Subject Leader - Mrs Kerry Ward
Writing Curriculum Intent Statement
At St. Pius X Catholic Primary School, we believe that writing and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum at St. Pius X we provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Our ambitious English curriculum fulfils the National Curriculum requirements and we use the Herts for Learning scheme of work as a tool to help us deliver the objectives. The scheme of work is coherently planned, sequenced and has rigorous progression to enable children to reach their full potential as writers and gain the knowledge and skills required to allow pupils to succeed in life. Our skills progression allows the teaching and learning of Writing to be easily adapted to meet the needs of all our pupils. Writing has meaningful links to other subjects such as Science, History, Geography and Art and Design. As a Catholic school, our faith underpins our key teachings and pupils learn the importance of this. Our core Gospel Values are golden threads throughout all our teaching and learning. We approach every area of the curriculum with this in mind. This includes Writing which has awe and wonder within it that should be shared constantly with the pupils to encourage them to develop a love of writing. This approach helps to expand our pupils' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Our Writing curriculum not only develops our pupils educationally, but we plan in experiences to develop our children's cultural capital such as visits to other schools for higher ability students, having special days dedicated to this subject and visits to local secondary schools to raise the profile of this subject. We will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning. Writing enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. Because writing is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development, it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.
We aim for all children to develop a love of and enthusiasm for the English language. Our vision is that all children become confident, fluent readers and writers, with an understanding of a variety of texts and compositions. We aim for all children to develop the skills to be able to write confidently in a wide variety of genres. Above all, our ultimate aim is for children to develop a love of writing, and to take this into their adult lives, both as a necessary life skill and as a means of simply enjoying the art of being creative with words.
"You can make anything by writing." C.S Lewis
Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and
The Long Term Planning ensures progression in transcription and composition at the appropriate age group levels. The planning also links with our Writing Statements for each year group. Each year group statement builds on from the previous one. Children are placed on the most appropriate year group writing targets and progress through them by teacher assessment of their longer writing tasks. Children are aware of their writing target statements and know what they are trying to achieve in order to progress. During independent writing, children use success criteria based on their writing statements so they know what they need to do to make their next steps of progress.
Long Term Plan
Our Long Term Plans (LTP) ensure that chidren are taught the appropriate transcription and compostion knowledge and skills in accordance with the National Curriculum. The writing for each term is mainly text based but is also, where appropriate, linked to other curriculum areas. This ensures that children are not working from a 'cold' starting point i.e. they always have some prior knowledge of the content they will use in whatever composition they are writing. This gives them confidence as writers and there is more coherence in their learning. The 'Take One Book' aspect of the planning allows children to revisit a genre they have already covered, or to work on an additional genre using familiar, linked knowledge. 'Take One Book' also allows for a different book to be used which approaches the same subject knowledge from a different viewpoint.
Grammar & Punctuation
The Grammar and Punctuation sheet forms the basis for lesson planning in KS1 and KS2 and ensures progression. Teachers use the grid below to ensure that they cover the required elements for each year group. Grammar and punctuation is taught as part of the writing process and teachers decide which genre of writing is best to cover each of the elements. The grid also helps teachers to teach to any gaps in skills, as they are aware of the 'bigger picture' across the key stages.
Spelling: Spelling Shed
Each class teaches spelling to the year group expectations. We use the planning, resources and strategies from Spelling Shed. Following this programme from Year 2 (Stage 2) and across the KS2 classes ensures consistency of teaching and pupils become accustomed to the various ways of acquiring good spelling skills. Stage 1 is used for additional support for children who need further consolidation or spelling interventions. Children in Year 1 follow the ELS phonics scheme.
The teaching sequence is based on the National Curriculum. Good practice in our lessons includes teacher modelling, Spelling Partners and the use of Spelling Journals not only in Spelling lessons, but also as part of writing lessons. Children also have access to online Spelling Shed activities in school and at home, which enables them to consolidate their learning. Other strategies include: Have a Go sheets; Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check; Quickwrite, Word Shapes, Image around the Word, Pyramid Words and Rainbow Writing. We aim to make spelling an enjoyable subject for both teachers and pupils alike.
For each writing unit we work together with the pupils to generate a bank of useful high quality vocabulary. We display the key words in the classroom and recap and revisit these regularly. Focused teaching of vocabulary helps expand the knowledge of words available to pupils when writing, thus improving the quality of the writing produced.
Each time the children compose a new piece of writing, 'success criteria' they use to guide and support them. These are based on the transcription and compostition skills of writing from the National Curriculum. While the chidlren are writing, they are encouraged to tick off when they think they have achieved them or when there is evidence in their writing. The writing statements, which contain all the age related expecatitions for wriitng, are present in the front children's books and the teachers use these to evidence the children's learning. After a longer piece of writing has been marked, Teachers will give a 'Wish' based on any success criteria not met, or a writing statement not yet achieved, to move the child's writing on and provide progression.
Please see 'Assessment' for all writing statements
Children's writing is assessed after each composition unit using the writing statement grids for each year group. Pupils are aware of the targets they have met and those which they are aiming to achieve next. Teachers advise pupils how to meet targets and this joint involvement helps move pupils' writing on.
All classes in KS1 and KS2 have a Writing Board which supports children's writing in all genres.. Boards display vocabulary the children have studied in their writing and the class' current focus in grammar. Each class has a Common Exception Words display. In Reception the graphemes which the children have learned in class are displayed.
Every week we celebrate our class 'Star Writer of the Week' in assembly and their work is displayed in the hall.
At least once a year, we engage the children in a 'whole school write'. The whole school studies a book as part of World Book Day and then each class plans writing activities linked to the text. The children love sharing their work and we display this in the school hall. This is a lovely way for the chidlren to see how their writing progresses as they move through the school.