Writing at All Souls' CE
Writing Curriculum Rationale
At All Souls’ we are writers! We want our children to love writing. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be authors, journalists, poets and reporters. We want them to embody our core values. The writing curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their transcriptional and compositional knowledge and use this success to exceed in their writing experiences. We want our children to remember their writing lessons and the written work they have produced in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the writing opportunities that they are presented with!
The writing curriculum promotes curiosity and a desire and thirst for writing. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the history National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
It is essential that we develop pupils’ writing within two-dimensional competences – transcriptional (spelling and handwriting) and compositional knowledge (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
We believe that teaching pupils’ competence in these two dimensions are essential. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been firmly embedded into the units of work across all year groups in school.
As a school we have identified that the ability to write down ideas fluently depends upon effective transcription; that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words.
We teach pupils that effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. We strongly believe that writing for an audience and a clear purpose is essential. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and speedy handwriting.
We actively promote reading as a vehicle to feed writing, as this increases pupils’ motivation and imagination. We seek to ensure that our pupils are able to confidently approach writing tasks inspired their own experiences and the knowledge gained form texts studied and enjoyed – both fiction and non-fiction.
An annual audit of the writing curriculum has been conducted. Following the findings from this audit, the writing curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
As an English Hub, we have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the most current writing initiatives including the most recent research studies from EEF etc. From this, we have carefully structured our writing experiences and have devised our own approach to promoting effective writing engagement and modelling of text.
Writing transcription is clearly structured around Read, Write Inc. by Ruth Miskin and a more advanced spelling curriculum based around the morphology and orthography of words.
We teach the compositional aspect of writing through a unique approach devised by school entitled SWIFT (Securing Writing Improvement from Focused Teaching.)
Writing and reading in this school operates in symbiosis. This essential link determines the context used for writing and the genre of writing to be engaged with. In this way, pupils can use their reading experiences to filter into their writing and provides the stimulus and motivation to support pupils’ writing enjoyment.
The writing curriculum links closely to the experiences the pupils have had within their reading and other curricula areas.
For example: the soliloquy in the play ‘Hamlet’ by Shakespeare is used as inspiration for a formal letter writing task - in Year 6 – ‘The Gingerbread Man’ by is linked to a newspaper report outcome in Year 2.
Every opportunity to link writing tasks to the pupils’ own experience. Much of the cultural capital a child will experience in their young lives is enclosed within the cover of a book. This is then used as a stimulus to promote engaging writing tasks.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every writing lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that knowledge and skills in writing are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use writing formative assessment methods to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment methods then inform summative assessment judgements.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in writing. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in writing includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.