Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3UH
"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you."
– Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Learning to write is a skill which requires time, consolidation and patience. In the early stages of learning, a child will begin to identify patterns between the pronunciation of letter-sounds and the craft of letter formation. As they continue to learn, they will increasingly improve and consolidate this information, enabling them to develop automaticity and fluency when using words to create complex writing structures.
At Fishponds Church of England Academy, we understand that writing requires methodical planning and instruction, therefore our choice of texts for Writing have been carefully chosen to align with topics explored in wider curriculum areas. Ultimately, this approach enables children to analyse and review information at a greater depth, provides opportunities to generate questions and develop written responses for a range of purposes and audiences.
Our intention is to develop pupil’s knowledge, enhance their range of vocabulary and broaden their skillset, enabling our learners to become more independent and productive writers. As these capabilities advance, the emphasis is transferred to instilling confidence and competence within every classroom.
From the Early Years Foundation Stage through to Upper Keys Stage 2, we have worked to ensure children are exposed to a vast range of high-quality texts each term. The intention of using texts aligned with humanities is to allow for maximum exposure to variety of topics, whilst instilling a thorough understanding of information and vocabulary within our pupils.
When choosing our texts, we have carefully considered the potential writing outcomes and the milestones required to successfully fulfil them. Alongside selecting an array of language rich texts, we have also chosen a variety of short, engaging films as an alternative means for delivering units of writing. By introducing texts alongside short films, pupils are enthused and excited to begin their writing journey.
In uniform with our Thematic Curriculum, our Writing sequence has also been designed to follow a two year cycle. This enables teachers to ensure lessons are methodically planned and vastly adapted following years of evaluation and advancement.
Furthermore, we have adopted our delivery of writing this year by introducing a period of ‘Writing Recovery’. Following the Corona Virus Lockdown experienced in early 2020, we have recognised the potential impact this may have had on children’s confidence, learning and attainment. Therefore, we have allocated a duration of learning time (taught in Term 1 of this academic year) to ensure prior learning from previous years has been recapped.
Year 4 Milestone
|Each term, the children are set writing targets throughout the year. The teachers choose relevant targets for each child based on their next steps in learning. The children will be taught their targets and given opportunities to apply them in a number of pieces of writing. Target stickers are used to acknowledge when a target has been shown successfully. Once they have demonstrated confidence in using their target independently on a number of occasions, the teacher will set the children new targets.|
We encourage children to apply their writing skills outside of the English lesson. The children are given opportunities to complete extended pieces of writing within non-core lessons.
The children receive spellings each week to learn. Focused teaching of spelling takes place in each year group. Children are taught the spelling rules and key spellings outlined in the National Curriculum. As well as learning rules and patterns, children are taught strategies to support them with learning spellings.
In 2017/2018, we introduced a cursive approach to handwriting. In EYFS, the children learn to form letters, moving to a cursive formation when they are developmentally ready. In Year 1, the children form letters in a precursive style (unjoined). The children will begin to join some letters. By the end of Year 2, all children are encouraged to join their handwriting.
We recognise that accurate assessment and understanding of children’s knowledge, skills and deposition in writing supports the planning and delivery of lessons. When assessing the children’s knowledge of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, we schedule three NFER assessments over the course of the year. This enables class teachers to conduct a gap analysis, before tailoring planning and scheduling pre and overlearning lessons.
In Writing, we plan for pupils to produce two extended pieces of writing each term which are assessed against genre-based success criteria and the expectations outlined by National Curriculum Framework for English. When moderating writing, we schedule time to network with various schools and Special Leaders in English to ensure our assessed judgements are accurate.