continuous provision and formal teaching sessions. The children will begin to see that their marks can carry meaning. Through mark making the desire to communicate meaning through letter shapes slowly emerges and the children develop a confident approach to writing. This journey is encouraged and supported throughout the EYFS, from Nursery to Reception. EYFS supports the progression into KS1 with a focus on both formation and writing content, including most letters being correctly formed, punctuation and use of conjunctions.
Specific Area of Learning – Literacy – under the strand ‘Writing’ and the Prime Area of Learning Physical Development (PD) under the strand ‘Moving and Handling.’ Holding mark making/writing tools require good levels of physical development, both fine and gross motor movement.
Key Stages 1 and 2
In KS1 and KS2, the school has a set of key objectives in writing that provide detailed guidance for the successful implementation of the National Curriculum for writing.
- One-hour lessons, which engage children in the development of grammatical understanding, punctuation and spelling strategies based on high-quality texts.
- phonics, catching up on lost learning or reaffirming key skills taught in a discrete lesson.
- The elements of the writing process are also taught during this time.
- Discrete phonics sessions are taught daily to develop the skill of decoding and encoding. Practicing spelling words containing the new sound taught and writing dictated sentences form part of the daily lessons.
- Grammar sessions built into English lessons with a focus on particular grammatical areas for a particular genre e.g. Teaching the passive voice when writing newspaper reports in Upper KS2.
- Punctuation sessions built into English lessons.
- Meaningful contexts and high-quality stimuli are provided as the ‘hook’ or as the inspiration for writing.
- Quality speaking and listening opportunities are provided for the children.
- Teachers exploit cross-curricular links wherever possible and further develop writing skills within a variety of contexts.
- A clear model for how to meet lesson objectives is presented to the class at the outset.
- Teacher modelling of the thought processes and standards required are clear and regular.
- Writing is linked to learning-focused objectives.
- Writing composition is taught explicitly to the children every week. The reinforcement of this teaching is also featured across the full range of subject areas.
- The teaching of grammar is mostly contextualised within the teaching of writing composition and exemplified during Extended Write sessions.
- The thought processes involved in writing is modelled to the children on a regular basis.
The impact of the curriculum will be monitored by the Writing Lead to ensure that it is being used effectively to provide challenge, stimulation and excitement to improve the standards of writing from EYFS through to year 6. Phase leaders support the Writing Lead to monitor the standards in writing and understand the progression and ‘Writing Journey’ being undertaken by all pupils. Our aim as a Federation is to ensure that, by the end of year 6, all children are suitably prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills for the next stage of education. We work to carefully balance the requirement for pupils to reach national expectations with our wider curriculum aims of providing creative, enriching experiences where children become confident and independent learners.
Through providing opportunities for writing across the curriculum, skills taught in English lessons are transferred into other subjects allowing children to consolidate the skills they have learnt and show progression, deepening their understanding of how and when to use specific grammar and punctuation objectives.
Pupils’ progress is measured through ongoing assessment and through assessment points at the end of each half-term. Each phase conducts in-house moderation meetings where work is shared and pupils’ progress is discussed. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning are identified to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.
Above all, our aim is to help all children enjoy writing and be able to express themselves across a range of genres, demonstrating their growing vocabulary and technical skills. We hope that, as children move on from us to another setting, their creativity, passion and high aspirations for writing moves with them.