At Mount Charles, writing is an integral part of our curriculum. By the end of Year Six, we intend for our children to have developed a love of writing as well as being able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.
Teachers use the National Curriculum and genre progression maps to derive detailed plans. Using ‘Talk for Writing’ and ‘The Write Stuff’, careful consideration is given to the sequence of the curriculum and ways in which the lessons build towards a piece of writing which showcases pupils' acquired knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers, with the support of the Writing Leader, pay careful attention to the cohorts in school and tailor the curriculum to meet the needs and interests of pupils; choosing reading texts and writing genres which inspire and motivate them to learn. In turn, this establishes our pupils’ enjoyment and engagement in the subject.
Writing is embedded within all lessons and we strive to ensure all pupils become able writers. This is supported: through the use of high-quality texts, by immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring consistent curriculum expectations through the progression of skills and knowledge. At Mount Charles, we set high expectations for all our children, teaching them to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish. We intend for our writers to leave at the end of Year 6 able to re-read, edit and improve their own writing; enabling them to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Writing is taught in whole class lessons at Mount Charles so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge content of the National Curriculum.
Early writing is taught through mark making and when pupils begin RWI phonics, they are taught the correct letter formations. This begins with writing cvc words, quickly progressing on to short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged and inspired through an enabling environment to write independently during continuous provision. In EYFS and Year 1, ‘Talk for Writing’ is used as a model to plan and develop engaging units of writing that develop the children’s understanding of sentences and a range of text types.
In Year 2 and throughout KS2, in order to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, teaching of writing is linked to either our class imaginative learning projects (ILP), whole class reading (WCR) texts, other high quality texts or film stimuli. This provides our pupils with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences.
Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary (GPV)
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres outlined in the progression map for the year group, allowing teachers to provide genuinely connected learning between GPV and overall writing outcomes. Teachers will teach stand-alone GPV lessons if it is deemed necessary to embed and develop pupils’ understanding or to consolidate skills.
Vocabulary is consistently identified, discussed and displayed in classrooms across all curriculum areas and is an explicit feature in daily WCR lessons. Pupils are encouraged to use a wide range of vocabulary when speaking and within their writing and this is modelled to them by adults. Pupils have access to word mats, thesauruses and dictionaries to support their understanding and development of vocabulary.
EYFS and KS1 pupils are taught daily through Read, Write Inc. Pupils are taught in ability groups from Reception to Year 2 thus enabling them to be taught according to their stage, not age. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child irrespective of year group. Pupils are assessed ½ termly, progressing rapidly through the programme.
Once pupils complete Read, Write Inc. they move to whole class teaching of spellings. From Year 2, Spelling Shed is used to support the teaching of the National Curriculum spelling rules (Appendix 1). Spellings are set for homework on a Friday and tested the following Friday. To support children in learning these spelling rules, online Spelling Shed activities are set by teachers weekly.
High frequency words, topic specific vocabulary or words being regularly misspelt will be written below the work to be correctly spelt by pupils three times (these reflect the ability of the pupil).
Evidence of the impact will be measured through the following:
* Termly assessment by class teachers, using BABCOCK writing assessment frameworks and the National Curriculum
* Termly moderation meetings, both within the school and across the trust
* Termly GAPS assessments
* Analysis of the GAPS assessments by writing lead who then shares action points and priorities with class teachers
* Termly data meetings to review pupils’ individual progress and the progress of cohorts
As a result, pupils leave Mount Charles inspired to become writers of the future, with the knowledge and skills to become successful authors, poets, journalists, broadcasters. Mount Charles pupils have high expectations and are ambitious for their future.