At Fowey, writing is an integral part of our curriculum. By the end of Year Six, we intend for our children to have developed a love of writing as well as being able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.
Teachers use the National Curriculum and genre progression maps to derive detailed plans. Using ‘The Write Stuff’, careful consideration is given to the sequence of the curriculum and ways in which the lessons build towards a piece of writing which showcases pupils' acquired knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers, with the support of the English Lead, pay careful attention to the cohorts in school and tailor the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of pupils; choosing reading texts and writing genres which inspire and motivate them to learn. In turn, this establishes our pupils’ enjoyment and engagement in the subject.
Writing is embedded within all lessons and we strive to ensure all pupils become able writers. This is supported: through the use of high-quality texts, by immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring consistent curriculum expectations through the progression of skills and knowledge. At Fowey, we set high expectations for all our children, teaching them to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish. We intend for our writers to leave at the end of Year 6 able to re-read, edit and improve their own writing; enabling them to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Writing is taught in whole class lessons at Fowey so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge content of the National Curriculum.
Early writing is taught through mark making and when pupils begin RWI phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing cvc words, quickly progressing on to short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged and inspired through an enabling environment to write independently during continuous provision. In EYFS and Year 1, ‘The Write Stuff is used as a model to plan and develop engaging units of writing that develop the children’s understanding of sentences and a range of text types.
In Year 2 and throughout KS2, in order to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, teaching of writing is linked to either our class imaginative learning projects (ILP), whole class reading (WCR) texts, other high-quality texts or film stimuli. This provides our pupils with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Teachers follow the school’s long-term map and genre progression map, supported by ‘The Write Stuff’ schema, to plan and structure their lessons, ensuring a clear progression in the teaching of writing knowledge and skills across the school.
Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary (GPV)
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres outlined in the long-term plan for the year group, allowing teachers to provide genuinely connected learning between GPV and overall writing outcomes. Teachers will teach stand-alone GPV lessons if it is deemed necessary to embed and develop pupils’ understanding or to consolidate skills. Grammar and punctuation lessons are taught weekly to provide opportunities for pupils to deepen their understanding of the knowledge and skills taught within writing units.
Vocabulary is consistently identified, discussed and displayed in classrooms across all curriculum areas and is an explicit feature in daily WCR lessons. Pupils are encouraged to use a wide range of vocabulary when speaking and within their writing and this is modelled to them by adults. Pupils have access to word mats, thesauruses and dictionaries to support their understanding and development of vocabulary.
EYFS and KS1 pupils are taught daily through Read, Write Inc. Pupils are taught in ability groups from Reception to Year 2 thus enabling them to be taught according to their stage, not age. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child irrespective of year group. Pupils are assessed ½ termly, progressing rapidly through the programme.
Once pupils complete Read, Write Inc. they move to whole class teaching of spellings. From Year 1, Spelling Shed is used to support the teaching of the National Curriculum spelling rules. Spellings are set for homework on a Monday and tested on the Friday. To support children in learning these spelling rules, online Spelling Shed activities are set by teachers weekly.
High frequency words, topic specific vocabulary or words being regularly misspelt will be written below the work to be correctly spelt by pupils three times (these reflect the ability of the pupil).
In EYFS, children learn to form letters using the RWI handwriting phrases. In KS1, children then learn to form pre-cursive letters and by the end of KS1 all children are expected to be able to form lower case and upper-case letters with the correct orientation, appropriate size and distance, remembering to leave spaces between words.
In Year 2, when teachers feel a child is ready, they will begin to teach cursive handwriting style through weekly handwriting lessons. Children will be expected to learn to form letters of an appropriate size, leave fingers spaces between their words, join fluently using diagonal and horizontal joins and correct their mistakes with a single pencil line. Children will write in pencil until they are able to write legibly, with the expectation that most children will be using pen by the time they are in Year 5.
