At St Martin De Porres, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.
At St Martin De Porres Primary School, we use Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing skills, while incorporating various class texts and other high-quality literature. We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for children of lower attainment 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. Pupils working at greater depth 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. In Year 2 through to Year 6, Teachers use the 'Read Write Inc. 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.
When marking work, teachers identify up to three words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability. Children are then encouraged to practise these incorrect spellings and correct them.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. 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 stand alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Writing Teaching Sequence
Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will be taught.
These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the outcome of each unit will be a ‘hot’ write which will be used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria. Every narrative unit is linked to a carefully chosen text that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their extended writing outcome for that unit.
Summative assessments will be entered onto O'Track each term. Teachers will use their professional judgement, to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended write that pupils produce at the end of each unit. Teachers use the TAFS in Y2 and Y6 and end of year expectations for other year groups as a support for making judgements and to inform planning.
The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the Talk For Writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2, children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, writing standards and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.