At St. Herbert's CE School we develop independent, confident, accurate and inspirational writers as part of our English teaching. It is essential that writing knowledge, skills and understanding are then applied across the whole curriculum in order to embed learning. We always aim to provide a purpose for writing and make writing engaging for all children. Children are encouraged to not only write to the best of their ability but to also independently improve and edit their own work.
We use a range of stimuli to engage children in the writing process, including the use of visual images and film, literature, drama, music, practical resources, and educational trips and special days. Children are taught how to structure their sentences grammatically through speaking and listening, and to use ambitious vocabulary, in order to ensure the most impact upon the reader; they are given the opportunity to apply their skills in regular extended writing tasks in both English and across the curriculum.
Our writing curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
• start to become writers by making meaningful marks, write and form letters accurately and use their phonetic knowledge in the words they write
• are able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing
• acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
• write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
• follow the Letter-join handwriting scheme throughout school
• refine and edit their writing over time by developing independence in identifying their own areas for improvement, editing their work effectively during as part of the writing process.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are :
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Our teaching and learning at St. Herbert's develops pupils’ competence in both of these areas. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Writing down ideas fluently depends 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.
Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for the reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly broad knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
Handwriting is an important part of the curriculum. Children are taught the early stages of joining their writing in year 1 and children are expected to join their handwriting from year 2. We use a cursive script to enable children’s writing to flow.
We use the following carefully selected schemes of learning to ensure quality of teaching and progression through school:
- Read, Write Inc - Reading, Writing and Spellings (Early Years - Year 2
- Literacy Tree scheme - Writing Roots (Year 3 -6)
- Letter-Join Handwriting (Early Years-Y6)
- Spelling Shed (Y1-Y6)
- Alan Peat's Exciting Sentences (Y2-Y6)
Read Write Inc.
The Literacy Tree Scheme of Work
The award-winning Literary Tree is a complete, book-based approach with a consistent, cohesive pedagogy used across a school. The scheme of work immerses children in a literary world, creating strong levels of engagement to provide meaningful and authentic contexts for learning.
All plans follow a ‘Teach Through a Text’ pedagogy to ensure engagement, coverage and outcomes and follow a cohesive sequence so that learning makes sense and is rooted in a strong context. Depth is engendered as children revisit key objectives and skills within different texts and contexts, building understanding over time with frequent opportunities to apply their learning across varied writing opportunities. Books are grouped within themes to ensure links and connections are made within and across the Programme of Study (plus, link heavily with our School's Christian Values).
Children become critical readers and acquire an authorial style as they encounter a wide range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Writing Roots incorporates Grammar and Punctuation within the children's daily learning and follows a progression of skills, which enables the children to achieve their end goals.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
We follow a carefully planned spelling curriculum, beginning with Read Write Inc phonics in Early Years and eventually progressing to a spelling scheme of work (Spelling Shed), based upon the National Curriculum. Children learn the rules and exceptions in the English language, ensuring that accurate spelling is applied across the curriculum.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. Oracy is the foundation of our learning, so we therefore provide daily opportunities to introduce children to new, adventurous words and apply them verbally and in their writing. As their vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.
As part of grammar teaching and learning, pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English where appropriate. Pupils work hard to learn the correct grammatical terms in English and to understand and use these within their writing.