Within the North Cheam Hub (NC Hub), we endeavour to create a love for writing. We want every child to leave Year 6 with the skills of an excellent writer who: has the ability to write with fluency; can think about the impact they want their writing to have on the reader and knows how they will achieve this; has an extensive bank of vocabulary and an knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description; can structure and organise their writing to suit the genre they are writing and include a variety of sentence structures; displays good transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented, punctuated, spelled correctly and neat; re-reads, edits and improves their writing so every piece of writing they produce is to the best of their ability. Throughout their time at Brookfield / Cheam Park Farm, children develop their skills by exploring a whole range of high quality texts with a focus on exploring a range of models of excellence and using these to guide the drafting and editing process.
Our approach to writing is under-pinned by the four ‘Writing Purposes’: 1. To entertain, 2. To inform, 3. To persuade and 4. To discuss. All English writing sessions stem from a well-structured and high-quality WAGOLL (What a good one looks like), which allows our children to be well challenged and immersed in rich language, identifiable clear genre key-features, high-expectations to write at length (WAL) with key year-group skill foci (SPAG and sentence structure) being taught discretely then embedded within the writing at length. Every child is challenged, with the aim that all children are expected to, when appropriate, write independently at length. Texts are carefully selected not only from the scheme but also from the expertise of teachers. This ensures high quality, vocabulary rich texts, supplement and support the wider curriculum whilst providing opportunities for Reading and Writing. Activities are planned around each text to provide children with a purpose for their writing, using differentiated resources to meet the needs of the individual learner. Where possible, text selection, extracts and the use of video prompts are chosen to carefully match and align with the wider curriculum and each of the individual year group’s topics that may be taught during each half term.
Our aim by the end of Reception is for children to have achieved the Early Learning Goals (ELG) for all areas of literacy. In order to achieve the ELG in Writing, children need to be able to:
- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed
- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters
- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
In order to help children achieve their potential and achieve the ELG in Writing, we provide a literacy-rich environment with plenty of opportunities for independent, child initiated writing as well as quality-first, focus writing groups. Writing resources, such as paper, pens, chalk, paint etc. are readily available for children to access independently across the whole learning-environment in the Early Years. We plan our lessons based on a different book of the week across the Early Years and evidence of writing can be found in our online learning journeys and independent writing books.
In Nursery children are first taught how to hold and use a pencil to mark make and are encouraged to give meaning to the marks they make, as well as noticing print in the environment. Children also work on name writing and motor skill development through sessions such as, dough disco sessions (See EYFS policy) and PE sessions.
In Reception, we plan for a weekly focus for Writing, which involves small group or one-to-one work with an adult. We plan differentiated writing tasks and offer different levels of support and visual-aids based on the child’s needs. In addition to this, we run regular interventions to support children who are working below age-related expectations, as well as extension Writing groups for our more-able children. We teach daily phonics lessons following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme.
Key Stage One
In Year 1 & 2, teachers incorporate many elements of Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk 4 Writing.’ A ‘hook’ is used to engage children at the start of each unit of work. Through this, children are immersed through a series of play based activities and oral retelling/discussion to develop children’s ideas, grammatical knowledge and vocabulary. A model text is learnt, supported visually by a text map and physical movements. Children hear the text and say it for themselves before they see it written down. Once they know the text well, children ‘'Read it as a Reader' involving in depth discussions around the text, focussing heavily on vocabulary and oral comprehension.
Children then ‘'Read as a Writer' identifying the underlying patterns of the overall organisation and how the writer creates different effects. The text is ‘boxed up’ so that the structure becomes obvious and can be used as a basic planner. Working walls display an array of teacher modelled writing (I show), the shared writing with children (We show) and children’s published work (You show) providing good quality scaffolds for all abilities. Children are then able to innovate the modelled text in a variety of ways including: substituting characters and settings, vocabulary choice for effect and drawing upon inspiration where required. Following the internalisation of the text, children innovate it. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say. More confident writers use the boxing up planning tool, then turn their plan into writing. At this stage the teaching is focussed on generating and crafting composition enabling children to develop their ability to generate good words and phrases.
Key Stage Two
In Year 3 & Year 4, children explore one of four writing purposes over a 2 week cycle, where they look at genre specific skills and language before applying to their writing. In Year 5 & Year 6, children explore a different purpose of writing each week, building on and applying their skills week by week. Learning objectives are provided which relate to one of the four Writing Purposes:
e.g. To write a diary recount with the purpose to inform
e.g. To write a newspaper report with the purpose to discuss
e.g. To write a description with the purpose to entertain.
High quality WAGOLL’s are provided alongside extracts from the text each week to provide children with a guide to aid them draft and edit. WAGOLLs are used to discuss text types, key features and structure. WAGOLLs are written by and drawing upon the expertise of teachers across the Trust. High quality working walls are used during lessons to enhance learning. Resources including examples of modelled / shared writing are displayed for children to refer to.
Our Writing curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes; Children understand and apply the fundamental principles of spelling grammar and punctuation in their writing; Children evaluate, improve and redraft their writing; Children are responsible, competent, confident and creative writers; A celebration of learning for each term which demonstrates a progression of learning across the school; Children develop an author’s voice; Children communicate clearly using accurate grammar, punctuation, handwriting and spelling; Children develop competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) at national expectation and at greater depth.