To support children in developing their handwriting, teachers will model writing at the age appropriate level at all times. Where required, additional practise and writing support aids will be provided to support children in developing their writing skills. Resources will be printed in the school’s font as well as writing on display around the school.
o Pupils enjoy writing and are confident writers across a range of context, applying their skills and knowledge independently
o Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in writing lessons
o Pupils have a secure understanding of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling and can apply them appropriately
o Pupils will be able to access writing across the curriculum
o Pupils talk with passion about their writing
o Pupils access resources available to them and talk confidently about the impact of these on their writing
o Teachers plan lessons that meet the needs of all learners
o Teachers are secure in their subject knowledge
Evidence of the impact will be measured through the following:
◦ Termly assessment by class teachers, using BABCOCK writing assessment frameworks and the National Curriculum
◦ Termly moderation meetings, both within the school and across the trust
◦ Termly data meetings to review pupils’ individual progress and the progress of cohorts
◦ Half-termly monitoring of pupils’ writing outcomes in books
◦ Half-termly learning walks to monitor teaching of writing – successes and feedback given to teachers
◦ Annual pupil conferencing linked to writing
As a result, we aim for pupils to leave Fowey inspired to become writers of the future, with the knowledge and skills to become successful authors, poets, journalists, broadcasters. Fowey pupils have high expectations and are ambitious for their future.
Planning and Resources
In EYFS, teachers plan opportunities for children to meet their Early Learning Writing Goals following the ‘The Write Stuff’ teaching sequence. Each writing unit is planned using an age appropriate, high quality text to support pupils’ engagement in, and understanding of, the skills being taught. Pupils are also encouraged to broaden their writing skills though a range of continuous provision opportunities.
In order to expose pupils to a variety of genres, which helps to utilise and embed the necessary writing skills, teachers in both KS1 and KS2 use a short-term plan to structure and identify teaching points throughout their lessons. Teachers use ‘The Write Stuff’ to structure their writing lessons. Each unit journey is designed to show progress in clear manageable steps, outline year group objectives and facilitate application consolidation of key knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for all learners to enable them to achieve at an age-related standard. Where pupils are working below the expected standard for their age, intensive support is given including through targeted feedback, scaffolded support resources, one-to-one tuition and small group work. Confident writers are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar.
All classes have a working wall, which clearly shows the writing unit development that pupils take throughout a writing unit. These walls are developed throughout the course of a unit to include key plot points, examples of success criteria, key vocabulary, whole class discussion notes (post-it notes or teacher scribed) and tools to support pupils in achieving their writing objectives.
Teaching and Learning
As a school we know that pupils need frequent opportunities to discover the links between the skills of writing, reading, speaking and listening, drama and role play. Because of this, teachers ensure that all writing units encompass a range of experience activities to develop and embed learning for pupils. The conventions of written standard English are modelled to demonstrate what a good text looks like, exemplifying the requirements of each genre of writing. This is best done through children’s own work and through that of other writers when it is appropriate.
A wide range of resources are used to support pupils and enable them to become independent writers. Dictionaries, thesauruses, word mats, wall displays and prompts will allow the developing writer to concentrate on content.
The writing process will be monitored to match the appropriate task to the individual through differentiation with the use of continuous assessment as a tool for deciding suitable teaching strategies as a way to develop and sustain progress.
Writing is assessed throughout the year, using a collection of independently written pieces. Babcock assessment grids are used to support teachers in reaching their assessment decisions.
Teachers moderate pupils’ writing with their year group partner and writing lead regularly. They also attend moderation meetings with other schools across the trust to ensure consistency of assessment against the National Curriculum requirements.
Weekly spelling tests are completed.
A termly spelling test is undertaken as part of standardised assessements.
In Key Stage 1, Read Write Inc lessons are held on a daily basis and last for approximately one hour. Alongside this, these pupils have a one hour ‘Write Stuff’ lesson based on developing composition, grammar, punctuation and spelling following the whole school progression map.
In Key Stage 2, pupils have an hour-long writing lesson following ‘The Write Stuff’ lesson structure. Children are taught what great writing looks like and the mechanics of writing, as well as the development of genre and a range of text types. Children also have weekly Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling sessions (GPS) to teach, re-visit and embed grammar and spelling knowledge and skills.