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Manor Primary School

'Lighting the fires of our future'

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Manor Primary School

'Lighting the fires of our future'

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Writing

How we teach Writing at Manor

 

Curriculum Intent: Retention of Knowledge

 

WRITING INTENT- To build an English curriculum which develops learning of knowledge and skills so that all pupils know more, remember more and understand more.

 

WRITING IMPLEMENTATION- Writing is planned for, following the EYFS Framework and KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum.  English is planned for based around high-quality selected texts which also form Units of work. Whilst the National Curriculum forms the foundation of our curriculum, we base some of our teaching styles on the Talk4writing system. 


WRITING IMPACT: Pupils will make at least good progress in Writing from their last point of statutory assessment or from their starting point in EYFS. Pupils will use their English knowledge and skills, in all curriculum areas, to enable them to know more, remember more and understand more.

 

This plan details the text and genre types planned for each term (Cycle A and B). 

For detailed and progressive skills/objectives to be taught throughout these units see National Curriculum, Manor Writing Progression documents, SPaG Handbook and Teacher Assessment Frameworks. 

 

At Manor we view the acquisition of language skills to be of the utmost importance and so the teaching of all aspects of English is given high priority. Writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience; it is a crucial part of thinking and learning. This policy outlines the purpose, nature and management of the teaching of writing at Manor. It states how we deliver the writing elements of the English National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

 

At Manor, we believe that: 

  • Speaking and listening are significant factors in developing the acquisition of writing
  • Reading and writing are closely connected and mutually supportive; we read as writers and write as readers. We breath in reading and breath out writing.
  • Writing is a craft and most children learn best through their own writing, rather than through exercises out of context.
  • Writing is best framed within recognisable high quality text-types or genres.
  • Writing should be designed to meet the needs of real or imagined audiences.
  • Writing tasks should be prepared through preliminary talk and teachers should model writing for their pupils when appropriate.
  • Children should be given the opportunity to collaborate with other children both to compose and to revise their writing.
  • Writing skills can be improved through reflection using purple pens.
  • Children should be closely involved in assessing their own development as writers.
  • More effective writing is dependent upon increasingly informed grammatical and linguistic choices.
  • The teacher’s response to the child’s composition is crucial in developing confidence and motivation.
  • The skills of transcription (i.e. handwriting, punctuation and spelling) must be thoroughly planned for and taught using the SPaG planning handbook.
  • ICT can be used as an inspiring stimulus for writing and to enable children to author their own multimedia texts.

 

Contexts for the Teaching and Learning of writing 

Writing is taught and learnt in specific meaningful and effective contexts. These include:

  • Modelled and shared writing.
  • Complementary sentence and word-level activities.
  • Independent or paired writing. 
  • Sharing and reflecting on their writing.
  • Cross-curricular writing tasks e.g. in project work or science. 
  • Talk 4 Writing (when appropriate)

 

Non-negotiables for each writing unit, we will: 

  • Provide frequent opportunities to write.
    Encourage children to write clearly, legibly and accurately with attention to punctuation, spelling and grammar. These will be corrected by the teacher during marking or immediate feedback. Pupils will correct these errors. 
  • Provide regular modelling of the writing process. 
  • Provide regular modelling of making judgements about the style, format and choice of vocabulary, for a specific purpose, audience and genre.
  • Provide regular modelling of drafting, revision and proof-reading, for instance using visualisers.
  • Provide time for children to reflect on the writing process and refine their work. 
  • Provide opportunities for children to produce independent writing and Big Writes, which will be clearly identified as independent (as a minimum twice per half term). 
  • Independent writing (Big Writes) will be assessed in a timely manner (within 5 days) against the agreed TAF sheets, which will be found in books next to the independent writing.  
  • Deep mark independent writing with a positive comment. 
  • Set individual targets for writing and assist children in reviewing their targets (and setting personal ones where appropriate)
  • Provide opportunities for children to focus on specific targets through ‘Instant Catch Ups’ (ICU) and interventions. 
  • Provide children with opportunities to share their writing. 
  • Encourage children to take responsibility for their own writing development and progress. Surround children with a print-rich environment that they have helped to create.
  • Reward and celebrate children’s efforts and achievements in writing.
  • Provide opportunities for cross-curricular writing.
  • Provide a wide variety of texts which cater for children’s diverse interests and needs, and act as a stimulus to their own writing. 

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Writing in the Early Years Foundation Stage 

A variety of resources are used to encourage the development of the fine motor skills essential for pencil control and writing. These include play dough, cutting, threading and using a range of tools. The children are encouraged to mark make as they access a range of materials independently which are carefully planned to promote the development of writing skills. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities including: 

  • Shared writing 
  • Role-play (e.g. an office or restaurant) 
  • Labels 
  • Recipes 
  • Lists 
  • Making books 
  • Writing letters 
  • Menus 

Their efforts at this emergent writing stage are valued and praised and as their phonic knowledge and handwriting skills increase, this will be reflected in their writing.


