How do we teach Writing?
At Bromham Primary, we understand the importance of a broad, balanced and rich English curriculum, which develops the skills needed for writing across the curriculum and for future life. Throughout the teaching of English, a range of genres and high-quality texts are promoted and studied to inspire writing and reading for pleasure. We are dedicated to encouraging all children to become passionate and confident writers and seize opportunities with confidence and aim high, whilst they take pride in their work. Children have the opportunity to learn from each other through cooperative learning, giving them opportunities to communicate ideas and emotions and delve into their imaginations together.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:
- are passionate about writing
- show achievement and progress in reading and writing
- use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers
- are confident and independent in making language choices in their writing
- are aware of the audience of their writing
- are aware of the purpose of their writing
- apply taught grammar in their writing
- apply phonics and spelling knowledge to their writing
- apply their English learning to all other areas of the curriculum.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have additional support or work that is different from their peers in order to access the curriculum, dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
At Bromham Primary, our school provides daily English lessons through ‘Talk for Writing’ which allows the progression of skills across all year groups. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed to ensure continuity and progression from Nursery and preparing them for entering KS1.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into prime & specific areas of learning and development. 'Communication & Language' is one of 3 prime areas that are fundamental to supporting language development. 'Communication & Language' is made up of: listening and attention, understanding and speaking. ‘Literacy' is one of 4 specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the two aspects: reading & writing. Children learn through purposeful play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction. Throughout this time, the progress of each child is continually assessed and activities are planned to meet their future needs; we aim to plan just beyond the fingertips of each child.
EYFS also follow Talk for Writing, which leads to purposeful talk in the classroom and the development of language and communication through real-life experiences, as well as leading to opportunities for mark-making and writing.
In English lessons across both key stages, we follow a sequence of lessons which give children the chance to explore quality texts and pieces of writing, explore the structure of different genres and text types, and the writerly tools used to construct such texts. Grammar is taught during this sequence of lessons and children are provided with opportunities to recognise this in context and apply it for themselves in writing through shared and independent writing sessions. Throughout this process, teachers model these skills and work cooperatively with pupils to create shared pieces of writing. These pieces of shared writing are displayed on washing lines and working walls to support independent application and show the value placed on writing.
From the beginning of KS1, story plot structures and non-fiction text features are taught so that children become familiar with the contents of those particular text types. By KS2, these structures will come naturally in writing, allowing the children to focus on content, vocabulary and shaping their language for interest and meaning.
Talk for Writing centres around vocabulary and developing vocabulary in writing. Using high-quality texts, teachers can model selecting good vocabulary to ‘magpie’ which could be used later within their own writing. In addition to this, key vocabulary (‘teach’ words) is selected by teachers and displayed on the working wall, to support the learning of new words. Children will be provided with opportunities to deepen understanding of vocabulary and activate their learning.
At Bromham Primary, our Reading lessons place importance on vocabulary also. Using the shared reading approach, children are exposed to more high-quality texts which are designed to challenge; these texts provide further opportunities to explore vocabulary which can later be used within their own writing.
In KS1, the pupils have daily Phonics lessons using Sounds Write. Sounds Write teaches the skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation needed for learning to read and spell, until this becomes automatic.
In KS2, the pupils have daily spelling lessons using polysyllabic lessons provided by Sounds Write. All children are provided with a set of spellings to practise for homework weekly and, at the end of that week, they have dictation to assess their spellings. All children are exposed to the same spelling words in class, with additional interventions provided for children who need it.
Handwriting sessions are taught regularly across the school and we follow Nelson Handwriting. The children have separate handwriting books to practise during these sessions, however they are expected to continue this style of handwriting in all books.
At Bromham Primary, we want children to be passionate about writing and be proud of the writing they produce, knowing that it is valued.
Assessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis in classrooms and inform future planning of lessons and focus groups. Short-burst writing and shared writing sessions allow teachers to identify children who require further scaffolding and this is planned and implemented before the final, independent application in a unit of work.
Formal assessments for writing are completed using Focus Education documents at the end of each Talk for Writing unit. Children complete their ‘Independent Application’ (hot task) and this is assessed against our writing criteria. These assessed pieces will include both Fiction and Non-Fiction, meaning children are writing for a range of purposes and for different audiences. Pupils also complete an independent write (cold task) at the beginning of a writing unit; their hot task allows them to demonstrate what they have learnt and shows progress from the start to end of the unit.
The analysis of these assessments allows teachers to plan to children’s needs and establish further teaching opportunities in following units of work. This data also informs the subject action plan for writing, providing the subject leader with clear areas of focus.
In-house moderation is completed termly to clarify teacher judgements for writing. SLT and the subject leader lead this moderation.
At the end of KS1 and KS2, teachers use the Teacher Assessment Framework to report teacher assessment for writing.
In addition to the assessment grids, teachers also use Talk for Writing toolkits to assess how children have considered the composition of their writing. These toolkits are progressive through the year groups, from KS1 to KS2. They are highlighted at the end of each Talk for Writing unit for each child, providing a clear picture of areas of strength and areas for development.
Leadership and Management
The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach writing to a high standard and support staff in the following ways:
- Distributing quality resources to be used within writing lessons
- Providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals)
- Leading by example by modelling lessons or styles of teaching
- Having a knowledge of the quality of writing provision across the school and using this to provide support to other staff
- Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
- Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored through pupil progress meetings, learning walks and pupil book studies. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the subject leader, as is the implementation and impact of Assessment for Learning. The subject leader forms a subject action plan to identify actions intended to raise standards and evaluates this termly, reporting back to SLT.
The English subject leader will also provide an annual summary report to the Headteacher in which the strengths and weaknesses in writing are evaluated and will indicate further areas for improvement; this will inform the action plan for the following academic year.
A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching and learning of English. The Phase Leader will meet with assigned governors to report on developments and action points within English.
Partnerships with parents
Parents are informed of writing units being covered through a termly topic grid. During Parents' Evenings, targets for writing are shared with parents and a written report is completed annually in the Summer Term. Children are provided with some English-related homework each week. Year 6 make use of SATs Companion which provides SATs style questions for English.
Roadmap EYFS and Key Stage 1
Road Map Key Stage 2
Long Term Overview Years 1-6