We aim for each individual learner to see themselves as a writer and view the subject positively, recognising its importance in wider life – both in their present situation and in their future aspirations.
Our curriculum and delivery of writing lessons in the lower school routinely encourages and allows learners to draw upon their reading and our reading spine to inspire, support, develop and extend the quality of their writing.
We recognise that pupils' first experiences of writing must be positive and therefore we intend to create motivating environments and deliver the subject of writing in an engaging, motivating way that enables pupils to recognise their progression.
We also recognise that in the lower school, we are building the foundations of writing and grasping and securing essential skills such as pencil grip, handwriting, phonic application are paramount to future success.
There are reoccurring and frequent links made between/across books/reading materials, the teaching of reading, and writing.
✏️ For pupils to have a positive perception of writing and see its purpose within the curriculum and beyond the curriculum.
✏️ To develop learners’ (oracy) speaking and listening skills and wider understanding of language.
✏️ Engage learners in exciting writing journeys/lessons which have purpose, engaging context, challenge, scaffolding and variation.
✏️ Teach learners to use strategies for planning and monitoring their writing.
✏️ For pupils to be able to confidently draw upon their phonics knowledge and apply it in their writing.
✏️ Give learners frequent exposure to a wider range of language/vocabulary due to the context of our academy and the needs of our learners.
✏️ Promote fluent written transcription skills by encouraging extensive and effective practice and explicit teaching of spelling and handwriting.
✏️ Encourage learners’ deep and active processing of words, sharing texts across reading and writing.
✏️ Enable learners to discuss and share their writing confidently with peers and teachers.
✏️ Allow learners to draw upon their knowledge and experiences of existing stories and texts, to write for a range of purposes, supported by knowledge of form or in fictional writing: settings, characters, plots and vocabulary.
✏️ Use individualised information about learners’ current capabilities to help all learners achieve, selecting the best next steps for teaching and learning.
Carefully chosen books and supporting texts by a range of writers and authors are the main context for learners’ writing in the lower school.
Dependent on year group and term, the book/reading material provide context for writing last for a minimum of 1 week and a maximum of 3 weeks.
Within our flexible approach to writing, teachers have ownership, enabling them to create writing opportunities/tasks based on certain aspects/parts/content of the book that they believe will engage pupils.
Learners will use the context, vocabulary and knowledge (acquired from what they have read) to develop and extend their writing skills, enabling them to write and apply skills effectively in developmental writing tasks, simple caption/sentence based writing tasks, before progressing to fiction and non-fiction genres/forms.
In a typical learning journey, pupils gain a secure understanding of a story/text and use this to support their writing. Early in the Autumn term, pupils are shown/teachers model letter formation so that pupils can apply skills to to represent initial sounds, progressing to CVC words at phase 2 phonics. Pupils also complete writing enhancement activities to further develop their fine motor skills and phonetic understanding. As pupils progress, they use the context of what has been shared in reading to write short sentences in response to a story or experience.
To ensure pupils are supported to develop writing skills, teachers and support staff work in rotation to focus on groups so that extensive support can be offered to pupils.
Reception also complete Drawing Club. Read about Drawing Club by clicking here.
In a typical learning journey, pupils gain a secure understanding of a story/text and use this to support their writing. In the Autumn term, the learning journey retains the structure of the summer term Autumn journey in Reception to aid transition. Extensive modelling is incorporated into each lesson so that pupils can observe the mechanics of writing in action. Teachers and support staff work on a rotational basis to provide extensive verbal feedback to pupils to ensure the mechanics of writing are applied accuracy. In Year 1 in the Autumn Term, pupils advance from writing isolated sentences to a series of sentences, developing stamina. Typically in the Spring Term, the learning journey advances to an S plan in which the end-goal has a specific purpose, audience and form.
Year 1's English approach is underpinned by Greg Bottrill's Curious Quests. Read more about Curious Quests by clicking here.
In the Autumn, Year 2 writing retains the Summer s-plan format used in Year 1. Pupils have opportunities to develop fluency in key curriculum skills before completing an extended writing task. Along the journey, the teacher offers extensive modelling so that pupils can be involved in constructing writing, emphasising the fundamentals as well as opening up conversations linked to purpose, audience and tone. Typically in the spring term, pupils have greater opportunities to apply the writing skills they have acquired in independent writing tasks.
Pupils leaving Year 2 will have already written across a range of forms that will provide an opportunity to develop a core set of skills. Pupils have also completed a range of writing journeys laid out on S plans, working towards an end goal with a specific purpose, audience and tone. Therefore, pupils are well-prepared to move into Key Stage 2 where pupils continue to use S plans as a basis for their writing journey.
Learning journey format, examples: