English - Writing
At Keevil CofE Academy, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. We intend for pupils to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Children see writing as a vehicle through which they can communicate with others, expressing their thoughts, opinions and feelings. They learn processes of planning, revising and evaluating their work, which are skills they can apply in different situations and subjects.
We intend for our pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible, cursive handwriting, as well as with a good knowledge of spelling and grammar rules. They will have acquired a wide vocabulary which they can use to effect in their written and spoken work.
As a school, we have planned a robust, creative and engaging curriculum to deliver the National Curriculum writing objectives and ensure that each piece of work is purposeful and shows clear progression for all the children. Our writing tasks are based on a main text and makes links, across the curriculum.
Teachers have high expectations through teaching to the appropriate yearly objectives and set work appropriate to the needs of the children in their class. The structure of lessons is carefully considered, including opportunities for returning to, and expanding on prior knowledge, teaching, modelling and discussion to aid understanding and support children in their independent tasks.
During 'English lessons’, the use of quality differentiated texts is used to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum through a combination of approaches/opportunities
In addition to the above, at Keevil we also implement:
- Whole class modelled writing
- Independent writing
- Writing different text types and narrative styles
- Writing across a variety of curriculum areas
- Handwriting Practise
- Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting
- Use of the Writing Toolkit to add 'sparkle' to our writing (see document below for more details).
To ensure accurate assessment we regularly assess independent writing as a whole staff, based on our Keevil Steps system. Through this we assess Writing, Punctuation and Grammar, and Spelling outcomes separately - see documents below for more details about this system. We use standardised tests such as SATS and NFER to assist in our assessment of children’s achievements in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. We are also beginning to use the No More Marking initiative to assess our writers against other children nationally to moderate our own judgements against other teaching professionals. This rigorous and robust approach allows teachers to plan the next steps for individuals effectively to promote progress and attainment.
From Year 2, classes follow the Read Write Inc. Spelling Programme for 15 minutes per day. Through exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.
Children are also taught to
- Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings.
- Proof-read their spellings
- Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills
- Efficient use of dictionaries and thesauruses.
Punctuation and Grammar
Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills are taught explicitly during writing lessons and the children identify how authors have used them effectively during their reading lessons. Grammar and punctuation is planned and taught using the 2014 National curriculum year group expectations and children are expected to apply their knowledge in their writing.
During the foundation stage at Keevil, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. From KS1, the school adopts a cursive handwriting style.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. Using a well thought-out, engaging curriculum, children at Keevil are becoming more confident and creative writers.
By the end of Key Stage Two the children of Keevil are very familiar with a variety of different text genres and are able to write with creativity and accurate grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing has improved with skills taught in discrete lessons being transferred into different subjects showing consolidation and a more in-depth understanding of English as a whole.
We aim for children to leave Keevil with a love of reading and writing and high aspirations to develop these in the further education.