Chapel Lane, Harriseahead, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST7 4JL

01782 512301

Thursfield Primary School

We care, We share, We dare to dream

Writing at Thursfield

 

Intent

At Thursfield Primary School we believe that writing is a key skill for life both inside and out of education and that is why it features across all the subjects taught across our school. Our aim is to provide children with key transferrable writing skills to build on year on year, which can be used throughout each phase of their education and prepare them for what comes next. Teaching children to write for a range of purposes and audiences is very exciting, we provide children with a range of engaging ‘Wow moments’ to excite and capture their imagination!

Our writing curriculum encourages creativity and engages pupils in order to motivate and build stamina for independent writing. The knowledge, skills and literary/grammar devices for writing are explicitly taught and modelled to ensure learners can apply these skills independently. Our creative writing approach is structured in a way that inspires and engages our children. It is a planned journey of carefully prepared experiences and teaching that gives confidence and makes our children the ‘authors’ of some wonderful adventures. Consideration has been given to allow for the careful collection of vocabulary and discrete teaching of the technicalities of writing, including purposeful teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar to ensure our pupils have the knowledge and skills to write fluently and creatively.

 

Implementation

Writing is taught explicitly through daily English lessons, writing and reading are closely linked and high-quality texts are the driver of the English curriculum. Writing is linked to a range a genres - the ‘Whole Class Daily Reader’, samples of carefully selected high quality texts, Everybody Writes theme and classics are used as well as poetry. Exposing our children and providing them with a wider purpose of writing.

Class teachers carefully plan sequences of lessons following our Thursfield teaching and Learning Characteristics, this ensures that our children learn through small steps and have time to be guided through new skills learned and practice their new skills in the way of drafting and editing. Scaffolds will be provided through use of examples and modelling. Children will always begin with a retrieval and recap to bring existing knowledge forward to build the new knowledge upon and embed the new writing style, grammar and vocabulary.

 

Thursfield Writing Journey

The diagram below shows the sequence all children are exposed to, it is not a linear process there is a fluidity to the process as we follow a small step process to embed understanding and work on the quality of our children’s writing not the quantity.

 

 

 

Class teachers will plan a creative sequence of lessons that will allow the children to be exposed to age-related expectations for writing within a range of texts. The planning sequence will consider many aspects such as -

The use of high-quality text from a range of authors and genres including classics, provide readers with an approachable context, making it easier to write from different perspectives and about abstract situations. Exploring the features of different text types as a starting point and modelled examples allows our children to understand the genre more deeply, recognise grammatical features in use, features of the genre presented with and author styles more clearly and how the writers voice can differ.

The use of a WAGOLL is also used as an example of how to be successful at the start of each unit of work. This provides our children with an end goal and as a scaffold within the planning process. Teachers ensure that the standard of writing in the WAGOLL reflects the age-related outcomes for each specific year group.

Sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon; teachers use shared writing, modelled writing and guided writing to teach a range of skills and techniques, which enable the children to develop their own writing style using appropriate grammar, punctuation and ambitious vocabulary choices. These lessons also enable the children to make links, apply taught skills in a context and see a purpose to their writing.

Teachers model the writing process daily and demonstrate the high standards expected of all children. This clearly shows the children that effective writing takes time and effort, and how important the editing process is. This scaffolds and supports children’s writing and ensures that expectations are clear.

Class teachers teach children a selected range of higher-level vocabulary through the introduction to the new texts being used in the teaching sequence. It is carefully identified and selected from the example texts then taught through the separate stages modelling the correct use and awareness of the context being applied to. Children learn it, see it, say it, apply it.

Teachers plan their lesson sequences for English with a focus on a creative stimulus and bringing these experiences/stories/cultures to life, it is a huge part of what our children experience. Use of video clips, images, art in support of the writing, visits, P4C, Wow moments, a hook, and drama.

Drama within the writing process has a large impact for our children and we value its importance towards our children’s writing. It supports speaking and listening, extending vocabulary and practicing use of new taught vocabulary, encouraging an understanding and expression of different points of view. We see drama as a motivator for our children to write from different points of view.

