Literacy is the cornerstone of a good education and, no matter what role our pupils play in the future, good literacy and communication skills will be vital for them.
At St Mary’s C.E Primary School, we strive to give our children the skills and ambitions to become ‘Brave Changemakers’: confident and competent communicators who believe that they can make a difference in the world. English is a key part of this, and as such, writing is the cornerstone of our curriculum.
We believe that children’s writing should be purposeful and have an impact beyond the classroom. Because of this, our writing is strongly linked to our work across the curriculum and we endeavour for children to develop a rich, varied vocabulary and strong oracy skills. We encourage pupils to see themselves as authors, taking ownership of, and showing pride in, their work through promoting proofreading, editing and ‘publishing’ as an integral part of each unit.
Our intentions in writing are for children to:
- Become confident communicators
- Write for a clear purpose linked to our curriculum
- See themselves as authors
- Use writing to make an impact beyond the classroom
- Develop a rich and varied vocabulary
- Take ownership of, and show pride in, their work
How do we achieve this?
Our teaching in writing is shaped by our curriculum which covers History and Geography through looking at real world issues. Our units are heavily text-based so that children experience high quality examples of writing and they cover a wide range of text types and genres. They are linked as closely as possible with our work in guided reading so children can further explore examples of excellent writing.
In KS1 and 2, we have divided the objectives for each year group into terms. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. Through ‘boxed up’ success criteria, children share in the process of their own learning and they can see exactly what they are aspiring towards at the beginning of each unit. We use a systematic approach to teaching each writing unit that is built around the principles of the writing process. Each unit is a few weeks in length and loops learning towards an end of unit outcome. The sequence runs over three phases and prioritises understanding the purpose and how authors achieve this, explicit contextualised teaching of grammar and punctuation, and the authorial skills of editing, proofreading and publishing writing with pride. Imaginative and attractive displays throughout the school raise the profile of children’s written work and make explicit the link between this and other areas of the curriculum.
Through all phases of the school, beginning in EYFS, a rich vocabulary is seen as an essential component of high quality writing. Children are encouraged to value the learning of new words, and the teaching and displays in the classrooms reflect this; the new vocabulary children will learn is at the core of curriculum planning.
What impact does this have?
By the time children leave our school they will:
- Have made good progress each year
- Have a love for writing and write for enjoyment
- Be able to produce written work in all areas of the curriculum to a high standard
- Be confident to write for a range of different purposes