At St Wulstan’s, we believe that all pupils should have rich opportunities to master writing across many different genres. We strive to embed the basic skills required for writing during the initial few years of school and we provide many opportunities to practice these skills within each year group from EYFS – Y6. By the time they leave us, the children will have written for many different audiences and purposes and acquired a strong skill set for writing according to the national curriculum guidelines. We believe all children should understand the importance of writing in everyday life and value its ability to communicate ideas and opinions of the writer to their audience. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We appreciate that the world we live in is ever changing and a move towards the text typed form of writing is prevalent. However, writing is still a fundamental part of our ability as humans to communicate and we encourage this development within all children during their time with us.
Quality First Teaching
We teach age-related expectations of writing to all our children in every year group across the school so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. The sentence stacking approach to writing is used within all classrooms from EYFS – Y6 when teaching writing. This is an approach which relies heavily on our teachers understanding their expectations of the pupils within each writing genre. Teacher modelling is also encouraged within most writing lessons to demonstrate the skills and styles of writing that the children are encouraged to use. Within writing lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for less confident pupils, to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. More confident writers are also given opportunities to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding through further challenges highlighted to them during the writing process. Targeted questioning is another method used by teachers to extend pupils thinking during writing lessons. In Y1 – Y6, writing is recorded in one English work book that displays the writing journey from the initial hook lesson through to the finished writing piece. Texts are often used as a hook into the writing and link to the English and Humanities learning, and are always carefully selected to ensure that they engage children. The sequence of sessions includes:
- A hook lesson is used to introduce the purpose of writing to the children.
- Explicit and deliberate practice of a key skill, either one revisited or introduction of a new skill. This is followed by varied practice of the skill in different contexts.
- The planning phase is used to share ideas and plan what is written in the final piece.
- The writing of the chosen genre is then split over several lessons.
- Editing and improving of the writing takes place directly after the writing each day.
Teachers and support staff have regular CPD, which enables them to teach writing effectively, using the most up-to-date research to underpin this. We regularly refine and adapt our teaching of writing based on the findings of new research.
Marking and Feedback
Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy. Children are encouraged to annotate, edit and improve their own work in response to discussions with others.
Summative assessments will be entered onto DCPro each term. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements for the most part on the quality of the written outcomes pupils give during their writing lessons.
Writing for pleasure and writing as a school community.
There are lots of varied opportunities in school for writing daily, including writing for pleasure and writing in other subjects within the curriculum. Our topic work follows a themed approach which enables children to gain a strong and robust understanding of the topics by looking at them through the lens of different subjects. This allows us to weave writing opportunities into our topic learning regularly. This provides many different opportunities for writing within various subjects,
As a result of the implementation of our writing curriculum, we see visible impact through:
Pupils who enjoy writing across a range of genres
Pupils of all abilities are able to succeed in all writing lessons
Pupils use a range of strategies for spelling
Pupils have a good knowledge of a range of text types and genres
Pupils who are ready to write in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
Pupils talk confidently about texts that they have written
We hope to continue to see an improvement in impact within writing, more so than we have seen over the past 4 years on our attainment and progress outcomes:
The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group is higher than national average.
The % of pupils working at Greater Depth is in line with national average.
There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non disadvantaged)