We aim to develop our pupils into confident communicators, both in school and outside, so that they will be able to express their ideas, opinions and emotions. Our English curriculum will develop a sense that writing can be fun and purposeful, enabling pupils to communicate their imagination and ideas to others, and persuade them of their viewpoint on important issues.
At Highwood , writing has fundamental links to many other subjects and our aim is that skills taught in writing support our pupils’ understanding and interest in other subjects too.
Furthermore, the ability to write a logical or emotive text supports the child’s speaking skills, and improves the effectiveness of their work in other areas – for instance comparing, analysing, and reporting tasks in history, geography, science, and religious education.
At Highwood Primary School, we ensure that our English planning follows a clear progression of skills and ensures that there is full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for English 2014’. The curriculum is adapted and extended to match all pupils’ needs and builds upon their prior knowledge and skills. We endeavour to practise English skills in all subjects across the curriculum, appreciating that they are the fundamental building blocks for learning as a whole. Writing at Highwood centres around the use of 2-4 week writing units, which may be based around texts recommended in HfL’s “Back on Track” resources or CLPE’s ‘The Power of Reading’ teaching approach”. These will be supplemented by teaching of spelling, using the “No Nonsense Spelling” scheme, and by teaching and practice of cursive handwriting.
Before teaching each unit teachers will:
- Select appropriate high-quality texts which will exemplify and inspire writing in specific genres.
- Select appropriate complementary texts for whole-class guided reading where necessary.
- Choose at least two writing outcomes based around the text.
- Assess pupils’ prior knowledge and skills and use this to ensure their planning builds upon this.
- Plan a sequence of lessons that provide the knowledge and skills required for the written outcomes and chosen reading objectives.
During each unit teachers will:
- Begin each session with key vocabulary to help enhance children’s oracy, and provide word banks for writing tasks where appropriate.
- Provide pupils with plenty of opportunities to read the selected text alongside any additional texts selected.
- Provide pupils with opportunities to develop understanding through drama, and through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas within a text.
- Provide pupils with high quality examples of relevant written outcomes as good models to follow.
- Ensure modelled writing provided to children is of a high quality, and that shared writing sessions show them how to achieve this themselves.
- Teach the skills of planning, drafting, editing and proof reading their writing.
- Teach the relevant grammar and punctuation skills required for the selected written outcomes.
- Give opportunities for pupils to explore features of a variety of genres and to write with appropriate voice and formality.
At the end of each unit pupils will:
- Produce extended pieces of writing based around the text or the learning from it.
- Reflect on the effectiveness of their writing and show an awareness of their audience.
After each unit teachers will:
- Assess pupils’ understanding and use of the written genre and style of language.
- Use the assessments to inform future planning of skills that need to be revisited.
What will this look like?
Through pupil voice we will see:
- Pupils enjoy both reading and writing in school
- Pupils discuss what they are currently reading and books that have bought them pleasure and why.
- Pupils explain what makes their writing effective and what they could to do to further improve it.
- Pupils take pride in their work and willingly share successes and areas for improvement.
- Pupils analyse their own work for grammatical errors and explain their own word choices.
Through learning walks we will see:
- Pupils exposed to a wide range of texts which they can compare and discuss regularly.
- Pupils provided with opportunities to express themselves passionately in a range of writing genres.
- Both pupils and teachers refer to grammatical expectations for writing.
- Pupils reflect on their own writing and discuss with others.
- Pupils discuss key issues confidently and support their opinions with evidence.
- Pupils enjoy presenting and performing to a wider audience.
In the pupil’s learning we will see:
- A passion for English through the quality of work produced.
- A willingness to experiment with new and more complex vocabulary and grammatical features.
- Pupils taking pride in their learning and presenting work of a high standard.
- Evidence of writing for an audience and within the context.
- Pupils who are reflective of their writing, frequently editing, redrafting and refining their work.
- Pupils infer understanding from the books that they have read.
- Enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types.
- Differentiated activities that allow all pupils to make progress.