Writing is a vital life skill and even though there are ever increasing mediums for written communication in our modern world, it is still necessary for pupils to be able to communicate using a high standard of written English. We hope that by teaching the pupils at Park Primary School to write well they will have the skills to be able:
- to understand the importance and purpose of formal and informal written language;
- to communicate effectively in standard written form;
- to express themselves creatively and encourage reflection about the content of their work;
- to organise their thoughts and ideas logically that are appropriate for their intended audience.
At Park, there are many varied and exciting opportunities for the teaching and learning of writing skills across the curriculum. These include:
- the teaching of spelling, grammar and punctuation in line with the English National Curriculum, including the learning of weekly spellings (Years 1-6); understanding how to and being able to use a dictionary; the highlighting and use of subject specific language;
- shared writing and guided writing within English sessions and other curriculum areas as appropriate;
- providing opportunities in every learning journey, for the pupils to write at length independently with feedback given to the pupils about what they did well and how they need to improve.
The Park Writing Learning Journey:
Across the year pupils are exposed to a variety of different genres in both fiction and non-fiction and are introduced to a range of authors/poets (see the whole school text overview). We have woven in Talk for Writing in the Park Style.
We teach a 4 week English learning journey, which is broken down as follows:
1) Reading as a reader: pupils deepen their understanding of the text and may be exposed to a range of texts within the same text type or genre that support the learning focus. Pupils are given opportunities to use reading strategies (see the reading skills progression document) and drama activities to deepen their understanding of the text.
2) Reading as a writer: pupils explore the structure and language used within the text and consider why these have been used. In KS1, pupils orally retell the text, creating actions and work to embellish the text orally. In KS2, pupils work with the text deconstructed into sections to appreciate the components and language in each section. Pupils are expected and encouraged to orally embellish the text as they begin to rebuild the story. Pupils are given the opportunity to learn and practise grammar skills, linked to the text type or genre, and build these into sentence work that will support their final piece of writing. At this stage in the learning journey, pupils create a ‘tool kit’ which is used to embed the key features of a text type or genre.
3) Innovation: pupils plan and produce a piece of writing in the focus genre. Class teachers support the writing process through modelled and shared writing, which supports all pupils to access the process, regardless of their current ability. Pupils use the knowledge gained in week 2, on structure and language, to build-up their writing over the week; one section at a time. Pupils are taught editing skills as they write; with an emphasis on writing a sentence, rereading and improving directly. Class teachers feedback to individual students in real time, always working to move the learning forward within the taught session.
4) Pupils are given the time to complete and edit their piece of writing. Class teachers have the opportunity to deepen pupils understanding of editing skills or reteach grammatical skills, if a gap has been assessed. Pupils complete their learning journey by engaging with their feedback by ‘publishing’ their work.
A key aspect of the whole English learning journey is high quality teacher modelling and whole class shared writing.