At Indian Queens we believe that a quality writing curriculum equips children to develop a love of the written word, challenges their understanding of grammar and spelling and is underpinned by secure communication skills. Our priority is to help children succeed in grasping the English spelling system, understanding and implementing a range of grammar skills and be able to communicate through writing for a range of audiences ready for their next stage in learning.
We want our children to develop a curiosity of the range of communication through writing and to take pride in their presentation. Our writing curriculum will inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate as well as to further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledgebase in writing, which follows a clearly structured curriculum where children can use practice and retrieval techniques to secure learning. A secure basis in writing is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
How we Teach Writing
At Indian Queens Primary School, we teach writing using a variety of strategies to inspire our children's work. We take many principles from the Talk for Writing philosophy, as laid out by Pie Corbett, and combine these with other techniques and ideas. Children use drama and text-interrogation techniques, as well as spending time unpicking the technical features of the text type and investigating language and structure, using excellent written models. With all of these tools and techniques at their disposal, children are able to use high-level, quality literacy texts to inspire high quality writing.
Our children are provided with opportunities to craft a piece of writing over a number of days; this helps children build their writing stamina, implement the aspects of the writing journey and this gives them sufficient time to create a quality piece.
Our children are encouraged to edit and redraft their work, using a range of tools to support them in their work. We use a range of peer, teacher and self-marking where children use structured marking ladders and success criteria to assess their work.
Assessment is both formative and summative, with children being given a combination of written and verbal feedback to inform their improvements and next steps. Teachers will assess children's writing against the objectives of the National Curriculum and use these to inform their planning for each written topic.
All aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum at Indian Queens, and we expect knowledge and skills taught explicitly in English lessons to transfer into other subjects, so improving cross curricular writing standards and consolidating and deepening skills.
Spelling is taught discretely throughout the whole school, and is reinforced in all subjects too. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, the children’s spelling lists follow their phonic knowledge to reinforce and embed this. Moving on from phonics, children in Year 2 follow the Little Wandle spelling programme. In Key Stage Two, children use the National Curriculum statutory spelling lists. The teaching of this is supported through the use of Spelling Shed.
We teach Grammar in a variety of ways. Children experience whole-class Grammar sessions in-line with the National Curriculum. Furthermore, some English lessons will have a grammar focus when teaching writing skills, particularly when looking at advanced punctuation, which has an impact on the meaning of sentences.
Handwriting is part of our daily lives. Time devoted to the teaching and learning of letter formation in the early years pays off as legible writing that can be produced comfortably, at speed and with little conscious effort allows children to attend to the higher-level aspects of writing composition and content. It is also a movement skill and one which is best taught directly by demonstration, explanation and rehearsal. We make sure that our children have lots of opportunities to develop their core strength, so supporting the development of gross, then fine, motor skills. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of their writing.
Our handwriting scheme is called ‘Letter Join’ and we follow this to teach handwriting in a structured way.
At Indian Queens Primary we aim to provide our children with the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching our children to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. Through a high-quality oracy education, pupils learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom. These oracy opportunities are planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable our children to learn the skills needed to talk and listen effectively. We have just begun our journey with Voice 21 and are looking forward to developing our knowledge of Oracy across the whole school.
Our writing curriculum will enable pupils to:
- Confidently write for different purposes and audiences and use the features of different genres and styles
- Sustain stamina for writing and adapt their writing style to suit the genre
- Have a good grasp of grammar and punctuation skills and use these confidently and effectively in their writing
- Develop a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
- Effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
- Reflect on their work and revise and edit to improve