Our approach to teaching writing at St Leonard’s CofE Primary School:
At St Leonard’s CofE Primary School, we follow the National Curriculum 2013 to structure and shape our teaching of writing. Curriculum content for each year group is taught as per the National Curriculum 2013. We believe that, and ensure through our teaching, writing is a rich and creative subject in which all pupils can succeed and experience success. As such, we hold the aims of the National Curriculum as our overarching guiding principles for shaping the provision of writing.
Our writing ethos:
At St Leonard’s, we are dedicated to teaching writing in a way which engages children and inspires creativity. Our aim is to equip children with the necessary skills to prepare them to be lifelong writers. We strive to ensure that every child enjoys writing through the use of stimulating texts. We recognise the importance of writing for a purpose in order to motivate children, allowing them to share their writing with others to celebrate success.
Underlying principles for teaching writing:
As a school community we have, through exploration and research, concluded that the following principles will underpin our teaching of writing:
● Teachers use an elicitation task to assess children’s writing needs.
● Teachers plan a writing sequence, addressing these needs, and carefully scaffold lessons to ensure children learn new skills and can apply these at the end of the sequence.
● The teaching of writing, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar happens through studying high-quality core texts which, where possible, link to current topics. This ensures that writing is purposeful and meaningful.
● A wide variety of genres and text types are used which demonstrate progression through each year group and through the school.
● Spelling and handwriting are taught both through writing lessons and discrete lessons.
● Children are given support and challenge during the writing process, enabling them to make progress from their own starting point.
● Children write independently and are encouraged to plan, write, edit and assess their work.
● All children are set personal targets so that teachers and children have a clear next step for improvement.
● Learning environments reflect the learning journey and support children’s writing.
What this might look like in the classroom?
The principles above are evident within our teaching throughout a lesson and sequence.
● Children are immersed in a high-quality core text and given opportunities to listen and respond to the text, analyse, learn and remember, act out sections and engage with the text.
● Using the core text, teachers teach associated vocabulary, punctuation and grammar.
● An ‘innovate’ stage gives the opportunity for shared writing to take place, allowing children to understand the process and expectations.
● Teachers model the writing process to children through shared writing and modelling.
● Children are given choice at the end of a teaching sequence, in the ‘invent’ stage and write their own pieces, including the skills which have been taught during the sequence.
● Teachers have high expectations of writing with regards to quality and quantity.
● Teachers give feedback to children in lessons, as stated in the feedback policy, so that a meaningful conversation can happen which moves learning forward.
● Children and teachers are given the opportunity to reflect on the standard of the final piece of writing.
● Writing walls demonstrate learning that has happened so far in a sequence.
Assessment and Monitoring
● Elicitation tasks elicit prior knowledge.
● Tracking grids track pupil progress at the end of a teaching sequence.
● Termly data, validated through moderation, will be analysed to recognise progress and attainment in writing.
● Daily AfL and feedback contribute to the assessment picture of individuals, and it will be evident in books when verbal feedback (VF) or in-lesson intervention has taken place.
● The Writing lead and Senior Leadership Team will routinely monitor the impact of CPD on the quality of teaching and learning.
● The Writing lead and Senior Leadership Team will routinely monitor the overall quality of teaching and the impact this has on progress for all pupils.