Writing at Warmsworth Primary School
At Warmsworth Primary School, our writing curriculum aims to ensure that children are inspired-writers and are equipped with the necessary writing skills to support their journey in becoming 21st Century citizens. We intend to inspire our children and provide them with the transferable set of grammatical and language skills to write for a range of purposes and audiences to support them in their adult lives. We believe that children’s experiences with writing and creating texts is an important avenue for self-expression in their early childhood learning, through building creativity and resilience.
We aim for our writing curriculum to be ambitious and apply effective transcription. We are intent on raising the importance of the foundations of writing and opening up linguistic knowledge by spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between phonics and understanding the morphology, etymology and orthography of words. We aim to effectively compose writing by articulating (enhanced by collaborative learning) 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 grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and handwriting at an appropriate speed suitable to the task and desired outcome.
We believe that pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. Our teachers recognise the importance of accurate grammar and are intent on ensuring that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within the learning sequence.
By providing equal opportunities for all children, we aim for all of our children to be able to fulfil their aspirations with writing as a vehicle with which to explore all areas of the curriculum and beyond.
The sequence of learning provides a vehicle for pupils to use their first hand experiences in a creative and structured approach to their writing.
By aiming to use collaboration, to further engage children in using multiple modes of communication, we intend on them reaching their inspirational written outcomes. While writing together, children engage in different writing behaviours and are grounded in the gradual release of responsibility. We aim to enable children to clarify, build on and develop learning by discussing ideas with their peers.
Our writing curriculum is based around a bespoke scheme of work that has been created and personalised to our school; it is designed so that it is ambitious for all learners. By seamlessly linking handwriting, phonics, reading, spelling and grammar learning together, all learning styles and abilities are catered for in a personalised approach. The skills and topic knowledge is revisited and built upon in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage and the expectations of the National Curriculum.
The following key understandings are embedded within writing experiences with children.
Children are developing the following:
- understanding that written texts should be meaningful and communicate information;
- understanding that the content of a written text comes from the thoughts and ideas of the writer;
- knowing that there are different purposes and different types of texts for writing and that an author writes for an audience.
Text structures are explored and introduced using reading experiences, then writing frameworks support children’s creation of text according to different audience and purpose and conventions.
Through emergent reading and writing experiences, children learn about how texts work, and the main differences between genres determined by the audience and purpose.
Our writing process, takes account of evidence-based practice and is broken down into 7 stages:
This has further been developed to ensure it is bespoke to our children at Warmsworth.
As part of the learning sequence, rich and vibrant learning opportunities are carefully planned to allow children to draw up on meaningful real-life experiences that immerse them in practical activities, where-ever possible, before they access specific teaching of new skills underpinned by grammatical knowledge and accurate use of language. Our learning walls in the classrooms evolve, as the writing process develops, and are valued resources by the pupils. Each topic then culminates in an extended activity which may be a novel-inspired piece of writing or a piece of cross-curricular writing.
Writing with children provides numerous opportunities to develop children’s emergent literacy capacities including making meaning/expressing ideas in texts, fine motor skills, phonological awareness, and creating and exploring texts. We deliver a writing curriculum that allows children to develop skills sequentially, alongside subject knowledge, so that they are able to apply their learning to a range of contexts, ensuring that they are well equipped for future learning. Audience and purpose is well explored throughout each year by using real-life, meaningful writing opportunities where ever possible, often using our local context for inspiration or audience.
Children learn, through writing, that collaboration is a useful learning tool (as it is also in real-life).
By creating collaborative classrooms, children grow in confidence as learners, begin to see that their ambitious outcomes are achievable and learn to trust their peers to support, consolidate and extend their writing skills. Children learn to seek out each other’s’ help before going to an adult. And this, in turn, breeds independence and interdependence; achieving a blend between child-led and adult-led collaborative opportunities. Our writers thrive on their fellow writers challenging perceptions of their desired outcome throughout the writing sequence: collaboration is a pivotal element in the writing sequence.
We aim to foster a love for English by delivering a writing curriculum that is coherently planned and sequenced with both writing skills and cross curriculum learning at its heart. The sequential learning ensures that grammatical skills are learned alongside our children’s ability to write with fluency and the development of an author’s voice is encouraged.
Scaffolding is influential in creating the gradual release of responsibility where the responsibility of instruction varies from modelled writing, to sharing more responsibility with children (shared/interacting writing), until children can create texts with very little support on their quest to become independent writers. Using these different writing practices, allows us to effectively dynamically model, scaffold, and support children to engage in increasingly more complex writing experiences and ensures every pupil attains highly.
Our children produce writing that shows application of a bank of purposeful vocabulary and an accurate knowledge of writing techniques. This is then developed by exploring an extensive range of different genres, with a focus on exploring a range of models of excellence and using these to guide the drafting and editing process. Editing skills are then used and given importance to ensure that children understand how they are in control of producing their best writing.
Throughout school, handwriting and presentation is given high priority, ensuring high quality, accurately formed writing is produced. This is developed from the improvement of motor skills, accurate letter formation (supported by Little Wandle phonics) and fluency. Handwriting lessons and interventions ensure letters are correctly formed, sized and are consistently presented.
Carefully planned sequences ensure the writing curriculum is aspirational for all and interventions seek to extend learning of all abilities through consolidating and extending learning.
The impact of the writing curriculum is seen through the high-quality written learning displayed throughout school which is appreciated by pupils, parents, the wider community and commented upon by all visitors to school.
The creative nature of writing has given teachers freedom and flexibity to deliver learning that is challenging and aspirational for all. In order to do this well, continued professional development has propelled the subject to great heights: all teachers have perfected grammatical subject knowledge and are well-versed in a whole school approach to feedback ensuring the correct balance between accurate grammar and creativity.
The extra-curricular writing group, led by our resident author, is oversubscribed with budding writers eager to participate. They enjoy critiquing and their resilient attitudes towards the edit process allows each individual to achieve the best possible writing outcome.
Our children reflect positively on their writing learning, and are eager to be awarded Writer of Week for their efforts. They are keen to celebrate their achievements on a wider scale including having work displayed in their classrooms, around school and on the school website for a wider audience and by sharing their work with other staff members.
Our children feed each other’s imagination and creativity and help it grow in ways that it couldn’t without collaboration. Purposefully planned learning opportunities increase the breadth of collaborative opportunities; opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. The impact of widening vocabulary increases through the key stages and pupils understand the relationships between the etymology of words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.
Subject audits ensure accurate provision and development opportunities are provided to those who need it and the impact of the professional development evident during lesson visits where children are taught the extensive and ambitious curriculum accurately and with enthusiasm and passion for the subject.
Our bespoke comparative writing assessment criteria, designed to complement the progression of skills documents, is deliberate in its design to establish a comparative standard of working towards, expected standard and greater depth standard which compliments the end of key stage teacher assessment criteria.
Pupils are given feedback to improve pupil learning and next steps to respond to in order to personalise learning and provide the children with opportunities to edit and improve their own writing and address misconceptions in tailored intervention teaching and learning experiences.
On leaving our school at the end of Key Stage 2, our children are prepared for their next stage of their educational journey, attaining consistently above the national average.