Writing at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School aims to develop confident, resilient writers who are equipped with a range of skills to enable them to write with flair and independence. Writing is a life-skill which underpins the curriculum.
Children will practise grammatical skills using discrete and contextualised techniques to consolidate their understanding, and to use and apply these in their own writing.
Quality texts are used within English lessons to give children a purpose for writing, alongside a wide range of cross-curricular opportunities. Children write for a variety of audiences, using their knowledge, skills and creativity to nurture their personal writing style.
At the beginning of every school year, an independent piece of writing will be completed by each child in the school from Year 1 to Year 6. This forms a baseline assessment for writing.
English is taught every day as a discrete lesson. Grammar is taught as a contextualised strand.
From Year 2, each year group follows a progressive spelling scheme, ‘No Nonsense Spelling’. Through exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach. Children are also taught key spellings from the National Curriculum word lists. Five spellings are given on a weekly basis as part of the children’s homework. The approach to learn these spellings is, ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’. The children are tested weekly and scores are recorded.
Children are also taught to:
- Proof-read their spellings.
- Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills.
- Use dictionaries and thesauruses.
It is paramount that children are taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During the Early Years Foundation Stage at Our Lady’s, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture and how to develop a legible handwriting style. Handwriting is explicitly modelled and practised on a daily basis throughout Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, using the Nelson Handwriting Scheme.
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two
At Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, the English Curriculum is carefully planned to ensure that all National Curriculum statutory requirements for writing are covered in each class. This is underpinned by Quality Texts. These are diverse in coverage in respect of the authors and the content of the texts chosen. Using these texts, the children have the experience of writing a range of genres, which will enrich their language and understanding. It is our aim to ensure that all genres are covered at least once in the school year in Key Stage One and at least twice in the school year in Key Stage Two. Some of these genres will be covered in other curriculum areas, such as Science, History and Design and Technology.
Writing at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School is part of our bespoke curriculum and includes elements of ‘Read, Write Perform’ (©) and ‘Focus English’ (©). Therefore, our Writing Curriculum has the following elements:
- Benchmark Task
- Exemplar texts
- Video clips
- Paired or Shared Writing, with links to our pedagogical approach of ‘I do’, ‘we do’, ‘you do’
- Quality Texts
- Opportunities for creative writing
- Contextualised grammar
- Cross-curricular links
Editing is a major part of the National Curriculum Statutory Requirements. Therefore, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, check, edit and refine their written work and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in their writing. These improvements, in both short pieces of writing and in extended pieces of writing, will be made using their Purple Polishing Pen.
All writing is planned with a clear purpose and audience. By the end of Key Stage Two, children will have developed greater creativity, enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross-curricular writing will consolidate skills and give our children a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.
Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Marking is constructive with ‘next steps’ and/or ‘modelling’ where appropriate. Teachers write the next steps in books to ensure that the children know exactly what they need to do next in order to make progress in their writing. This also includes improvements in spelling and handwriting. Children’s progress in writing is regularly monitored and termly progress is inputted into SIMS.
When children leave Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, they will have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a range of purposes and audiences. They will be confident and capable writers who are able to communicate effectively through a range of forms. It is our aim that they will have developed a genuine love and appreciation of writing.