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Writing

Writing at Forest Fields Primary

 

At Forest Fields Primary School, we recognise that English skills underpin all elements of the curriculum and are essential life-skills. Considering the fundamental importance of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing in everyday life, we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become successful, accomplished writers.  

We aim to foster an enjoyment of writing amongst pupils, and a recognition of its value through providing a stimulating curriculum and school environment. We place the development of writing skills, directly linked to reading, at the very heart of the curriculum, and provide meaningful contexts and quality texts as the inspiration for writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns, the rules they learn, and the semantics of these.

 

Throughout their time at Forest Fields Primary, children develop their skills by writing for a wide variety of purposes and readers. Our pupils explore many diverse models of excellence and using these to guide the drafting and editing process. We not only develop a real enjoyment of writing in English lessons but in all subjects across the curriculum. We expect the highest standards of writing every time a child writes in any subject.

 

EYFS

Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing). To develop early writing skills, the children have a daily Physical Development input. They warm up their large muscles with gross motor activities, climbing equipment, yoga, scooters, warm up songs. They have daily dough discos, finger gym activities and handwriting sessions. Outdoor music, drama, and yoga sessions are led by practitioners to support communication, language and pre-reading and writing skills.

Daily Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics sessions enable the children to learn to segment words for spelling and they have writing opportunities throughout continuous provision for the children to practise these skills.

In F2 the children come in to a morning RMC (Recall, Misconceptions and Catch-up) task. This is name recognition or name writing in the Autumn term and moves onto phonics and sentence writing as the year progresses. They have a daily phonics session and we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme. The children then have a Creative Writing session based on the text of the week.

Every week we are helping the children improve their speaking, listening and writing skills with our scheme called “Pen Patrol.” The children are really engaged in it as we have linked it to the Paw Patrol characters. Each Monday we ask the children to bring an item into school to talk about. The parents have a half-termly letter which informs them of the item/subject we would like them to talk about at home using the sentence starter, the ambitious vocabulary to help them improve their speaking skills and the spellings they will need for the related writing task.

 

KS1 and KS2

We have an agreed approach to the teaching of writing which draws on a range of research and has been shaped to best meet the needs of our children. We believe that all Forest Fields pupils should leave us as enthusiastic writers who know the value of their own ideas and understand how to communicate these effectively. Core to our approach is ensuring pupils’ understanding of how to write for purpose and audience. In each year at Forest Fields, our children will be asked to write for four broad purposes:

 

When a purpose for writing is combined with a given audience, it leads to an ideal form (specific text type) and style (degree of formality, subjectivity). With increasing independence as they progress, pupils work alongside teachers to explain the purpose, audience, form and style of their writing. Through this process, they work to produce ‘expanded success criteria’ which make clear the links between the purpose of the writing, the intended effects on the reader and the ‘ingredients’ that will be used to achieve those effects.

 

Our writing process allows that our pupils develop a schema for each broad purpose for writing. Incorporated in these schemas will be knowledge of different audiences, forms, styles and tools to create appropriate effects. These schemas, and frequent opportunities to put them to use, help our pupils to develop into able, assured writers with flair and independence of ideas.

We ensure the teaching of writing is effectively planned, responsive to learners’ needs and incorporates all the key elements needed to be a successful writer. We use a range of strategies to assess the pupils writing and employ effective assessment procedures, both formative and summative.

 

Spelling:

In addition to the teaching of spelling within the teaching sequence and the focus on the development of high-quality synthetic phonics, a whole-school approach to the teaching of spelling is being developed. Spelling taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers currently use the No Nonsense Spelling scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test at the end of the week. Children are then encouraged to identify these incorrect spellings in their own writing and correct them.

 

 

Grammar and Punctuation:

Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught primarily through English lessons. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the purposes and forms of writing that they are teaching. This gives pupils an understanding of the authentic reasons that different grammatical devices and types of punctuation are used by writers. These features of the English language become part of their developing schemas for each writing purpose. The related skills are built upon, revisited and refined as children progress. At times, teachers focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.

 

Evidence in English books must demonstrate that children are developing skills on an ongoing basis.  In order to emphasize the specific skills that are being taught, writing tasks are underpinned by expanded success criteria. These must be reproduced in books and are used for assessment purposes.  The expectations for extended writing will vary across year groups but will always involve children being expected to apply the skills that were modelled to them, and thereby meet the given success criteria. 

 

For further detail, please see our Writing policy.

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