English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding word and spelling structure of words. Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
We intend that our pupils develop their skills in Language and Literacy, so they continue to improve their ability to:
- Communicate effectively in speech so they can talk appropriately with confidence to different audiences.
- Listen attentively with understanding.
- Express themselves clearly in writing using appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Write in ways appropriate for an intended audience and/or for the intended purpose.
- Produce well-presented work using clear, cursive handwriting and using age-appropriate standards of computing.
- Develop reading skills so that they become confident with reading and be able to use these skills to infer and deduce.
- Develop reading skills so that they can analyse and extract meaning from increasingly challenging texts.
We teach writing using quality texts from a range of genres, including fiction and non-fiction texts, following the ‘Literary Curriculum’ sequences. Our complete, thematic approach to teaching writing places children’s literature at its core. As a whole-school approach, children explore high quality literary texts and experience unique, significant authors as they move through our school.
The writing process at St Francis involves:
- Planning for the purpose and audience, recording key vocabulary, drafting, revising, editing and proof reading, publishing to a high level of presentation, reflecting and evaluating.
- Opportunities for writing for a real purpose are planned.
- We assess the children’s achievement termly and assess them using the STAR documents in moderation session, where they are given an agreed standard.
Opportunities are also identified for extended writing in other curriculum areas.
SPELLING, GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION (SPAG)
Year group spellings are taught weekly using the RWI spelling scheme, supported where appropriate by Spelling Seeds, from the Literary Curriculum. Spelling homework is sent home each week and children are tested on the weekly spellings. Grammar and punctuation sessions are taught each week through our whole book literacy taken from the Literary curriculum sessions and applied to independent writing. SPAG is taught in the context of our literacy sequences to give it purpose from the children and not just in stand-alone lessons.
At St Francis we teach a cursive script and aim for a consistent, whole school approach which sets high expectations and maintains a constant awareness of the importance of presentation. Handwriting is taught every day in EYFS and KS1 and when needed in KS2. The cursive script is employed in all writing activities across the curriculum.
- It is intended that when pupils leave St Francis they will have met the attainment targets in the English programme of study.
- Pupils will enjoy writing across a range of genres
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
- Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
- Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context an audience
- Pupils will leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home, and contribute regularly to homework
- The percentage of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be in line with national averages or better
- The percentage of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be in line with national averages or better
- There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non- disadvantaged)