At St Paul’s our intent is that pupils will be able to write fluently, develop, and use a vivid imagination and make readers engage with and enjoy their writing. To achieve this we aim to develop a deep understanding and use of a range of vocabulary appropriate to the genre and form of writing. We want the children to have an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description. We aim for our children to be able to organise and structure their writing, ensuring it is well presented and with the correct use of punctuation and spelling. Overall, we aim for our children to develop a love of writing, to understand and use it as a way to communicate and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
To develop these characteristics they will explore the following key concepts:
- Write with purpose, understanding the purpose or purposes of a piece of writing.
- Use imaginative description, developing an appreciation of how best to convey ideas through description.
- Organise writing appropriately, developing an appreciation of how best to convey ideas through description.
- Use paragraphs, understanding how to group ideas to guide the reader.
- Use sentences appropriately, using different types of sentences appropriately for both clarity and for effect.
- Present neatly, understanding of handwriting and clear presentation.
- Spell correctly, understanding the need for accuracy.
- Punctuate accurately, understanding that punctuation adds clarity to writing.
- Analyse writing, understanding how grammatical choices give effect and meaning to writing.
- Present writing, learning to reflect upon writing and reading it aloud to others.
The National Curriculum describes what must be taught in Key Stages One and Two. Each teacher at St Paul’s follows the English programmes of study ensuring continuity and progression in the teaching and learning of English. In the Foundation Stage - Nursery and Reception - the curriculum is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, which lead into the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2.
In the EYFS, the Short, Medium and Long Term planning is based on the objectives from the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and Development Matters.
In KS1 and KS2, the Short, Medium and Long Term planning is based on the objectives outlined in the National Curriculum and is further broken down by the Essentials Curriculum. English is taught in Milestones, as outlined in the Essentials Curriculum. All objectives taught are taken from the Essentials Curriculum and are evident in weekly short term planning. Each Milestone ensures that children are taught a series of objectives over a 2-year period, providing the opportunity for children to have a deep understanding of the objectives taught. At St Paul’s we also follow the advice of Literature Works when planning the reading in to writing process.
From year 2, all children take part in the Read, Write, Spell programme to support spelling. This is delivered following the planning and resources provided by Read, Write, Spell and at the pace felt appropriate by the teacher.
The teaching of writing in the EYFS involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing). Key texts are used throughout the year in the teaching of writing. These are linked to the key themes covered each half term.
The medium term plans for KS1 and KS2 identify a specific purpose for writing each half term. Building on prior knowledge, the plan allows the child to develop a deeper understanding of the language appropriate for each purpose of writing and to understand that the same forms of writing can be used for different purposes. At St Paul’s we also plan for a specific purpose, audience and form. We believe that by understanding their audience and purpose the children can mould their vocabulary and grammar to make their writing successful. When they have a purpose and audience for their writing they understand why they are doing it and see the joy of writing.
Teaching methods and approaches generally begin with teaching and modelling, followed by guided group or independent work. Throughout the lesson, at various intervals, there will be a plenary, which is an essential opportunity for assessment. It is made clear to the children at the start of the lesson exactly what it is they will learn as the objectives are shared with them. The children will know if they are making progress in a lesson as the teacher will give feedback at various points throughout the lesson. Marking provides children with clear information on where they have achieved the learning objective (highlighted in green) and how they can improve ( highlighted in pink).We also use a learning objective tick system consisting of 1,2 or 3 ticks so the children understand know how securely they’ve achieved the learning objective.
In lessons at St Paul’s children are given the opportunity to take part in:
- group work
- paired work, including mixed ability and similar ability pairs or friendship
- whole class teaching / modelling
- individual work
- multi-media work e.g. drama, video, word processing and computing.
- practical work including drama and role play
- investigational work
- focused discussion promoting speaking and listening
- consolidation of basic skills and routines.
Cross Curricular Writing
In order to create a cohesive and meaningful learning programme for our children, we identify links that give children the opportunity to use their subject knowledge and skills in real contexts. Teachers plan opportunities for the children to apply the writing skills they have acquired, in the wider subject areas e.g. Y6 successfully wrote to our local MP and councillor for Newcastle to highlight the lack of recognition for Fredrick Douglas and to persuade them to erect a plaque in his honour.
Every year we have a whole school writing project – every child in school will read and write about the same book for the first 2 weeks of the year. A common purpose for writing is selected enabling the identification of progression in writing skills throughout school. It gives the school community an opportunity to have another class in school as their audience and read their writing to them. It provide an exciting buzz through school as children to talk to each other about what they are working on.
We have links with Live Tales and Live Theatre in Newcastle where our children take part in writing and drama workshops. The children are encouraged to plan and develop their own stories, which are brought to life by illustrators at the workshop. Children also take part in residencies with the staff at Live Theatre, working for 2-3 days to put together a performance for an audience.
At St Paul’s we understand the importance of experience when developing imaginative and creative writers. We aim to ensure our children receive a range of opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world and deepen their bank of inspiration for writing. Below are some of the opportunities our children experience:
• Visits from authors
• Visits to libraries and museums
• Writing to authors / illustrators
• Year 6 take part in the Children’s Book Show every year, which includes a workshop at school from an author, poet or illustrator and a trip to the theatre.
• Activities, resources or virtual experiences with The Book Trust
• Farm visits
• Visit to Nissan
• Visits to local town centre
All staff receive initial training from the English lead or Phase leader in the process of teaching writing at St Paul’s. Staff will then attend courses provided by Literature Works to deepen and support their subject knowledge and development. CPD is provided during staff meetings termly to ensure staff are up to date with subject knowledge and to share good practice.
The English lead attends termly meetings with Head teachers and other English leads taking part in Literature Works. As well as termly meeting with English leads in the WEST Trust.
All assessment criteria has been developed in line with the National Curriculum requirements, and the Essentials Curriculum which enables us to assess children as they move through each stage of their reading journey.
Short Term assessments
These are part of every lesson (AFL). Teachers assess children on a daily basis through questioning and evaluating. Children will be assessed in every writing session against the objectives set for the session and alterations are made to planning in response. In all cases, pupils who are not making expected progress are monitored and support from the teacher is provided.
Medium Term assessments
Assessments are carried out termly in order to track and monitor children’s progress. This will involve meeting as a phase group to moderate writing and judgements being made. The English Leader monitors writing levels each term. If a child continues to fall below expected levels a discussion will take place between the class teacher, the English Leader and SENDCO (if necessary) and suitable interventions such as 1:1 writing support or small group work are planned. Assessments are discussed at pupil progress meetings twice a year.
All parents receive an annual written report including a summary of their child’s progress in English over the year. In year 2 and year 6 this will include the results of the SATs tests which are undertaken during May. Parents are also be informed of ongoing progress at parents’ evenings.
It is our intention that every child in our school will develop a love for reading and writing that will last a lifetime. During their time with us, we are confident that our pupils will be given the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to help them as they continue on to high school.