INTENT: The vision for Writing at Lakeside
By the time they leave Lakeside, the children should be competent writers who use the engaging stimuli and vocabulary rich texts as well as practical experiences to write creatively and imaginatively. They should have an awareness of the audience they are writing for, the purpose of the writing and the effect they would like their writing to have on their intended readers. Our writers should publish work that is fluent and legible.
Throughout their learning journey from EYFS to Y6, the children will be provided with many opportunities to talk about, build upon and discuss their ideas through oracy activities. They will be able to share ideas in pairs, small groups and as a class before beginning the writing phase. This will instil confidence and develop children who can articulate their ideas, thoughts and opinions clearly.
Working through the writing process, from the initial phase of gathering ideas to completing the final published piece, we will develop children who are able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Through their writing, they will demonstrate the use of broad vocabulary used for effect as well as reflect the knowledge they have acquired through a range of quality books, social and cultural experiences and exposure to the wider world.
On finishing their education at Lakeside, we want our writers to have overcome any barriers to learning they may have experienced and leave with the skills to be able to function as a positive and successful member of society.
Curriculum Design, Coverage & Progression
To develop writers that are confident, fluent and can communicate their thoughts clearly, the children will begin by building their oracy skills. To be able to articulate their thoughts coherently, will help to scribe them just as well.
Exploring a broad range of quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, will deepen their background knowledge and enable them to investigate wide and rich vocabulary and use it correctly in a range of contexts. This will develop their skills as an author to have an impact on the reader.
Having practical experiences (a hook) will allow them to draw on their own thoughts, feelings and emotions and further strengthen the outcome of their writing.
The purpose of the writing is vital in motivating the children to produce a clear, coherent and accurate piece of work. In KS1, children repeat the purpose of the writing several times (e.g. to entertain) to embed the skills, language and style required. As the children move through school, these purposes are added to and built upon to write for a range of contexts and audiences. As much as possible, staff will aim to have a real audience and purpose so that the children are wholly engaged and more motivated to write.
As much as possible, we aim to link our writing to the current topic so that the children are fully immersed in the subject matter any barriers to acquire sufficient background knowledge are removed.
In EYFS and KS1, there is a greater emphasis on transcription, where children focus on phonics, spelling and handwriting, simultaneously. From learning the common exception words in year one, more formal spelling rules are introduced from year 2. The children are expected to apply these accurately in their writing throughout the curriculum. Discrete spellings lessons, morning challenge tasks and low-stakes quizzes, help to reinforce these rules.
Punctuation and grammar skills are developed through the key stage phases during discrete GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) sessions as well as relevant knowledge being applied in lessons throughout the curriculum, to reinforce and consolidate basic skills. ‘Good to Go’ checklists, which incorporate punctuation, spellings and presentation (handwriting) are used throughout the curriculum to reinforce these basic skills and ensure high expectations of writing are maintained in all subjects.
From an early age, the children are taught the skills and the importance of the writing process from planning to writing to editing. Planning for writing can be done in various ways: verbally, through images and devices and using graphics organisers. The initial writing process is well modelled by the teacher and used as an initial scaffold to support the children, before they begin to write independently.
Whilst in KS1, children are taught and encouraged to make simple revisions and edits to their writing using the ‘Good to Go’ checklist and success criteria (with year group objectives listed, specific to the genre and purpose of writing). They re-read their work and use peer feedback to ensure they have produced the best writing they can. This is built upon throughout KS2, where the children evaluate modelled pieces of writing to inform their own. They assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and propose necessary changes to the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation by adding, removing, moving and substituting words and phrases – this will enhance the effect on the reader and clarify its meaning. They are also encouraged to consider the order of words to demonstrate a clear understanding and meaning for both them and their audience. The success criteria is used to support the editing process.
By effectively evaluating their writing, they will produce a final published piece which is well thought out and meets the intended purpose.
Skills to support writing are taught daily including, reading and oracy. Staff PDMs allow consistent expectations and relevant CPD to be disseminated. Weekly PPA sessions are supported by a member of SLT in which the writing process is discussed. The whole-school writing overview, incorporating quality texts, year group KPIs and outcomes is discussed with year group team members and adapted to ensure the breadth of coverage. The children’s interests and competencies are taking into account to ensure that tasks are motivating and engaging.
Regular assessment through formative and summative means are used to address gaps in knowledge through explicit teaching and across the curriculum (i.e. morning challenge) to counteract the Forgetting Curve (Ebbinghaus). To aid retrieval, ‘drip-feeding’ methods are employed such as ‘last lesson, last week’ in each English lesson. Genres are repeated throughout the year, including in the wider curriculum, to encourage the spaced practice of skills. Each term, at least two pieces of extended writing are formally assessed using the National Curriculum objectives (on Target Tracker) to inform teacher judgements. The KPIs are highlighted for each year group and must be demonstrated throughout the year.
As much as possible, each piece of extended writing is encouraged to have a real-life purpose or one that will engage and motivate the children. Many of these pieces of work are published in the children's portfolios and presented to the highest quality as a piece of work to be very proud of. For example, in Year 5, the children linked a piece of writing to their art topic in the Autumn term and accompanied the writing with an Art overlay. In Year 3, the children wrote a diary entry as an evacuee on tea-stained paper. Delivering oral presentations relating to the genre they would be writing about (in the oracy week – first week of the writing unit) helped to consolidate their understanding and practise the use of language structures and Standard English.
The planning for the wider curriculum reflects what has been taught in English so that the children are explicitly made aware of the importance of applying the skills they have acquired through direct teaching in writing, to all areas of the curriculum. Writing happens everywhere.