Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
In a diverse and multi-cultural primary school, here at St. Nicholas we believe writing to be a lifelong and full filling skill. It is both essential to thinking and learning and enjoyable in its own right. As children begin to learn the main rules and conventions of written English they learn how it can be used to communicate meaning in different ways.
It is important that children learn to write independently from an early age. All children in whatever stage of their English acquisition, are treated as writers and from the moment they make marks and attach meaning to them they are encouraged to regard themselves as writers.
Early Years Writing – Children are encouraged to write from a very early age and within Continuous Provision, there are many opportunities for children to mark make in specifically designed writing areas. Writing is celebrated and in Reception, children spend more time experiencing writing as a teacher led activity.
Planning for Writing – Our long term plans come from the Liverpool English Plans which is a robust planning document with heavily structured progression of English skills. To allow for in-depth understanding of the books read, each class teacher plans a well-structured, half termly plan around one class book. These books have been carefully selected with the support of outside agencies to ensure a range of high quality literature from a range of authors which include classic texts alongside more recent stories. These stories are also the starting point for non-fiction writing and poetry works.
As a school, we model our planning on the Talk for Writing’ approach which was developed by Pie Corbett and supported by Julia Strong. This strategy enables children to read and write independently for a variety audiences and purposes. It also supports writing across the curriculum as skills and genres taught are transferrable to other subjects.
Within our school we feel this works well as a tool for all children but especially for our EAL learners as the movement from imitation to innovation to independent application can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. Our approach allows children to internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
In order for children to produce a sustained piece of writing, there are weekly expectations that children engage in ‘incidental’ writes which allow children to showcase the features of previous genres. From an early stage there is a progressive emphasis on the skills of planning, drafting and editing pieces of work.
To ensure children associate writing as of high importance and a necessary lifelong skill which should be enjoyable, children’s writing is celebrated within school and writing examples are displayed around school.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar – SPAG is an essential part of writing and the knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar helps children to properly arrange words in sentences and add correct punctuation. This allows children to communicate effectively with others. This lifelong skill is taught progressively within each year group and children are given the opportunities to show their learning of skills taught through daily and weekly writing activities.
Read, Write, Inc – Starting from our Foundation Stage and moving up to Y2, there is the daily and systematic teaching of Phonics using the RWI program, letter formation is introduced at an early stage to allow children the opportunity to apply phonic knowledge taught within these sessions and support spelling.
From Y2 to Y6, children continue to work on and learn spelling strategies through RWI Spelling.
Working Walls – Within each class, the English Working Wall demonstrates the progression of skills taught during the term and Magpie Walls share words and vocabulary to support writing. As we encourage independent thinking and develop the skills for lifelong learning, resources to support children’s writing, spelling, use of language and editing skills are all available within each classroom setting.
Handwriting – Letter formation is taught not only as a discreet lesson from Y1 – Y3 using the Folens Writing Scheme, but also within English lessons to support KS2 children. Our focus is on developing spelling and fluent handwriting to build up accuracy and speed.
Support Writing Interventions: In our diverse and inclusive school, children who are identified as needing to close the gaps in areas of their writing are supported in many ways, through adult support, guided writing sessions and post teach strategies. Some children are also put on Intervention Programmes in order to close the gaps as quickly as possible such as ‘Get Writing’ and ‘Fresh Start’.
The impact of the writing emphasis and teaching at St. Nicholas will be…
- Children becoming more confident writers with a sense of enjoyment and creatively in their writing
- A clear progression of writing skills established and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar and punctuation
- The ability to plan, draft and edit work effectively
- The ability to write for different audiences and purposes
- To transfer skills for writing across the curriculum
- A good understanding and use of vocabulary development in writing
- The ability to write for sustained periods of time
- A well presented handwriting style
- A clear understanding of spelling conventions and patterns