This is a Good School

Ofsted says "Pupils achieve well and make good progress"

Teaching is good

"Teachers and TAs work together very well to support pupils' development."

Governance is strong

"Governors understand the strengths and weaknesses of the school"

Pupils achieve well

"They make good progress from their starting points in reading, writing and mathematics"

Pupils' behaviour is good

"They demonstrate high levels of respect and are considerate of each other's needs."

Teaching is good

"Teachers and TAs work together very well to support pupils' development."

Curriculum design is inspiring

"It is complemented by an extensive range of enrichment activities"

Pupils achieve well

"They make good progress from their starting points in reading, writing and mathematics"

Pupils' behaviour is good

"They demonstrate high levels of respect and are considerate of each other's needs."

English – Writing

Curriculum Intent

At Leighterton Primary School, we recognise that the ability to write fluently allows pupils to share their thoughts, ideas, emotions and opinions with others. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society and pupils who learn to write fluently and confidently are at an advantage in their future lives. 

Writing

Our aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written word and a love of communication.

  • Meet the requirements of the national curriculum programmes of study for writing for transcription; composition; and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.
  • Promote enjoyment of writing across the school
  • Promote engagement with, experiences, discussions and learning from a range of high quality texts
  • Enhance understanding and use of a wide range of vocabulary and allow pupils to use these and apply them in their own writing
  • Develop pupil’s ability to effectively compose ideas and organise them coherently for a reader and to plan and rehearse their writing.
  • Teach pupils to build a range of spelling strategies and to be apply these in their writing
  • Allow pupils to develop a fluent, legible handwriting style and take care with the presentation of their work
  • Equip pupils with the confidence and skills to express their ideas and opinions, confidently, creatively, imaginatively and with understanding – adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use and apply writing skills to enhance and enrich learning in other curriculum areas
  • Develop the ability to look critically at their work, edit, redraft and improve it.

The curriculum puts a clear emphasis on key areas of learning:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them)
  • Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Writing Implementation 

The English curriculum at Leighterton Primary School is built around the statutory content of the 2014 National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Writing – transcription (spelling)

There is a spelling progression for the order and sequence for spelling teaching for each year group in EYFS and Key Stage 1 and for each of the Key stage 2 classes. These include revision and revisiting of the patterns already taught to help the children to retain their learning.  

In the EYFS and Key Stage 1, spellings are taught through our daily phonics sessions, which also cover the spelling objectives from the Year 1 and Year 2 curriculum. They will take home additional sound or word based learning to support their learning in school.

From Year 3, children have short, regular spelling lessons during every week. During spelling sessions, spelling rules are explicitly taught, as well as the spelling of common exception words listed in the National Curriculum 2014. As far as possible, children work within the year group or class they are in, so that gaps in learning are closed. However, where appropriate, children may receive additional phonics sessions to enable any gaps to be filled.

In Key Stage 2, children are given spellings to practise at home based on the class learning.

All classrooms promote the use of correct spellings at an appropriate level to the cohort of children. Classrooms use a mixture of word walls, word banks, displays, spellings on windows, spelling displays, sound walls, sound mats or word mats on tables to allow pupils to access what they require independently.

When pupils are ready, usually from Key Stage 2, dictionaries and thesauruses begin to be used in class and children are taught how to use them effectively, including as a tool to aid their ability to self-correct and improve work.

Spelling is a focus during self-checking and ‘purple pen’ editing.

Handwriting

At Leighterton Primary School, we teach children a fluent, joined, legible handwriting style. Our handwriting style that is taught is in our handwriting policy. Handwriting is explicitly taught in all classes.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, single letter formation is taught, From Year 1, once children are confident in the formation of letters and can maintain a consistent size and shape, then joining is taught in line with the hadwriting policy.

During handwriting sessions, handwriting is modelled. Teachers and support staff are expected to demonstrate the school handwriting style and children should practice by carefully copying and repeating. While children practise, they are observed to ensure correct pencil grip, good posture and that they are forming letters correctly and where needed children will be supported to practise to ensure correct formation. Children may be encouraged to assess their own work in simple ways: by dotting their best letter/ horizontal join/ word or using a ruler to identify inconsistent letter size across the line. This encourages children to take ownership of their learning and identify the progress they are making.

There is a high value placed on handwriting and this is promoted in all classes. Once handwriting is fluent and consistently joined, pen licences are issued and children are given a handwriting pen.

Writing – composition, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

A high priority is placed on the teaching of writing across the school.

In Foundation Stage, continuous provision is offered to ensure that prerequisite skills for reading and writing are developed, including gross and fine motor skills as well as opportunities to write for different purposes. The learning in class is linked around a text or a theme and writing opportunities with often be linked to this or additional areas of the children’s interest.

From Year 1, a range of high quality texts are planned for which often link in with the class topic. However, these are sometimes stand-alone units based on a particular learning aim. Quality of text and engagement and excitement of pupils is the underlining decision maker- when a particular text is chosen. Within each short term, both non-fiction and fiction genres are usually covered. Most written tasks are thematically based. Over the time children spend in each class, they will cover a range of types of non-fiction and fiction texts and be taught the national curriculum requirements for their year group. Poetry is also covered within each year group. Teachers use the Leighterton School Writing Assessment statements to assess pupils’ progress towards their age-related expectations and data is formally collected by the subject leader three times a year.

Teachers use a range of approaches to create their sequences of learning with some principles from, the Power of Reading and Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ being used. Units of English will have different parts where there will be time to explore the text, grammar and sentence level teaching and longer writing opportunities. Each unit will last around three weeks.

The use of model texts, which reflect the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation that the children need to learn, are an important part of the writing process. This may mean teachers adapt texts where necessary or write their own examples. Shared and guided writing is another important learning opportunity for pupils.

Planning skills are taught and as the children gain experience in planning they are given more flexibility in choosing their preferred way to plan – children may be asked to adapt text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say or a boxed-up grid may be used. Teachers may model planning the text, then turning the plan into writing, as well as demonstrate how to regularly read their own work aloud to see if it works, in order to develop the children’s ability to judge why one word or phrase is best – considering impact on the reader.

When children write their own texts, they are given time to edit and redraft their work and get feedback from each other as well as from teachers during and at the end of the writing process. Children each have a writing portfolio where they keep their longer pieces of writing. This is used to enable pupils to celebrate the progress they have made and be able to reflect on their next steps for writing before starting their next piece. Children enjoy using the special paper and promotes the love of writing.

Curriculum Impact

Children will leave Leighterton Primary School being literate and appreciating the importance of being able to communicate clearly in writing to record not only for yourself, but in communicating with the wider world for a range of purposes. They will be able to use a range of vocabulary, grammar and sentence constructions precisely to convey their thoughts and be able to have the desired effect on their reader. They will be equipped, not only with the skills to write fluently but to be able to apply these in their everyday lives and in their next stages of education- for different purposes, audiences and to communicate in digital written forms. The most important impact we want for our children is that they develop a love of writing and the drive to express themselves clearly in written forms.

Through the progressive writing assessment statements, the teaching team know which children have met or have not yet met the expected outcomes for their year group and can use these to plan teaching sequences and interventions. Our curriculum is designed to be sequential, building on areas worked on in previous years, allowing children to continuously build on their skills. Our expectations are high and we aim to equip children be fluent writers who can use these skills throughout their lives both academically and socially.