English - Writing
Literacy at Arboretum
“You can make anything by writing.” C.S Lewis
At Arboretum Primary School, we aim for all pupils to develop writing skills that produce written work that is clear and succinct. Children will be taught to understand a range of writing purposes and will be able to write these with the correct features. Our curriculum intends to provide an understanding of how writing skills are applied within and across subjects and how these same skills are relevant to their own future. Through regular parents’ meetings and inviting parents in to school, we hope to build a wider school family, who are better equipped to support children at home. Having a shared staff understanding is essential to our success – this enables us to develop a consistent approach, which prevents any lapse of progression.
Our earliest writers, through RWInc, are supported in the beginnings of writing transcription by building their first, simple sentences with the phonic knowledge, that they have been taught. Children are taught letter formation, pencil grip and a good handwriting position throughout EYFS and into KS1, daily. Our handwriting progression supports children at all stages of their handwriting journey, through to KS2.
Beyond RWInc, through a three-weekly writing cycle, children build on a basis of reading and SPAG skills, to support and produce a final piece of extended writing. This format provides a writing journey for children that builds week by week: from reading and retrieval practice, to provide context and ideas for writing; to analysing genre features, undertaking SPaG practise and eventually drafting and publishing a final piece of independent work. By using vocabulary-rich books as a driver for writing, we ensure that a vocabulary gap is not a barrier to writing – encouraging children to magpie words and phrases, after clarification, and displaying these for future use. Building up to each independent piece, staff model effective writing strategies and showcase high-quality examples of age-expected writing. This gradual release model prevents cognitive overload and allows children to practise all of the skills they need for each unit of writing they produce. We firmly believe in the importance of applying writing skills across the curriculum. Therefore, opportunities for extended writing are also carefully woven into our topic and afternoon lessons, to ensure a variety of authentic writing experiences.
Spellings overviews from KS1 through to UKS2, ensure a healthy progression of transcription acquisition, which is monitored regularly through spelling tests and quizzes in class.
To monitor implementation of our writing provision, regular learning walks, book scrutinies and various moderations take place. More specifically, moderations take place in year group, cross-phase and across the DDAT cluster school group, to ensure a broad spectrum is covered and judgements are agreed.
We endeavour for children to become confident and successful authors, for a range of purposes, who enjoy opportunities for writing. We ensure that children understand the relevance and importance of writing to their future aspirations and that this motivates them to continue to improve their proficiency.
At Arboretum Primary School, we aim for children to leave UKS2 with the necessary writing skills to access KS3 with confidence and ease. This success will be shown in our ongoing teacher assessment data and in soft data such as pupil voice, where pupils will show a love and engagement with writing and be able to discuss successful texts that they have written, in a range of lesson and subject areas.