A writer leaving Wynndale will develop a love of writing, through purposeful, exciting and engaging stimuli and be able to articulate and communicate their own creative ideas for a reader. They will have the opportunity to gain understanding of different genres by planning, orally rehearsing, drafting, proof-reading, editing, improving and publishing their composition. They will write purposefully for different audiences and develop a wide vocabulary. They will use different strategies for learning to spell and use punctuation and grammar correctly.
Writing is a key priority at Wynndale Primary School. As a school, our aim is to develop a love of writing, through purposeful, exciting and engaging stimuli. These allow children to learn key writing skills, develop their vocabulary and embed their spelling, punctuation and grammar. Children have the opportunity to write a wide genre of text types and are encouraged to plan, orally rehearse, write, reflect and improve their writing. One way of enabling children to engage with writing is through our writing sequence approach, where the children focus on a range of carefully selected narrative, non-fiction and poetry texts as a stimulus for writing.
These key texts will form the focus to a half term writing sequence for both Key Stage 1 and 2. The first stage in our sequence is to immerse the children in the text through drama, art, music and real-life experiences. Through the analysis stage we explore the features of the text and the choices the author has made to make it successful. From this we build a toolkit in the author’s style. The children are then taught the skills needed to be able to use the toolkit to influence their own writing. The children then begin to plan their own piece of writing before becoming authors and using their plan to write. They have the opportunity to correct spellings, improve their vocabulary choices or up-level their sentences during the editing stage. During the editing stage each child will receive a 1:1 writing conference where their successes and development points are discussed. Children are given time to redraft their work by adding in anything from previous editing and improvement sessions. Finally, the children publish their writing in a final draft. To celebrate their writing efforts, publications will be shared in a Writing Celebration at the end of this sequence.
The sequence for writing is reflected in all classrooms through their English Working Wall. Writing lessons take place at least 4 days per week in every classroom.
A hugely important aspect of writing is spelling, punctuation and grammar. Grammar teaching for each year is planned for using our bespoke Grammar Progression document. Children are taught spelling rules through a set of discrete spelling lessons throughout the week. Year 2 onwards use the No nonsense Spelling scheme as a basis for these lessons. FS and Key Stage 1 focus on learning to spell key words.
Throughout this process and across the whole curriculum, we use the handwriting scheme ‘Letterjoin’ to develop neat and joined up handwriting.
Assessment of Writing
At the end of each writing sequence the children will complete an extended piece of writing. As a school we recognise the value of 1:1 conferencing and investing time to ensure this happens with each child in the class. 1:1 conferencing between the child and the teacher/ teaching assistant takes place after the writing and self-editing phase within each writing sequence. Within the 1:1 conference, children will be praised for the elements that they have included and marked against year group expectations and the author toolkit which they have created throughout the unit. They will be set specific targets to respond to immediately following the conference. Aspects of the curriculum which are missing within the writing of most pupils and need further teaching, will then be planned for in the next writing sequence.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
The teaching of grammar is weaved into the writing sequence, specifically in the skills section. All staff use our bespoke grammar progression document to guide their planning. Upper key stage two also have discrete grammar sessions which reinforce and consolidate the children’s prior learning.
Children are taught spelling rules through a set of discrete spelling lessons throughout the week. The ‘No Nonsense Spelling Programme’ is used from Year two to Year six to guide teachers planning. The programme follows a teaching sequence for spelling, whereby each new concept is taught, practised and then applied and assessed. In addition, teaching will promote the learning of spellings including common exceptions and personal spellings, they will also ensure children learn the set spellings for their year group.
FS and Key Stage one focus on learning to spell key words. Spelling prompts are found in each classroom.
Assessment of Spelling
Pupils’ learning of spelling is assessed both weekly and termly.
Weekly: Children will have a set of words to learn each week, differentiated as appropriate. The set of words will be formed from words following the spelling rules taught that week and common exception words for that year group. Spelling scores should be collated and reviewed half termly.
Termly: Each term, children will be tested on the Common Exception Words for the relevant year group. Individual pupil scores should be calculated as a percentage of total number of words for that year group. These percentages should be reported to parents.
At Wynndale we aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. We recognise that handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum.
We use LetterJoin as a basis for our teaching of handwriting and be the end of Key Stage two all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and eventually speedy joined up handwriting. Handwriting is taught daily in foundation and Key Stage one and at least twice a week in lower Key Stage two.
Children who are not progressing with their handwriting and are unlikely to meet year group expectations are identified and additional teaching and intervention is put into place.
Children are immersed in the LetterJoin handwriting style through all resources used for daily lessons, they are however exposed to a range of handwriting styles through classroom displays and books they read.
In upper Key stage two children will use pen to record.
Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole of the Wynndale Curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. We will provide opportunities for children to extend their speaking beyond the simple provision of facts to include explanation, description, opinion and reasoning.
As part of the Wynndale community we will ensure that we model effective speaking and listening and have high expectations that children will speak clearly in lessons and in turn will listen to others.
We will provide different contexts and situations for the development of speaking and listening such as class assemblies, while school drama performances and Talking Points. We will participate in National and Regional incentives such as the Mansfield Music and Drama festival.
Through the teaching of our writing sequence we expect children to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. We would expect Wynndale children to have developed a writer’s craft through the study of specific authors. They will be fluent, confident writers who enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language grammar and punctuation to create effect. They will have the ability to plan, draft, edit and publish their own work.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, we would expect the skills taught in the English lessons to be transferred into other subjects, showing consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.
Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. At the end of each writing sequence children will be given individualised targets as part of the 1:1 writing conference. Teachers record and track each child’s progress.
Children’s spelling is assessed against national curriculum expectations for their age range.
Attainment in writing is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. Phonics is also assessed half termly in Foundation, Year 1 using a Phonics Tracker. Each year group regularly assesses children in reading using PIRA assessments, Book Banding and using the year group curriculum objectives.
However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.