English - Writing
'Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.'
At Holy Family we explore a range of cross-curricular writing opportunities taught within a high-quality text-based curriculum, to encourage our children to develop their writing skills to become independent and motivated writers. Through a variety of teaching approaches we consistently aim to provide children with the fundamental foundations to become effective and confident communicators.
- Foster a love of writing throughout their time in school and show an appreciation of their work.
- Develop vivid imaginations, allowing them to effectively engage their audience to enjoy their writing.
Use increasingly highly-developed vocabulary and have a strong knowledge of writing techniques to organise and structure their writing successfully.
At Holy Family, our children are provided with opportunities to engage in cross-curricular writing journeys designed to inspire a love of writing. They are exposed to high-quality, stimulating texts, as well as visual literacy which fire their imaginations. Using a multi-sensory approach, the children are able to express themselves in a variety of ways, encouraging them to consolidate their learning and continue to develop their knowledge and skills.
Our children develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and will increase their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation which enhances their writing. High expectations of fluent and legible handwriting is promoted to ensure their work can be enjoyed by others.
The Writing Cycle
Opportunities for writing across the curriculum are carefully planned with a balance of fiction and non-fiction text types. A clear sequence is used throughout the writing journey to enable children to produce work to their full potential.
After exposure to a new text type we follow a model of Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing to achieve the children’s outcomes. Before the children begin to plan, we will introduce and explore quality texts and stimuli to draw the children in.
Introducing the Text
The writing journey begins with a 'hook'; for example, this could be through the use of visual literacy or a specifically chosen text. Children are given the opportunity to work together, expressing themselves and exploring their imaginations. Subject-specific language and high-level vocabulary is introduced here, which enable this to be incorporated throughout their writing journey. Children are given opportunities to take part in creative ways to explore texts, such as role play and 'hot seating' scenarios.
The next part of the writing journey involves looking at good examples of the specific genre which model expectations for their own work. Children will have the opportunity to discuss the features that they can find within the text and why it is a successful piece of writing, as well as finding ways for how it can be improved. This stage can be carried out collaboratively or independently and then shared with the rest of the class. Also, an important part of this phase is to reflect upon and create a success criteria for children to be able to refer to when completing their own writing.
At this stage, children discuss and explore ways to organise and plan their ideas. Templates will be provided to help structure their writing, ensuring that they reflect on aspects learnt so far throughout their writing journey.
Here the children will compose their first draft. Using the skills that have been learnt so far and the ideas that have been carefully planned, children can now put these aspects together to create their first draft. Opportunities will be given to share work throughout these lessons which continue to support others and allows more inspiration to be embedded in the classroom.
Revise and Edit
Using a range of strategies, children are now able to go back and edit their writing to see how they can make improvements. The 'purple pen’ comes into action here where children, using their purple editing pens, are able to make revisions to their first draft. This can either be completed independently (self-assessment), in pairs or as small groups (peer-assessment). Success criteria that had been created at the beginning of the writing journey is used to support this process. Children have the opportunity to also read their work aloud to the whole class to enable peers to evaluate their writing.
Once the children have used all of the tools provided throughout their writing journey, they can write their final copy in neat, taking all alterations into consideration and reaching their full potential in writing.
Writing activities support children when applying their grammatical knowledge into their composition and we will discretely teach key concepts to the children whilst exploring texts.
Spelling and word knowledge are key components in the process of learning to read and write. To support our children develop these key skills, we use 'Spelling Shed'. This programme is aligned with the English National Curriculum and spelling lists are generated by our teachers to ensure clear progression throughout year groups. Spelling patterns and rules are explored in class, with a variety of games which are fun and engaging for children to build their word study skills and confidence in spelling. This programme also allows children to access personalised lists for those needing extra support.
Cursive handwriting is first introduced in Year 1 and then implemented across school using the 'Letter-join' cursive handwriting scheme. At Holy Family, we have high expectations of presentation and handwriting to ensure all writing is joined and legible, therefore meeting the expectations set for the end of Key Stage 2 and ensuring all work can be enjoyed by everyone.
The impact of our Writing curriculum is measured in a variety of ways. Summative assessments are used across the school, written work throughout the term is assessed to inform teachers of pupils’ next steps and successes. Daily, on-going assessments, combined with AfL strategies, are crucial in providing instant feedback to teachers and ensures progress within every lesson.
- Be able to manipulate and use adventurous vocabulary choices, transferring subject-specific terminology into cross-curricular pieces of writing.
- Successfully evaluate and identify ways to improve their work, using strategies to support them within the editing process.
- Use the 'writing cycle' to plan, draft, edit, review and finalise their ideas within a range of genres.
Be proud to share their work and to appreciate that different text types can be suitable for varied audience.