Our vision is for children to be exposed to a wide variety of genres using authentic models rich in vocabulary and content. In producing their own writing pieces, children are inspired by texts they have read so that they can think carefully about their word choices and sentence structures. This enables children to write with effect and appreciation for their audience and purpose.
What is our approach to Writing?
Pupils start mark making from an early age with our Early Years developing the gross and fine motor skills needed for pen control through fine motor workshops. In Reception and Key Stage, pupils learn letter formation alongside letter sounds through the Read, Write Inc programme and start forming words and short sentences.
In both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, pupils are expected to produce an extended piece of writing based on the genre they are focusing on in each unit. Across the course of the year, children will be exposed to and write both non-fiction and fictional texts. Writing genres are linked to curricular topics such as history, geography and science enriched by Guided Reading and class books.
We believe that developing a handwriting style we can be proud of, is an important life skill worth securing early on. All pupils receive 15 minutes of handwriting practice each day. Progression starts with securing correct letter formation, moving to a pre-cursive style before moving on to fluent joining. Following three basic principles: starting all letters from the bottom, keeping our pen/pencil on the page but not joining capital letters, children develop a fluid, cursive style. Children can earn their pen license once they can demonstrate accuracy and consistency in joining.
Using a ‘backward planning’ model, teachers create a WAGOLL that is shared with children. Lessons are sequenced enabling new skills to be taught and practiced, or re-visited and consolidated. Opportunities are planned into lesson sequences for children to provide peer feedback, and for children to use that feedback to improve their writing. Opportunities are planned into lesson sequences for children to respond to the teacher’s marking and use it to re-draft and improve their writing pieces.
At Atwood 'speaking and listening' is integrated into all subjects. Pupils are taught from the first day at Atwood to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using standard English and full sentences. During key stage 1 pupils learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say, beginning to engage with each other’s answers. We ensure that children have the opportunity to work with partners, in small groups and as a class, joining in with, and developing the discussion. Children learn how to listen carefully to what other people are saying, so that they can remember the main points and respond to one another in a polite and respectful manner.
Debating in Upper Key Stage two begins to develop children’s ability to reason and justify their own thoughts as well as to engage with the thoughts of others, evaluate and negotiate.
What does our approach to Writing look like in the classroom?
Writing KPIs cover and go beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. These encompass grammar, editorial, composition and transcription. These KPIs will be covered over the course of an academic year. Each unit focuses on a specific genre which builds up to an extended piece of writing. Previously taught skills are consolidated and new skills are taught. Morning work is also used to consolidate, re-teach and develop depth. Books show progress across the year in terms of content and presentation; at points through the year, children are encouraged to reflect on their progress. All work is recorded in one literacy book with explicit books for handwriting, spelling and morning work. Teachers plan ‘challenge’ tasks at each stage of the lesson, designed to stretch and challenge all. Each topic unit provides an opportunity for children to produce an extended piece of writing – drawing on skills learned in Literacy, using knowledge gained in topic lessons.
How do we measure success in Writing?
We use the DfE teacher assessment framework at the end of each key stage. The Ark teacher assessment frameworks are used in all other year groups. External, network and cluster moderation ensure judgements are accurate. External outcomes also provide an indicator of success.