To develop as effective writers, we believe children should be taught to:
- Express themselves clearly and precisely for enjoyment.
- Use knowledge acquired from their range of reading texts to model their writing in the style of different authors and also in different genres.
- Demonstrate their understanding of how writing enables them to remember, communicate, organise and develop their ideas and information.
- Write for an increasing range of purposes, matching their language to the needs of the appropriate audience.
- Understand the appropriate use and purpose of an increasing range of written forms on paper and on screen.
- Develop ideas and communicate meaning to a reader, using a wide-ranging broad vocabulary and effective style.
- Write in a neat, joined-up style with accurate spelling and expression.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader.
Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.
Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2014).
How we plan writing
In Foundation Stage: Opportunities for developing writing are planned following EYFS guidance and assessed against the Development Matters statements. Early mark making is developed to become emergent writing and subsequently early writing through providing frequent, high-quality, skills-based activities and opportunities for writing.
We use “Herts For Learning” (HFL) planning documents as the basis for our planning for writing. In addition to HFL planning – staff also use a variety of supportive materials such as Pie Corbett’s “Talk for Writing.”.Cross curricular writing is encouraged in all year groups and linked to the theme to give it a real life context and purpose.
Most English lessons will include whole class teaching of the learning objective (WALT).Lessons may also include;
- Teachers modelling writing strategies
- the use of phonics and spelling strategies. (see below for details)
- Guided writing sessions to target specific needs of both groups and individuals,
- Supported writing (do these need to be explained?)
- Shared writing
- Independent writing
- Extended writing opportunities
- Real books may be used as a stimulus or writing model
- Drama or talk for writing opportunities
How children are guided to improve during lessons
Children are provided with a range of opportunities to improve their writing during and after the writing lessons.
- Drafting and editing skills are taught – following our Non-negotiables and marking policies
- Children have access within the classroom to visual aids (writing working walls, handouts, spelling, word list, letter formation cards as applicable to the need and age of the child)
- LSAs are used effectively to support and extend pupils.
- Teachers use formative assessment methods to assess the children’s achievement and progress during the lesson to pick up difficulties and misunderstandings during lesson time.
- Marking after lesson time is used when we wish the children to revisit the objective. In such cases we follow our marking policy which uses symbols to guide children to edit and improve as necessary.
- Use of class visualiser to show good examples
- Children may use the writing TAFS to consider areas that they may need to include
- Pupils may have writing targets to help them focus upon key areas to improve.
All children should make progress in their writing as they move through the school. We assess and track the children’s writing using a variety of methods. These include;
- Regular writing scrutiny and lesson observations
- Subject leader learning walks
- Use of Herts for Learning and Government TAFs and assessment criteria
- Internal data analysis
- Termly progress meetings – where individual’s progress is discussed
- End of phase data analysis
- Small step progress (Pivots) for identified SEND
This informs further implementation in the classroom to meet individual needs.
How we teach handwriting
At St Andrew’s our intent in teaching handwriting are that the pupils will:
- Achieve a neat, legible style with correctly formed letters in accordance with St. Andrew’s chosen font
- Develop flow and speed;
- Eventually produce the letters automatically and in their independent writing
In EYFS handwriting is taught initially through multi-sensory opportunities, such as paint brushes in water on the playground, chalk, mud, use of ribbons, shaving foam, playdough etc. The children are taught the sounds (phoneme) the letters make and the grapheme which represent the sound). We teach pre-cursive letter formation.
The children are encouraged to develop a tri-point pencil grip as their fine motor skills develop – using “crocodile fingers” to help them learn to pick up their pencils.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Cursive handwriting is taught, with the children learning about the shape and orientation of the letters, joining strokes, spacing between words and size of capital letters etc. Children have regular opportunities to practise and have a dedicated handwriting book.
How we teach phonics
Systematic Synthetic phonics is planned in the Foundation Stage and Year one, following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document four part approach “review, teach, practise and apply” based on delivering the five key phases. ( If Phase 5 is completed in Year 1 then Phase 6 will be introduced)
This scheme is supported by a variety of other materials such as; jolly phonics- actions and songs, Phonics Play etc.
Daily phonics lessons take place in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1.
Children in Year 2 who were identified whilst in Year 1 as having not met the ‘Phonics Assessment’ benchmark will be provided with extra support in Year 2 to achieve expected level. They will be required to retake the test in Year 2 at the time time as Year 1 children.
How we teach spelling
From year two and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns.
We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology and etymology of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers.
To support this approach we use Read, Write, Inc scheme of work and children’s booklets to ensure clear progression of subject matter.
Teachers also use weekly spelling tests and dictation passages to drill some of these patterns and apply them contextually. Words are drawn from the National Curriculum Word List for each phase.
We recognise that
- Reading is an essential life skill that provides access to the experiences of people from different cultures and times.
- Children must acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas.
- Reading for pleasure can support well-being and aid relaxation.
Implementation of Reading
We aim to foster positive attitudes to reading through carefully designed teaching activities and classroom provision.
Reading is taught through a variety of approaches which include:
- Shared reading –where the adult model strategies and behaviour to help the children understand what they might do to become an efficient and effective reader.
- Whole class reading – where a text is shared with whole class, enabling children to access higher level of vocabulary and comprehension questions are open to discussion.
- Guided reading- The children are grouped according to ability and will read to the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant, at least once a week from a whole-school reading scheme
- Independent reading – the children are given, or guided to choose, a reading book at the correct level. Books have been colour-coded to ensure that children can independently select a suitable book. After completing this process children are equipped and enabled to self-select appropriate reading materials from home or school.
- Home reading – Every child is actively encouraged to read to a parent at least four times a week. A shared reading record ensures communication between the teacher and parents.
- Paired reading – reading buddies being developed through the Pupils Librarians at lunchtimes.
- Class Reading books are used to encourage children’s enjoyment of literature. This is read regularly and is chosen from good quality reading texts-including classic literature.
- Reading Comprehension activities are planned for weekly within the Literacy lesson and/or Guided Reading sessions.
- The Letters and Sounds phonics programme is introduced in EYFS and continued throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2 as necessary. It focuses on phoneme / grapheme recognition and the strategies of blending to read and segmenting to spell. Children in KS1 are grouped according to phonic ability and receive sessions of focussed teaching, learning and assessment.
- Regular assessment ensures children who at not working at an appropriate level access intervention groups for regular pre and post teaching of the required phase.
- Our two library areas – encourage the children to make book choices from either non-fiction and fiction books (Good quality author books are included within the reading scheme books)
Our reading scheme books include books from Collins Big cat scheme and The Oxford Reading tree. These are supplemented by other scheme and real books. In the early stages of the scheme teachers are mindful of matching up the children’s reading books with the phoneme being taught.
Intent: Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening: speaking; listening and responding, group discussion and interaction, and drama permeate the whole curriculum
Our intent is that our children;
- Use, with increasing confidence, the vocabulary and grammar of Standard English.
- Are able to formulate, clarify and express their ideas.
- Express themselves in a variety of situations using language which is appropriate to their needs and the intended audience.
- Listen, understand and respond appropriately to others
Opportunities to develop these skills include debating in class, talk partners, show and tell, small group discussion, drama and shows; e.g. Foundation Stage Nativity, KS1 Christmas Production, Easter Lower KS2 Production and the Summer Upper KS2 production.
Children are also frequently provided with public speaking opportunities through Collective Worship, Church services, Faith Factory and whole school sharing assemblies.