At Kingslea Primary School, we prioritise the teaching of writing both as a core subject and one which unlocks opportunity in all other subjects. We aim to develop children who are clear, effective communicators who respond to their audience and the context appropriately and in doing so have the opportunity to write in a widening variety of forms for different purposes using appropriate grammar forms. Additionally, we develop their ability to spell correctly and write in a cursive style of handwriting and support children of all abilities through appropriate modelling and scaffolding to enable them to express themselves through writing.
The teaching of writing is carefully planned around the termly Learning Journey for each year group. We believe that a cross curricular approach inspires pupils and enables children to learn in an engaging and creative way.
From the very early starting points that the children join Reception with, we teach synthetic phonics and build on prior learning in discrete spelling, grammar and punctuation lessons. The teaching of writing aims to focus on core grammar and text skills, whilst ensuring pupils develop their own style and flair as writers. Planning and teaching is structured around writing purposes in writing units of work. Each writing unit has grammar focuses which feed into writing sessions across the curriculum. Purposes for writing are closely linked to the grammar and punctuation requirements for that purpose of writing. Writing units are linked to the current Learning Journeys and high quality texts for writing stimuli. Application units are explicitly planned so the children can apply the taught objectives and writing skills for the same writing purpose but for a different context to show the progress they have independently made with their writing. KS1 and 2 follow the 2014 National Curriculum knowledge and skills for Writing and Grammar. Writing is assessed against the statutory requirements in the National Curriculum’s programme of study which are used to record children’s progress and to set targets. The weekly plan identifies which objectives are being taught, together with texts being used. The teacher will use this time to make ongoing judgements about the children’s abilities in writing composition, grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting.
Our cursive letter formation is taught from Reception where they learn how to join digraphs (two letters that make one sound) and trigraphs (three letters that make one sound). From Year 1, children are expected to join up all letters in their writing. Handwriting is clearly linked to phonics and spelling teaching throughout KS1 and KS2. Pupils experience coherence and continuity in the learning and teaching of handwriting across all school years and are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work. Our aim is to help pupils enjoy learning and developing their handwriting with a sense of achievement and pride. Writing units generally follow the following structure: •Text analysis of the writing purpose - Reading and identifying text and structural features of the purpose/genre. From this a writing toolkit is made by the teacher and/or children to use when they are writing. •Discrete, explicit teaching of grammar/ punctuation features needed for the writing purpose. •Teacher modelled, group or individual planning of the text to be written •Teacher instructed modelling of text including sentence structure to show how the grammar/punctuation objectives can be embedded into the text. •Independent writing from the children including appropriate scaffolding and differentiation. The writing is proof-read and checked against a writing toolkit for the structural aspects of the writing purpose and against a writer’s checklist for the sentence structure skills needed in their writing. •Modelled, paired, independent editing and redrafting of sentences or sections of their writing to ensure all writing toolkit structural features and the appropriate writer’s checklist features for the writing purpose are included in the child’s writing. Children use purple pencils or pens to show their proofreading and editing changes. •Periodically sections of texts or whole texts are chosen to be published for display and/or to be included in their Learning Journey books.
Our end of KS2 GPS results are above the National Expectations. Year on year due to the significant focus has been given to consistent grammar, spelling and punctuation.
The quality of our children’s writing, including content, range of genres, grammar and handwriting can be seen not just in English books but also in Learning Journeys across the whole curriculum. Our end of KS2 results compare well against national averages in writing and are well above national in grammar, punctuation and spelling.