Our children are taught how to plan their writing through talk4writing, story maps, boxing up. We value the importance of the planning stage as a tool for them to effectively sequence their pieces by paying to particular attention to the genre features and breaking it down into the small steps necessary. Talk4writing is vital as a step, particularly in the earlier years of school, and used often. This ‘Writer-talk’ is the articulation of the thinking and creative processes involved in all stages of the act of writing; talk that helps children to think and behave like a writer, considering themselves to be one. Speaking and listening is a step our teacher regard in the planning process, as children are encouraged to orally rehearse before writing.

Shared writing is part of the teaching process and a way that scaffolding and guided practice are filtered into the writing build up. Using this method enables the class teacher to demonstrate their high expectations and help children to understand how to write that particular genre and use all of the taught vocabulary, spelling, sentence types and grammatical features required. The teacher will construct a ‘live’ written example as they teach throughout the process, they will use input from the class and individuals, use talk partners and encourage the children the to write individual examples on whiteboards to share and use in own piece. This offers a high level of engagement and assists in the generation of ideas and inspiration.

Self-assessment and opportunities to read and edit own work is modelled and taught; it is an important part of the lesson sequence and a key part in building our children’s knowledge and embed new skills learned. It is used to help our children improve their writing by identifying gaps, recognise errors such as spellings or missed punctuation and visibly see where they can improve.


Handwriting

It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the beginning of their time in school. This begins in the Foundation Stage through the delivery of ‘Squiggle While You Wiggle’. This program incorporates dance, music and large movements to help children to develop the fine muscle control needed for writing. They will learn a new gross movement to a piece of music while holding ‘flappers’ while dancing along to the music. As the program progresses they will then transfer these movements to floor level and begin to use writing tools such as crayons or pencils to make marks. The next step will be using this action to think of letters they can form that use this shape and become confident mark makers. This moves to ‘Squiggle me into a writer’ in Reception and the skills learned previously in Cubs and Nursery are the foundation to build on and these principles are used to develop them further into the actual writing of letters.

In KS1 the children are taught to sit correctly providing the best posture for writing, to hold the pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. We role model the high standard of pre-cursive then cursive and the children are then encouraged to imitate this. It is taught and practiced regularly in separate books but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced. Teachers are expected to model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing/modelling on the board and on displays around school.

Writing across the Curriculum

At Thursfield Primary School we develop writing as a transferrable skill across all subjects taught in the curriculum. We therefore promote to our children that the standard used in English writing lessons should be carried over and work completed should be of the same high standard. We immerse our children in our foundation subjects and provide engaging writing opportunities that are linked to each termly topic to give children an audience and purpose for writing for example creating a report in Science. Children are expected to transfer their key topic knowledge, genre knowledge and high-level vocabulary into their writing and vice versa to transfer their spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge into their topic work. We expect the high standards for writing in Literacy lessons to be evident within the work in all books.

 

 Reasonable Adjustments

To ensure that our progressive writing curriculum is available to all learners we offer daily interventions and support in the area needed to be nurtured and to accelerated their skills to meet individualised targets, support in class may include small group work or 1:1 guidance with an adult during lessons to model key skills, promote and teach use of supports such as scaffolds, word banks and sentence openers to assist the children when writing. Use of stories in the form of video clips and talk 4 writing are valuable for adjustments as more rehearsal is needed.

 

Impact

The impact of our writing curriculum is that our children will have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a range of purposes and audiences. Through the progressions of the writing sequence form our earliest years to Year 6 our children have their skills built upon every year, this consistent approach ensures that our children are confident writers with the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work.

By the end of Key Stage 2 they will have developed their craft and enjoy writing, they can manipulate language for a creative effect, include grammar and punctuation to achieve the desired result and end with a detailed coherent piece which they show great pride in. As all aspects of English writing are an integral part of the curriculum, writing cross curricular will also have a high standard and these skills taught are being transferred in all subjects, this shows the consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.

 Spelling at Thursfield 


 Whole School Writing Expectations 

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 Writing Expectations - Year 1.pdfDownload
 Writing Expectations - Year 2.pdfDownload
 Writing Expectations - Year 3.pdfDownload
 Writing Expectations - Year 4.pdfDownload
 Writing Expectations - Year 5.pdfDownload
 Writing Expectations - Year 6.pdfDownload
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