At Nanpean School, we understand that writing is a vital part of the curriculum that gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world. We are driven by the knowledge of the need to develop a learner’s writing ability to enable them to play a full part in society and be successful in their later life. Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum that enable pupils to communicate with others and write for a range of purposes.
It is our vision that every child will learn to become writers by being given inspiring materials and opportunities to support and challenge them. We believe this encouragement will enable them to become confident, capable, enthusiastic writers who will use writing to express themselves and understand that writing has a real purpose.
We are determined to support every child to learn the fundamental skills needed to write at Nanpean School and therefore aim to support our pupils to:
- Acquire a wide vocabulary
- Have an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage including those with links to the local community
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently
- Adapt language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
At Nanpean School, we are passionate about ensuring that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to write fluently and with confidence in any subject, ready for the next steps of their education and life.
In the Foundation Stage children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Language and literacy development are incorporated in all areas of learning. Opportunities are provided for children to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings. Purposeful role-play is used to develop language and imagination. An environment is provided which reflects the importance of language through signs, notices and books. Children are provided with opportunities to see adults writing and they can experiment with writing themselves. English is taught both as a discrete subject and within the whole Early Years Curriculum to give children opportunities to use their English skills in real life situations.
The teaching of writing at Nanpean School develops pupils’ competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Writing ideas fluently depends on effective transcription. Therefore, we follow clear and structured methods (PenPals for Handwriting and Spelling Shed for Spelling) to teach these skills explicitly.
It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. As soon as the children are ready, they should be taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct tripod grip and develop a legible and joined handwriting style. The school follows the Pen pals handwriting programme. Handwriting is directly taught and practiced in a 30 minute session once a week.
It is expected that all members of staff, class teachers and teaching assistants, model the school handwriting style at all times i.e. when writing on the board or in children’s books. By the end of key stage 2, all children should be displaying an efficient, quick, neat and legible handwriting style that is effective in recording their ideas.
We follow the Spelling Shed scheme to teach the National Curriculum. Spelling is discretely taught for 30 minutes once a week. However, at Nanpean School we choose the order of these units to ensure that they are directly linked to the writing genres being taught to ensure that the spellings can be contextualized and therefore practiced and revisited. This includes the National Curriculum spelling list for each year group. These spellings are carefully matched to the writing genres that the children are being taught and ensures children have regular opportunities to apply what they have learned.
Each English lesson starts with a ‘Quick Spell’. This provides the opportunity to practice the spelling focus for the unit of work on a daily basis.
Spelling Shed is an online platform whereby teachers set ‘assignments’ of spellings words for the children to practise in interactive games. Children can access this platform in school during English lessons and have their login details in their reading records so they can practice at home if they wish.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation has a sequenced approach to ensure that skills and knowledge are built on year by year to maximise learning for all children. Knowledge of grammar and punctuation is needed for pupils to write with control and accuracy. We understand that although these programmes of study need to be explicitly taught, integration and contextualisation within daily English lessons will make this learning more memorable. Each unit of work starts with a ‘pre-unit diagnostic assessment task’. This identifies the gaps in pupils’ knowledge to ensure that planned lessons directly teach the content that children do not know. These lessons are taught within the content of the genre and topic of the unit.
Teachers promote writing and look for ways to inspire and motivate pupils so that they see themselves as ‘writers’. Staff use the objectives from the New English National Curriculum to support their planning for English. Writing genres are mapped out on the whole-school overview. Medium term plans establish the purpose and audience for writing and make teaching objectives explicit so that pupils know why they are studying a particular text type, the kind of writing activities they need to undertake and what the expected outcome will be. Each year group teaches two genres a half-term. English lessons are taught for one hour a day and are taught over a three-week cycle.
On the first week, the children start with a ‘pre-unit diagnostic assessment task’. This will inform teacher’s planning for what needs to be taught in the unit. All units start with a WAGOLL (What a good one looks like) which has been written to year group age-related expectations with progression in the genre from the previous year. These texts have been personalised to our school curriculum by Grammarsaurus. The children will investigate the key features of the text type and discuss the writer’s use of language. Also, the teacher will explicitly teach the areas identified on the pre-unit assessment task within context of the topic for writing.
On the second week, daily shared writing takes place to demonstrate how to write the text by altering the WAGOLL. The children will innovate on the WAGOLL by substituting or changing characters, settings, topics and viewpoints. Teachers use shared writing to model the writing process. Shared reading and writing provide a context for discussion and demonstration of grammatical features at word level, sentence level and text level. Activities are scaffolded through the use of writing frames, spelling banks, collaborative work and peer or adult support. Teachers encourage ‘talk for writing’ as an integral part of the process.
Week 3 - Invent
On the third week, the children will have the opportunity to plan and write their own text based on the genre they have been learning about. They will also have the opportunity to peer and self-assess before re-drafting their writing in KS2.
Subject-specific texts that link to work being undertaken in other areas are also used English lessons to reinforce knowledge of the wider curriculum.
Pupils have access to a wide range of writing opportunities that include:
- Shared writing
- Guided writing
- Independent writing
- Writing different text types and narrative styles
- Writing in different curriculum areas
- Handwriting practice
- Writing from a variety of stimuli
- Planning, drafting, editing and presenting
- Using ICT
Through our approach to writing our children are able to:
- Write fluently
- Be able to spell words, knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics), understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words
- Articulate and communicate ideas coherently
- Write a range of genres with clarity, an awareness of the audience, purpose and context
- Use an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
- Write with fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 1 LABELS LISTS CAPTIONS.pdf
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 2 WANTED POSTERS.pdf
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 3 INSTRUCTIONS.pdf
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 4 INSTRUCTIONS.pdf
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 5 EXPLANATION.pdf
- KO Writing NCPS YEAR 6 INSTRUCTIONS.pdf