It is our intent that writing across the curriculum will inspire, engage and challenge all children, enabling them to develop the skills to effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions to others. We recognise that every child has their own unique starting point and we observe their progress from these points to ensure that every child can celebrate success. We aim to build the children’s stamina for writing, vocabulary knowledge and understanding of grammar, by creating a positive approach to an increasingly wide range of text types (including areas of fiction, non-fiction and poetry). We recognise the importance of fostering a culture where children take pride in their writing; write clearly and accurately; and modify their structure and language choices to suit a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts. To support children in moving towards independent writing at the age-related standard, we provide a wide range of writing stimuli, including the use of film and imagery; modelled, shared and guided writing; peer editing; and group discussion. It is also our intent to provide children with a knowledge of morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) through regular, engaging, multi-sensory spelling sessions. We encourage children to apply their spelling knowledge in all areas of their independent writing and to equip them with a range of skills and approaches to tackle the spelling of more ambitious and unfamiliar words. We want to develop the provision of spelling to allow children to effectively communicate their ideas and to take delight in the patterns and contradictions of the English language.
These rich and varied set of learning opportunities support children in becoming confident and enthusiastic learners across all areas of the curriculum. At Cusgarne, we want writing to equip our children with the necessary tools to communicate effectively and to provide them with the skills to become lifelong creative writers.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at Cusgarne, we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children. In line with the new national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. In this sense, assessment of writing is also more fluid as teachers can assess against a set framework. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.
In order to expose children to a variety of genres which help to utilise and embed the writing skills, teachers use the four key writing purposes and a range of enquiry questions to plan, structure and teach their English lessons. This journey is designed to show progress, teach the pertinent year group objectives, apply and consolidate these skills and develop vocabulary. Writing is taught through the use of a quality text, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Each text is purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, engagement and high quality writing from each child.
(Please see our Writing Overview and Spelling Overview documents for further information about how we structure writing at Cusgarne)
Learners - After our writing structure has been embedded across the school, the impact on our children will be clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children will become more confident writers and, by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing will be familiar to them and the teaching will focus on creativity, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards will also improve and skills taught in the English lesson will be transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from Cusgarne, their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English writing, grammar and spelling curriculum in a variety of different ways. We use National and summative testing to assess children' outcomes for grammar, punctuation and spelling as part of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) and through termly summative and formative assessments across school which enable children’s progress and attainment in the subject matter to be evaluated. Children complete writing assessments on a half termly basis, where written work is assessed to inform teachers of children’s next steps and successes. The impact of the curriculum will be seen through children’s national assessment results.
Children at the expected level of development will be able to write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others and will be beginning to follow some sentence writing rules e.g., use of finger spaces. They will be able to spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
Within EYFS, we encourage children to write during role play and to make use of their free writing books to record their letter formation and sentence work. Children are encouraged to 'chot' ideas as part of The Write Stuff and regularly see adults modelling writing - including adults making their thought processes explicit whilst writing, and demonstrating a positive approach to mistakes and editing techniques. Children will also be encouraged to 'have a go' with their spellings and to re-read their writing to check for mistakes and to begin editing.
At Cusgarne, we follow Jane Considine's 'Spelling Book' from Y2 to Y6. This approach provides a clear and systematic view for teaching spelling that provides children with life-long strategies. Children are taught to spell logically so that they understand how 'probability matching' of sounds heard to grapheme representation can strengthen their spelling.
The underlying structure of the approach is based on spellings being taught, not caught, through explicit teaching, modelling, and defining as they practise, explore and investigate spelling hypotheses.
For children in EYFS and Year 1, spellings are linked to their phonic lessons.
Please see below for NC links for Y2-Y6 and the intended design and impact of the Spelling Book approach.
We use the Collins Primary Focus Handwriting scheme to support children to progress through the stages of learning a clear, fluent, legible and fast style of joined writing. The programme begins with patterns and movements, which will be necessary to improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor control and individual letter production. Linked to the National Curriculum levels, the programme encourages a precursive and then a cursive style from the early stages of learning.
The programme links with the development of handwriting skills and style to the main patterns and rules of the English Spelling System.