‘Good teaching over time has resulted in pupils of all groups making good progress in reading and writing.
This progress is clearly evident in the high quality work seen in pupils’ books’ (OFSTED 2015).
At Blakehill, we believe that writing is a crucial part of our curriculum offer. The overarching aim for writing at Blakehill is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Because we review the content and resources used to deliver our writing curriculum, we ensure that we meet our pupils' needs and interests.
It is our mission to ensure that the pupils at Blakehill:
- develop competence in spelling, handwriting and writing composition
- can spell quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters and understanding spelling structure of words.
- can effectively articulate and communicate ideas, and organise them coherently for a reader.
- be writers who refine and edit their writing independently, identifying their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
- be given opportunities to embed their skills and knowledge of written English
We are committed to ensuring that by the time children leave Blakehill, every child is able to recognise the importance of writing in the wider world, in making sure that all pieces of writing have a clear purpose and audience and use their skills and knowledge confidently, throughout their lives, in a range of contexts.
At Blakehill, we have not chosen to adopt a scheme for the teaching of writing so that our planning and teaching is creative, makes cross curricular links and takes into account the different needs of the pupils. Instead, our writing planning develops the clear links with speaking and listening, reading and writing. Every new sequence of learning is planned using a high quality text/experience as a starting point. This is so that all children have a shared experience from which they can base their writing on. The texts/experiences used may differ from year to year depending on the children’s interests, suggestions or current events.
Writing at Blakehill
Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres (narrative, non-narrative and poetry) that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure coverage of the key genres as well as a clear progression of skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete and the outcome of each unit will be a final piece of extended writing, which will be used to assess the pupils’ skills against the agreed criteria. Every unit is linked to a carefully chosen text or other experience e.g. a visit that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified genre, spelling and grammar skills that children will be expected to include in their final piece of extended writing for that unit. At the start of the unit a WAGOLL – What A Good One Looks Like – is created based on the stimulus text and supports pupils to identify and use the identified features in their own writing.
See Writing Procedures
We teach Writing as whole class lessons using a five phase teaching sequence:
4) Text, Structure and Organisation/Writing
5) Editing and Redrafting
A high quality text or experience is used as an initial stimulus, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants support targeted children to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials. More able pupils are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Babcock Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught in Phase 3 of the teaching sequence. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as discrete lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Writing assessments are completed each half term. Teachers will use the school assessment criteria to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. The writing assessments will then be used to inform individual target setting and planning.
- Our pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points.
- Our pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres and for different audiences.
- Our pupils will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
- Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word.
- Our pupils will leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
- Most importantly, our pupils will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education.