The Writing Curriculum at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School
The Writing Curriculum at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School
Intent – why we teach what we teach
At St Wilfrid's CE, we want to instil a love of writing in the children we teach so that they are motivated and enthused to write for a range of purposes and audiences. We provide a writing curriculum that provides children with the opportunity to develop their writing stamina and express their ideas. They will be equipped to:
- write cohesively and coherently across a range of different genres
- express their ideas creatively
- use appropriate and ambitious vocabulary
- understand how to use and apply a range of grammatical structures
- accurately use age-appropriate punctuation
- use spelling strategies
- use consistent letter formation with appropriate sizing that leads to high quality presentation
We believe that it is important that pupils can communicate their ideas clearly in their writing but also orally. They will often participate in group activities (including role play and other drama activities) to share ideas and explore language choices. They are also encouraged to read their work aloud with appropriate expression and evaluate its impact.
As part of the writing process, children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their work. We place emphasis on reading and checking work carefully for errors (age and ability-appropriately). We want pupils to be able to recognise spelling and punctuation errors and edit these where appropriate. If children are able to do this, they are developing their independence and confidence in writing.
Implementation – how we teach what we teach
Writing skills are taught in every class in school with the foundations rooted in EYFS. In Nursery, we encourage children to develop their fine motor skills. Initially, the children make marks using a variety of resources such as sand, shaving foam, gloop, glitter etc. We spend a lot of time developing the children's muscles in their hands to prepare them to be successful writers. Examples of the activities which are designed to strengthen children's fingers and arms are: dough disco, write dance and drawing club. We teach children to give meanings to the marks they make to develop their confidence and prepare them for writing recognisable letters. As we move into Reception, the children still have a variety of opportunities to engage with fine motor activities which will be teacher-led and in the continuous provision. Writing is taught daily through a systematic phonics approach. The children will also carry out writing practice/activities with the teachers. We engage children by providing a purpose to write, by linking writing opportunities to engaging picture books and by following the children's interests. Through continuous provision, the children are given ample opportunities to apply their writing skills independently.
In Years 1-6, writing is taught daily and different writing styles are taught half-termly, covering a range of purposes. For KS1, the focus on writing is core skills across fiction, non-fiction and poetry writing. In KS2, the different writing genres are explored through writing aimed to persuade, inform or to entertain. Children are encouraged to write from different perspectives and for a range of audiences. Each half term, children also read and write poetry. Writing genres are revisted to ensure children understand their features and some acronyms are used (e.g. AFOREST) to ensure consistency in teaching across all year groups in KS2. Our writing curriculum is text-centred and often linked to our topics to ensure children make links with their previous learning. Our rights-respecting ethos links in with our writing curriculum too, which can be seen in our curriculum attached below.
To ensure that pupils are equipped with the grammatical skills to create these pieces of writing, there are regular GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) lessons, which focus on key objectives to improve accuracy of their writing. In KS2, there is a weekly spelling session in which a specific spelling pattern is taught, practised and applied. For pupils who have a particular difficulty with writing, differentiated and ability-appropriate work is provided, along with interventions and narrowing the gap work, to ensure that they are supported to progress into confident writers. As a school, we follow the Spelling Shed scheme, which teaches age-appropriate spelling rules and allows children to further practise at home to master their spellings. Spellings are also practised during pre-register tasks. We also follow the Nelson Handwriting scheme to ensure that children are writing fluently and with accurate formation/orientation. Furthermore, EYFS and KS1 follow the Letters and Sounds programme for phonics and KS1 have weekly spelling tests based on this.
In addition to the writing lessons, children are encouraged to apply these skills and understanding to their writing in other subjects too. This enables children to utilise the knowledge which other subjects offer whilst still applying their writing skills. For example, the beautiful poetry created in an RE lesson can be found at the top of this page.
Impact – how we measure what we teach
The impact of this writing curriculum is that children will be confident, fluent writers who enjoy expressing their ideas. Consequently, this will enable them to write for a range of purposes and audiences in their future lives.
Every half term, class teachers assess each child against the year group’s writing objectives. In addition to this, pupils will complete termly assessments for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
The final teacher’s assessment of writing is reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at St Wilfrid's CE Primary.
We use the National Curriculum expectations in English to form our long term English plans. The Programmes of Study can be found here.
To learn know what the writing objectives are for your child's year group, please click on the 'Curriculum On A Page' attachment below.