English – Writing Curriculum Statement

Intent

At Claremont we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. In enable our children to do this we want:

  • Children to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn.
  • To be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • All pupils to take pride in the presentation of their writing, by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
  • Our children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.

Our writing curriculum focuses on the skills outlined in the National Curriculum. Progressive units of work teach children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. A high proportion of our children have English as an Additional Language (EAL) so we ensure that teachers and TA’s incorporate key vocabulary and clearly model skills using visual aids, ICT and cues to enhance the learning. We ensure our writing curriculum includes enrichment experiences such as visits to museums, galleries, farms and working with artists, scientists and authors in school. All children are given the opportunity to access the curriculum at their level and are provided with the resources required to enhance their understanding. This enables children to make links with their own lives and experiences and recognises that without skills in English children would not be able to access other curriculum subjects.

Implementation

At the end of the EYFS children aim to achieve a Good Level of Development and be able to demonstrate a growing command of English.  They gain the gross and fine motor skills necessary to form letters and use their knowledge of letter-sound correspondence to write at an appropriate phonic stage of development.

Throughout the EYFS, emergent mark-making is celebrated and valued as children begin to ascribe meaning to the marks they make. In addition, practitioners and teachers provide daily speaking and listening activities that are well matched to children’s developing abilities and interests.

A rich and varied environment supports children’s language learning. Indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to encourage children to explore and apply the knowledge and skills to which they have been introduced through guided activities.

Across the school, we implement the National Curriculum by using high-quality children’s literature and proven creative teaching approaches to engage children and to develop a whole school love of reading and writing.

All the books we choose offer in-depth and real writing experiences, meaningful study of literary styles and rhythms, opportunities for response that is creative and open-ended, all whilst keeping children engaged with the characters and the story as a whole. Children are exposed to a breadth of types of texts, such as: narrative, poetry, traditional tales, texts with powerful illustrations, and interesting non-fiction texts.

National Curriculum requirements for grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) are integrated into the curriculum and children are expected to apply their knowledge of contexts, purposes, audiences and GPS when writing at the end of a unit.  This takes place at least twice each half term and is assessed to ascertain next steps for learning. Weekly spelling and dictation tests interweave prior learning to ensure spelling rules and grammar are retained. Writing expectations are equally high across all areas of the curriculum and are evidenced by the appropriate use of subject specific vocabulary in context. Children are given the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge of a text type in another subject area once a term.

Teachers use assessment for learning (AFL) to give verbal feedback to children in lessons. Children can then act on this feedback immediately. Steps to success are given to children to use for their final writing outcome of a unit. This checklist will be linked to the year group objectives. Teachers will use this to assess their work so that children can look back to the checklist and easily see which objectives they achieved and which the teacher thinks should be targets in the next piece of independent writing. Over time, children develop the skills to use the steps to success to proofread, edit and assess their own work and that of their peers.

Impact

Insight assessment tracker is used to record the progress that pupils are making in terms of knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more at the end of each term. This will record whether children are well below the age-related expectation, just below the age-related expectation, in line with the age-related expectation or above the age-related expectation.

These judgements will be quality assured by the subject leaders using first hand evidence of how pupils are progressing, drawing together evidence from writing moderations, discussion with the Senior Leadership Team during core group meetings, observations of lessons and book scrutinies. Rigorous assessment allows for teachers to plan progression and to identify children who need additional support.

This supports the children to:

  • Make good progress from each stage of their learning
  • Have a love for writing and write for enjoyment
  • Be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a high standard
  • Be confident to write for a range of different purposes