Our aim at Whingate Primary School is to deliver an inspiring and engaging writing curriculum through high quality teaching and exciting lessons. A love for writing, and being able to express thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively is key in developing our children as readers, speakers and writers. Pupils write for a range of audiences and purposes, across different text types with a particular focus on writing to entertain, inform, persuade, and discuss. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across all areas of the curriculum. At Whingate, we teach pupils to use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling, which are practised daily and applied across all pieces of writing. A vocabulary rich learning environment is promoted to develop all pupils as effective communicators and writers, ensuring life-long skills are acquired for a successful future.
Writing is evident in all aspects of our curriculum and progression is built upon from each year to the next. All purposes of writing are taught through particular text types within writing sessions and across other subjects for pupils to apply what they have learnt. The objectives of the National Curriculum are closely followed to ensure that the skills learnt in spelling, punctuation and grammar are embedded and transferred into writing. Lessons are carefully planned so that skills are taught, embedded, revisited and then developed in a sequential way which promotes learning and retention of knowledge and skills.
We have identified five key skills that have been given priority across our writing curriculum: spelling, punctuation, constructing sentences, handwriting and organisation of writing. These skills are practised as starter activities, ‘Grammar Time’ tasks, within morning work and as the main task in a writing session. In addition, we have a Grammar Police Squad whose main job is to check pupils are speaking in grammatically correct sentences to encourage this in their writing.
Across school, we use Talk for Writing to develop children as speakers, listeners and writers. This teaching framework enables pupils to imitate the language, sentence structures and punctuation needed for a particular piece orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version.
Spelling is an important skill both in and out of school. At Whingate we use the Read, Write Inc. spelling scheme to structure the sessions. Spelling and phonics are explicitly taught in the classrooms every day, where the pupils focus on their year group expectations and common exception words; extra support is put in place for those who find spelling tricky. There is an expectation that children will spend time at home learning their spellings. The learning environment across school shows spelling to be a priority and teachers display appropriate words that link to the current learning.
To ensure we are teaching to the children’s needs and abilities, we use cold and hot tasks to assess what they can do, and what they need more support with. This informs how the unit is planned.
Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year 6, they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and be confident speakers, listeners and communicators, equipping them with life-long skills to be successful.