English - Writing
Writing at The Grove
We deliver our English curriculum through a Quality Text curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. This approach enables all children to experience a wide and varied range of quality books throughout their time with us and allows the children to develop their writing skills through scaffolding and demonstration of well written genres and texts. Click on the link below to view the school high-quality text curriculum map and the writing outcomes for each year group.
Writing forms a large part of various areas of the curriculum, therefore cross-curricular writing and writing in other subjects is of the upmost importance, as well as in English lessons.
The Writing Process
We support all pupils to develop written work of the best quality that they can. Pupils have an opportunity to encounter high-quality language, both from written texts and teacher interaction. Grammar, punctuation and other specific language elements are taught within the context of both reading and writing.
There are four stages to the writing process:
Daily English lessons are recorded in English books. Teachers identify misspelt words in pupils writing, through marking, these are highlighted and then corrected by the child. Day-to-day assessment is in the form of oral feedback and interactive marking, enabling the children to reflect and edit their work. Teachers assess children’s work in Writing by making informal judgments as they observe them during lessons.
At the end of the year, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the skills they have developed in-line with the National Curriculum in England 2014 and these are reported to parents as part of the child’s annual school report. We use this as the basis for assessing the progress of the child and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.
The children will often be encouraging to publish these pieces of writing to perform to their Reading-Writing Buddies.
Components of Writing
Across the school, shared writing provides and opportunity for teachers to model writing, focusing on composition, presentation, organisation and structure, reflection and editing (or ‘up-levelling’). When modelling, teachers make their thought processes explicit to the children, highlighting specific sentence structures and features of the genre. Teachers encourage children to participate and verbalise their own ideas to contribute to the shared write. This allows the teacher to identify any misconceptions but also as a form of assessment; does the child have a clear understanding of the purpose and organisation of the specific genre they are learning about?
Guided Writing is a great opportunity for smaller, focused groups to work alongside an adult. This enables the adult to support and guide the group. The group work together to begin a piece of writing and then continue independently while the teacher moves around the group and supports with individual needs as they arise. Guided writing sessions are planned carefully for, according to children’s targets to promote progression in writing skills for all children.
Independent Writing (‘Big Writes’)
Children are given the opportunity for a range of independent writing activities which clearly link to the identified writing objectives. These tasks have an identified audience, clear purpose and to cover all aspects of the writing process (see above). Children are given a range of opportunities to assess their own and each other’s writing in order to move their own learning on. These independent writes are used by teachers to assess a child’s ability. The school meets with parallel year groups from other schools around the catchment area to moderate.
Handwriting is taught daily in KS1 and three times a week in KS2. Lessons are modelled by the teacher and reinforce the week’s spelling strategies. Penpals is a complete handwriting scheme that ensures progression from early development of gross and fine motor skills to confident letter formation and accomplished joins. The scheme equips children with thorough knowledge of the shape and formation of letter and joins, allowing them to develop their own comfortable and legible handwriting style.
Spellings are taught through the use of the programme No Nonsense Spelling. The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. The programme has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year. There are strategies used within school that you can also implement at home when practicing spellings with your child.
Weekly spelling tests allow teachers to assess pupil’s development on a regular basis: lists of words are given to pupils at the end of each week and tests carried out at the beginning of the following week. Daily opportunities are provided in class, where children practice these spellings as well as developing phonics skill, using the Letters and Sounds scheme for spelling and phonics. Phonics skills are developed through KS1. Year 1 pupils complete the Statutory Phonics Screening Check. This takes place in June each year. Results are reported directly to parents.