“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.” - Nelson Mandela
The member of staff responsible for Writing is Mrs Jones.
How Dovecotes Primary School’s Writing Curriculum Promotes Our Core Values:
Be Ambitious - We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We expose our pupils to the best authors to inspire them and encourage them to become the best writers that they can be. We also believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work to a high standard effectively during and after the writing process.
Be Creative - We want pupils to learn how to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and to view writing as an artistic outlet and a means to express themselves imaginatively.
Be Kind; Be Honest - We encourage pupils to work together as critical friends to help each other to improve their work.
Be Brave - Formal and informal presentations, drama activities and opportunities to collaborate with peers are included in our writing curriculum because we want pupils to develop their oracy skills and be able to articulate themselves confidently in front of an audience.
Be Healthy - We show how creative writing offers a unique way to explore thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs and as such it can be used as a form of self-expression that can improve emotional wellbeing.
Intent – What Do We Aspire For Our Children?
At Dovecotes, our intent is for pupils to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become confident writers who can write clearly, accurately and coherently for both pleasure and for a purpose.
We aim for children to understand grammatical terminology and explore how and why writers use specific techniques to create an effect, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
As many of our pupils began school with low levels of literacy, we want them to acquire a wide and rich vocabulary that they can use effectively in their own writing. We also want them to be able to spell new and unfamiliar words by applying the spelling patterns and rules they have learnt throughout their time in primary school.
By the end of EYFS children will:
develop the foundations of a handwriting style and write recognisable letters, including capital letters, most of which are correctly formed;
spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others;
re-read their sentences to check they make sense;
show good control and co-ordination in their small movements;
handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:
be able to write narratives, both real and fictional;
write using past and present tense mostly correctly and consistently;
demarcate sentences using capital letters, full stops and question marks mostly accurately;
spell most common exception words correctly;
write with consistency in their letter sizing.
By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:
be able to write for a range of purposes and audiences showing increasing manipulation of sentence structures;
use a range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs;
select and use grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires
use a range of punctuation and maintain tense throughout a piece of writing;
spell most words correctly or will be able to use resources quickly and efficiently in order to support spelling.
ensure writing is consistently joined in line with the school policy.
Implementation – How Will We Deliver The Curriculum?
Our children begin their writing journey in nursery, with gross motor activities and playful fine motor activities (such as dough disco). In Reception, children continue their writing journey through the RWInc, phonics programme and the use of strategies such as ‘Hold a Sentence.
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, writing learning is delivered as whole class lessons four times a week. Lessons are designed so that they promote the acquisition of skills and knowledge in a way that shows clear progression from year to year. We link reading and writing lessons to focus on subject-specific skills taught through carefully selected class texts which allow pupils to gain higher-level vocabulary and activate new words in writing tasks.
Writing lessons are linked to a variety of genres and follow a three-week writing cycle where pupils explore a model text, undertake talk for writing lessons and then participate in a series of skills lessons to apply specific grammatical techniques. At the end of the cycle, pupils complete a hot task whereby they write at length in the context of a particular writing genre and apply all of the key skills taught as part of the three-week writing cycle. Proof-reading is a crucial part of the writing process, whether this be during short burst skills writing lessons or as part of a longer ‘hot task’ lesson.
Teachers model the process of writing daily so that children understand the thought process behind writing. During this process, teachers ‘think out loud’, edit and demonstrate how and why they have structured their writing in the way that they have. Children are given the opportunity to participate in shared and collaborative writing, where everybody contributes to the writing outcome.
We also ensure that writing opportunities are maximised in cross-curricular ways, most notably as part of our Irresistible Learning thematic curriculum. We explore opportunities to write for a purpose, using experiential writing as springboard wherever appropriate.
It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During Early Years, pupils are taught the correct posture for writing, how to hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. We use the scheme Squiggle While You Wiggle to support with this. Pupils are expected to start using a joined script in Year 2 (when they are forming all letters correctly) and Year 3 and continue to develop this into Year 4, 5 and 6. Teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school.
Spelling is taught as part of the daily reading lesson. A range of strategies are used to ensure pupils become competent lifelong spellers. Accurate spelling is expected in all writing across the curriculum and children are taught and given time to edit their spellings and recognise their own errors.
Impact - How Do We Know Our Art Curriculum Is Effective?
We measure the impact of our writing curriculum through assessment for learning opportunities, book scrutiny, pupil voice feedback, data analysis and learning observations. Formative assessments take place on a daily basis using live marking to immediately address any misconceptions in learning and to support pupils to recognise and correct any errors or misconceptions in punctuation, spelling and handwriting.
Diagnostic assessment is also carried out using writing success criteria checklists. Each year group has an age-related expectations sheet which helps teachers to plan future learning and address gaps in knowledge and skills. Writing is further teacher-assessed at the end of each term, taking into account the skills and genres taught up to that point.
We know that writing is successful when:
children enjoy writing across a range of genres
children of all abilities succeed in writing lessons
children have a wide vocabulary in verbal and written form
children are able to demonstrate these skills across a broad range of subjects.
the percentage of pupils working at the expected standard is at least in line with national averages, with a good percentage of children working at greater depth.