At Churchfields, writing is taught in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014
The programmes of study for writing at Key Stage 1 and 2 comprise of two key areas:
- Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that pupils’ competence develops in both of these two areas. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and eventually, speedy handwriting.
Aims of the subject: Our aims in teaching English are to set high expectations matched to the ability of children and to provide equal opportunities for all children:
- To develop the necessary skills to use language confidently, appropriately and accurately
- To be able to speak clearly, fluently and cogently
- To be able to listen to the spoken word attentively with understanding and pleasure
- To be able to read a range of materials fluently and with understanding for enjoyment and for information
- To be able to write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes using spelling, punctuation and syntax accurately and confidently and to develop fluent and legible handwriting
Nursery and Reception
In the Foundation Stage, work is in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. The objectives stated in the Framework are introduced gradually and are in place for the last term in the Reception class. We use the ‘Early Years Outcomes’, a non-statutory guide for practitioners and inspectors and ‘Development Matters’ to help inform understanding of child development through the early years. We teach children the skills they should develop for their age range and make sure we accelerate children’s learning for those who are behind and challenge the more able.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Each class has a daily English lesson. The National Curriculum skills and objectives are grouped together into units of work, ensuring a balance of the strands of speaking and listening, reading and writing (including grammar), punctuation and spelling over a sequence of lessons. Whole class teaching, similar or mixed ability groups or pairs and individual teaching are used as appropriate. Once a week, children in Year 1 to Year 6 have an extended ‘Friday Writing’ session. Cursive handwriting is taught from Reception and is modelled by teachers. The remaining English time is used for Phonics, Reading, Spelling and Library sessions.
Assessment and Evaluation
Formative assessment is carried out through the marking of work in accordance with the school’s Marking and Feedback Policy and is carried out by the teacher (and ISA/TA where appropriate) in the course of their teaching. It records pupils who have not reached or who have exceeded the learning objectives, including notes to inform future planning and teaching. Children’s books, teaching staff’s planning, marking and feedback are monitored half-termly by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and regularly on a more informal basis by the Phase Leader and/or Subject Leader. Lesson observations are also carried out by the SLT together with the Phase Leader or Subject Leader to ensure appropriate standards of teaching and so that individual teacher needs can be assessed and addressed.
Formal summative assessment is carried out at the end of each National Curriculum Key Stage in Years 2 and 6, through the use of SATs and teacher assessment.
Every child’s reading and writing is assessed against the National Curriculum Key Performance Indicators for each year group which provide an age-appropriate breakdown of reading and writing skills. We also use our Skills Assessment Sheets to inform our judgements.
Each child in Years 1 to 6 has an individual writing target bookmark. These targets are used whenever a child is involved in a writing task. The targets are dated and changed when the child has demonstrated that they have met the target three times, either in their English lessons or in cross-curricular written work. Where a child has met their writing target, a ‘T’ is marked at the top of the child’s work (see Marking and Feedback Policy). The Writing Skills Assessment Sheet for each year group (band) informs individual writing targets (see Assessment Policy).
Nursery and Reception assess against ‘Early Years Outcomes’ a non-statutory guide for practitioners and inspectors and ‘Development Matters’ to help inform understanding of child development through the early years.
The results of these assessments are used to award a Band (age) and Step and to track progress using both the Skills Assessment Sheets and Target Tracker throughout the school.
Reporting to parents is done on a termly basis through interviews and annually through a written report. Assessing writing in the EYFS is an ongoing process. Every child does a piece of weekly writing with an adult and is encouraged to have a go at writing independently. A dedicated extended session will be introduced as appropriate to the child’s ability.