Intent: Why does our Writing curriculum look like this?
The teaching of writing is a central part of our curriculum provision in school and is a skill integral in many curriculum subject areas. We want children to enjoy writing for a range of purposes and to gain excitement in communicating with others via the written form. At Barley Fields Primary we are especially proud of our bespoke writing curriculum and the way it supports our children in their progressive journey to become creative and imaginative writers with a high level of technical skill. Our writing curriculum has been carefully designed to create excitement and motivation with a theme for audience and purpose at its core. Teaching and learning has been sequenced to ensure children develop the knowledge and skills needed across all strands of the writing curriculum by the end of Year 6.
Our writing composition curriculum is supported by several other schemes of learning including phonics, spelling, punctuation and grammar and handwriting.
In EYFS and KS1, our focus begins by securing the basic skills of handwriting, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation. It is our aim to provide children with ample opportunities to develop their emergent writing skills: encoding words (spelling), physical fine motor development, compositional language and vocabulary development. Within each Key Stage children are encouraged to develop an awareness of themselves as communicators, to ascribe meaning to marks and begin to transcribe their writing from an emergent to competent level of composition. By the end of Key Stage one children enjoy writing for a variety of purposes and have the technical skill to work with increasing levels of independence.
In Lower KS2, the aim of our writing curriculum is to enhance the effectiveness and complexity of what children write and to increase the range of what is written in terms of genre, purpose and audience. Children have opportunities to extend their understanding of grammar and punctuation, vocabulary and to enhance their spelling skills linked to age related expectations. The acquisition of a fluent and joined handwriting script is also a key element of the writing curriculum in this key stage.
In Upper KS2, children continue to enhance and refine the effectiveness of their writing composition which is facilitated through their access to a wider range of language in stories, plays, poetry and non-fiction texts. Children are taught to adapt their writing for specific audiences and work towards being able to make informed and independent choices about the content, levels of formality and structure of their writing. Skills such editing and redrafting are a central part of this curriculum and ensure our children leave Barley Fields as enthusiastic, confident and competent writers.
Implementation: How will we achieve this?
Writing is taught daily and in blocks of lessons to ensure children have opportunities for a sustained period of study in a text type and have time to embed and enhance their skills. Nursery to Year 6 children follow detailed medium-term schemes of learning underpin teaching pedagogy for effective quality first teaching in writing. They support teaching, ensure continuity and carefully sequence for progression and depth. Our curriculum incorporates several specific teaching approaches and incorporates spelling, punctuation and grammar and handwriting. Children have opportunities to use high-quality resources and materials to support their learning including IT. Our curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Our children are regularly reminded of the core skills needed to learn in writing with the use of the school curriculum character – Ravi the Writer. This character is regularly used to encourage children to reflect the key skills needed when working within the writing curriculum.
Our Teaching Approach:
We primarily adopt principles from three approaches to the teaching of writing within our curriculum;
- Talk for Writing
- Read, Write Perform
- Short Burst Writing
In classrooms teachers use a mixture of these approaches to deliver the curriculum. Teachers will use a focus text to explore the features of a text type and will encourage children to model and imitate this in their independent work. Children will also be encouraged to apply their understanding of different text types to write in different ways and for a variety of audiences.
Talk for Writing is an innovative teaching approach developed by the literacy specialist and writer Pie Corbett. It uses quality model texts to introduce the children to different story/text types which they learn off by heart and scrutinise with a writer’s critical eye. Talk for Writing works with any genre of writing and across the year children may work with narrative and non-narrative texts in this format. Using this approach children will learn the underlying structures and the process of planning writing. They learn about the key strategies for creating interesting characters and settings and how to use a range of sentence types to create different effects including suspense or adventure.
Talk for Writing is multi-sensory and interactive teaching strategy that enables children of all ages and abilities to learn to write a wide range of story/text types using various methods including:
- Listening to and learning texts and stories;
- Taking part in drama and role-play;
- Drawing and story mapping;
- Collecting words and language strategies;
- Building their working knowledge of grammar.
Read Write Perform/Publish is an exciting approach to English that encourages children to actively engage with writing for a real purpose and typically leads to the publication of their work in a variety of media forms. Learning to write for a purpose is essential if children are to focus upon and apply what they have learnt in a meaningful and purposeful way.
Read, write, perform/publish follows a cycle of analysing quality texts, developing independent writing and performing or publishing it for a real purpose. It combines a range of skills and supports a cross curricular approach to learning. Using this approach our children have opportunities to effectively use IT to publish or present their writing to a real audience
Our short burst writing approach offers children regular opportunities to revisit prior learning and knowledge and to practice and reinforce their writing skills in short, focused tasks. It allows specific aspects of the teaching cycle to be revisited and consolidated as children progress through our school and helps children to develop stamina and independence in their approach to writing.
In addition to the teaching pedagogy for writing we have devised a writing progression document to clearly outlines the progression in teaching objectives for each text type. Our Writing Composition curriculum content is designed around four main writing purposes
Full details of our long term curriculum schemes of learning can be downloaded below.
Impact: How will we know that our children are achieving?
By the end of each key stage, children are expected to know, apply and understand the skills and techniques specified in the English curriculum plans.
Children’s writing is formatively assessed continually across the year using our internal assessment and tracking system. Attainment and progress are monitored using our SONAR tracking system which identifies clear and progressive end points. This ensures individual pupil progress is maintained, aspirational targets are set and end of key stage expectations are met by all children. Children are assessed termly and a final summative assessment made at the end of the academic year. Children will be assessed in accordance with Age Related Expectations.
In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
- For individuals, a celebration of learning which demonstrates progression in skill development and underpinned by self, peer and teacher feedback;
- A celebration of learning for each term which demonstrates progression across the school (Curriculum Floor book);
- Pupil discussions about their learning (Pupil Voice); including discussion of their interests, thoughts and evaluations of their achievements.
- The annual tracking of standards across the curriculum.