Writing at Jesson's
Our aim at Jesson’s CE Primary School is to foster a love of writing and develop children’s skills and confidence to become effective communicators. We want every child to master the key skills of punctuation, sentence structure, transcription and spelling so that they are able to communicate effectively through a range of text types and understand the purpose and audience. Through direct teaching of words, we want to develop a curiosity surrounding vocabulary and language where pupils develop a sophisticated bank of vocabulary that they are able to draw upon both within writing and conversation. Ultimately, we want our pupils to understand the power of the written word and the impact their writing can have upon others.
At Jesson’s CE Primary School, we use Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach. In Early Years and KS1, focus on the oral retelling of various text types and familiar structures are fully embedded in the long-term memory so that the children can later apply these structures to their own writing whilst developing the language techniques taught for the area of focus.
In KS2, the Talk for Writing approach focuses on the internalisation and contextualisation of the model text which fosters the children’s ability to: read as readers, read as writers and finally write as readers by creating a ‘tool-kit’ for purposeful writing. Time is spent on ‘short-burst writing’ sessions to demonstrate specific language techniques and develop the writers’ tools. The writing process is always modelled by the teacher during shared writing sessions. Timely feedback is given to the children in order to edit and improve their work using a reader's and writer's eye. Children then write independently in order to apply and showcase their writer’s craft.
At Jesson’s we recognise the importance of spoken language in the development of writing. Therefore, we provide ample talk opportunities in each lesson through the use of class discussion, talk partners, small group work and drama activities. This provides children with time to orally explore a text type before they start to write.
Grammar and punctuation objectives are threaded and planned carefully across each teaching sequence and in context of the writing so that children can see the purpose and how it is used. Through shared writing, teachers model how relevant language and grammatical features can be manipulated for effect in a variety of different genres, allowing children then to apply these techniques in their independent writing and across the curriculum.
It is vital that children foster a love of writing for pleasure as well as building stamina for writing. Therefore, once a week all the children immerse themselves in a `Creative Write`session. Stimuli are taken from different genres giving the children exposure to a wide range of approaches. The children are free to use their imagination and creativity to write in a variety of styles thus developing and showcasing their writer’s craft. This also gives them another opportunity to apply spelling, punctuation and grammar objectives taught in literacy lessons.
Phonetic knowledge underpins the teaching of spelling in EYFS and KS1. At Jesson’s CE Primary School, we use the Jolly Phonics scheme of work to support children in developing their phonetical understanding; this is taught daily and consolidated during writing sessions and when writing across the curriculum.
It is expected that in Key Stage 2, the majority of children will have a secure understanding of phonics and will progress onto using morphology and etymology to support their spelling. Therefore, in Key Stage 2, we follow the ‘Twinkl’ spelling scheme to support and facilitate the learning of spelling conventions, patterns and understanding links with other word families. Children will also understand the principles of prefixes and suffixes. Progression in the teaching of the National Curriculum spelling rules and the statutory words lists are mapped out for each year group. Words from the statutory word lists are also incorporated in the teaching and learning. Spelling is taught regularly and discretely in English lessons throughout the week.
We want our pupils to be equipped with the knowledge and range of strategies for learning spelling and to be able to apply this in their independent writing.
As a school we use the Kinetic Letters programme to provide our children with an automatic response to letter formation that allows pupils to concentrate their effort on the content on their writing. The programme has four threads:
- Making bodies stronger
- Holding the pencil (for speed, comfort and legibility)
- Learning the letters
- Flow and fluency
In Early Years, the children are taught to build up their core strength and gross and fine motor before progressing onto learning to form the letters through large body movements and gradually move onto smaller movements, until they are ready to write on paper, whiteboards and with materials like sand. Children will be taught how to hold their pencil correctly and how to develop the correct posture when writing.
At Key Stage One, children continue to learn to write their letters correctly, linked by the moves made to form each letter. We encourage children to use the correct starting position for each letter and produce letters of a uniform size. By the end of Key Stage One, children are expected to write with clear letter formation with some attempt to join letters upon entry to KS2.
At Key Stage Two, the children focus on learning how to join their handwriting and then progress onto developing automaticity and fluency when writing at length.
Teachers are expected to model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school.
The main intended impact of our delivery of Writing is that all children enjoy writing across a range of genres, can write for a range of purposes and audiences, and become confident and effective communicators. They will amass a varied vocabulary that they can use across the curriculum and can apply spelling rules and grammatical concepts in their work.
Writing assessment is ongoing throughout every writing lesson to help teachers with their planning, lesson activities, targeted pupil support and enable appropriate challenge to all children. Children are given feedback and next steps to respond to in order to personalise learning and provide the children with opportunities to edit and improve their own writing. More in-depth assessment of the children’s writing is done at the end of each unit - a ‘Hot Write’ - to establish which age-related outcomes have been achieved.
By the end of key stage 2, we intend that the children have developed a writer’s craft, enjoy sustained writing, can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect and that most are meeting ARE ready for the secondary curriculum.
In Years 1 – 6, children are tested termly on spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge (NTS assessments) and this data is also used to inform next steps for writing.
The impact is also measured through monitoring books, learning walks and gathering evidence of good practice. Further to this, teachers will take part in internal moderation in year groups and Year 2 and Year 6 may be moderated by the LA in the Summer term.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, we want our children to transfer skills taught in the English lesson into cross-curricular writing opportunities, showing consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.
How to hold your pencil
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