At Beckstone Primary School, 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 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.
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 less confident and lower attaining writers to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and modelling or access to additional support materials or booster programmes.
More confident and fluent writers 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.
Spelling is taught using the No Nonsense spelling programme. Children access this programme from Y2 upwards. Prior to this, children in Reception and Y1 follow No Nonsense Phonics in order to learn to read and their spelling content is based on this and on learning tricky words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Children can be given spellings to learn each week to support with this learning. Spelling errors are also identified through marking and practice time allowed to enable children to address their errors and learnt he correct spelling
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.
English Lesson Sequence
Each year group plan a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction. 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 written text that gives the children the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge they have been taught.
High quality texts are used from Nursery to Y6 to stimulate, motivate, engage the children in becoming involved in the writing process. Every unit is linked to this carefully chosen text and it acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their writing outcome for that unit. A WAGOLL – What a good one looks like – is often created based on the stimulus text and supports pupils to identify and mimic the identified features in their own writing. Non-fiction units are also taught using models and scaffolds such as this.
Marking and Feedback
Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy. Children use peer and self assessment strategies to support them in coming reflective and independent writers.
Summative assessments will be entered into Scholarpack. 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 during as assessment period and determine to what extent pupils have met the agreed success criteria for that genre of writing. Writing is moderated across school to ensure judgements are consistent and teachers are aware of the quality of writing across school. This in turn, informs teacher’s professional development.
By the time our children leave Beckstone Primary School, they will have enjoyed writing across a range of genres. Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded. Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing and will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience.
Pupils will leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught whilst parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home, and contribute regularly to homework.
The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.