WRITING: INTENT, IMPLEMENTATION & IMPACT POLICY
At Bathford Church School our vision of ‘Grow, Care, Serve, Share’ frames our English curriculum.
Bathford Church School offers an exciting, relevant, vibrant, broad and balanced English curriculum that fosters and promotes a love of reading and writing. Through our overarching, global themes and our class topics, the pupils are inspired to read for pleasure and to gather information, and to write for a purpose and for an audience.
We aim to ensure that all children grow:
- to read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- to use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- to be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
We prioritise reading and writing across the curriculum so that every child can learn to the full. We aim to promote a love of the spoken word, reading and storytelling in order to inspire curiosity, wonder and imagination. Through writing, children can find and express their unique voice, as well as enhance and develop their critical thinking skills. Our English curriculum enables the children to have the opportunity to grow culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
Through reading, children develop empathy and care for one another. Reading allows us to see and understand the world through the eyes of others. Writing enables us to present our inner thoughts and feelings to the wider community and the world beyond. In doing so, children become active, collaborative and responsible citizens, who will be better equipped to be of service to other people and the wider world.
Throughout our lessons, children are given the opportunity to talk and listen, developing a shared connection to one another, the local community and the wider world. By promoting a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about reading and writing, the children will acquire the skills needed to succeed in the next stage of their life and beyond.
The Writing Curriculum is linked to our overarching, global themes of Identity and Diversity, Social Justice and Equity, and Sustainable Development. Within each theme and class topic, teachers plan meaningful and inspiring writing experiences for the children.
Children write for a purpose and for an audience. The purpose of the writing may be to entertain, to inform, to persuade or to discuss. Across the year, there will be a balance of opportunities provided. Children will write for a range of audiences, linked to Berger’s Hierarchy of Audience. This enhances motivation and engagement, as children seek to make a difference by presenting their thoughts, hopes and dreams to a public audience beyond the school into the global community.
Children read a range of high quality texts. Through reading, children absorb story images and language patterns, which they then draw on when writing themselves. The main texts are indicated in our Long Term Planning documents and the Writing Curriculum.
There is a strong emphasis on the explicit teaching of new vocabulary. We aim for our children to be confident in using a wide range of adventurous and ambitious words in the correct context in their writing. Where possible, there are opportunities for the children to rehearse their ideas orally, through paired talk, role play, hot seating and drama.
Teachers model the writing process and will ‘think aloud’ as they do so. This creates an authentic experience for the children as they see the teacher considering options, making choices, editing, selecting, correcting and so on. Shared writing involves the children contributing ideas to the writing process, either as a whole class or in a group.
Children build on their knowledge and previous understanding, and there are regular opportunities for recapping and reviewing. This occurs daily, weekly and termly, and will aid memory and retention, as well as the long term development of understanding, knowledge and skills.
The learning in the classroom is supported to allow all children to make progress and achieve their full potential. Strategies for scaffolding and extending the learning, and adapting the teaching include: the teacher checking in and circulating the room; a considered seating plan; a mixture of individual, paired and group work; visuals and pictures to illustrate the learning; explicit links made with previous and cross curricular learning; the use of sentence starters and writing frames; positive feedback; manageable chunks and achievable targets.
The children’s learning is marked and assessed according to the school’s Marking and Feedback Policy and Assessment Policy. Opportunities for Assessment for Learning are exploited, for example through high quality questioning and feedback ‘in the moment’. Summative assessments against the Year group and Key Stage Writing objectives occur every term, and are used to inform judgements made at key points during the year. In Reception, assessments are made against the Early Learning Goals.
A typical unit of work allows for the exploration of the features of a particular genre and text structure, the teaching of an aspect of grammar, time for practising a version of the text, drafting the text, editing and improving. English is taught daily, sometimes as a discrete lesson and at other times across the curriculum. Grammar and spelling (where possible) are integrated and taught within the context of the topics. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds in Reception , Year 1 and into Year 2. We use the No Nonsense Spelling programme from Year 2 to Year 6. The Writing Curriculum document indicates the progression of skills from Reception to Year 6.
The classroom environment is used to enhance and reflect the teaching and learning of writing, through displays, word banks, learning walls etc. Children’s writing is celebrated on display throughout the school.
The impact of our Writing Curriculum is that the children are inspired to write for a purpose and for an audience. They are motivated, and equipped with the knowledge and skills to write in a range of genres. They are able to write with confidence and independence, supported and extended where appropriate. The children feel empowered to be imaginative and let their ideas flow, to express themselves and their inner thoughts and feelings. They are encouraged to be creative and to find ways to delight the reader, but also to write in a coherent way so that they are understood. Children’s writing should also be accurate, correctly punctuated and spelt, and written in their best handwriting.
Above all, it should be an expression of the child’s voice.
If you are confused with all the English terms that children are learning in school then have a look at the Primary Grammar Jargon buster for some help.