Daily teacher led activities take place that include shared writing activities. During daily phonic sessions, children are taught how to write the corresponding grapheme (letter shape). At this stage, wide lined sheets or lines on whiteboards are used to encourage correct letter formation and orientation and uniform letter size. As children make progress, they use a ruled exercise book which will include all other writing including creative pieces. Within the Foundation Stage, children have the opportunity to develop their writing skills in accordance with their development stage, ability and competence.

 

To ensure a smooth transition from the Foundation Stage, the Key Stage 1 class has a writing table where children are free to produce work from their own ideas. 

 

There is also a role-play area which promotes speaking and listening and which provides further opportunities for writing (lists, prescriptions, notes etc.) 

 

Writing in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 

Writing sessions are used flexibly to provide a bridge between shared, guided and independent work. During these sessions the teacher demonstrates specific writing skills. The basics of how to form a letter, spell a word, leave a space or put in a full stop are demonstrated early on in KS1, followed later by the more sophisticated strategies of modelling the planning, drafting or proof-reading of writing. The teacher may also demonstrate writing in a particular genre. 

 

Shared/guided writing: 

  • Generating imaginative and informative ideas through discussion and questioning (verbalising), and recording these ideas in notes/ plans/ drafts 
  • Demonstrating planning strategies (e.g. brainstorming, concept maps, writing frames) 
  • Using a familiar or model text as a starting point for writing 
  • Playing with language and exploring different word choices 
  • Teaching the structural characteristics of a particular text type 
  • Developing specific word level skills of spelling, handwriting and punctuation 
  • Modelling higher level sentence construction (use of connectives, complex sentences) 
  • Demonstrating revision strategies (e.g. children checking for meaning, reordering to improve a sentence, rewriting to improve clarity or to enrich 
  • Demonstrating editing strategies (checking punctuation and spelling) 
  • Refining writing to make it clearer and better suited to its audience and purpose
  • Developing technical terms and vocabulary for understanding and discussing writing 
  • Publishing and presenting written texts for others to read and use 

 

Independent Writing:

Children will be given frequent opportunities to write independently so that the skills demonstrated during shared writing and supported during guided writing will be transferred into their own writing.
Since accurate, fluent and independent writing is dependent on a secure grasp of phonics, a high priority is placed throughout EYFS and KS1 on daily systematic phonics teaching (based on the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programmes). This gives children the strong and essential foundation upon which all their future development as writers will be built. 

During independent writing the children compose without direct teacher support.  There is an expectation that at least 2 Big Writes are produced each half term – roughly 1 unit for every 3 weeks. 

 

As children move through KS2, they will be expected to write at increasingly greater length, developing crucial writing stamina alongside other skills. Independent writing, both within Literacy lessons and across the curriculum will involve: 

  • Collaboration and Talk for Writing 
  • Using the imagination and expressing ideas 
  • Applying skills learned in shared writing and guided writing 
  • Focusing on individual writing targets
  • Revising work in the light of feedback from teachers or peers 
  • Commenting constructively on other children’s writing 
  • Editing and proof-reading to improve transcriptional features 
  • Preparing work for presentation 

 

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation 

Throughout the school, grammar and punctuation are given high priority. Aspects of grammar and punctuation are best taught in the context of real reading and writing activities, rather than through isolated exercises. This gives children the opportunity to see the relevance of sentence-level work and how real writers make such choices to help them communicate clearly. Sentence-level teaching is most effective when it is short, sharp and frequent, incorporated perhaps as a lesson starter or in the context of shared writing. Word and sentence games may encourage children to enjoy playing with language and to experiment with different constructions that they may then apply in their independent writing. 

Accuracy in basic punctuation (capital letters and full stops) is given a high priority throughout the school, until it becomes completely automatic. Explicit teaching may be needed, even for older children, on what a sentence is and how to punctuate it accurately.  It is expected that teachers follow the agreed SPaG planning for what and when to teach.  See SPaG handbook. 

 

Assessment of Writing

Children’s writing is assessed twice half-termly from Reception using assessment grids (TAFs) which are linked directly to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for each year group. These assessments then inform our target setting and are used as the basis for our planning.

From Year 1 children are given targets which they have access to in their books. The children will have been involved in this process from the onset through having looked through their Big Write work samples and identified their targets with their teacher. Children are directed to use these targets when they are working. Success Criteria sheets which are used in writing lessons are also aimed at supporting children with their individual writing targets. 

 

Raising the profile of writing 

In order to aid raising the profile of writing across the school we also participate in termly whole school writing challenges in addition to  celebrating World Book Day where children participate in writing and reading activities linked to a particular author or genre. 

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Celebrating writing 

Positive reinforcement of good writing is conducted through use of stickers and rewards, stars of the week and through our Achievement System.  Writing is displayed in the corridor on our whole school display. For spelling there is a weekly reward for pupils who have obtained full marks in their spelling test.

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