Writing

Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement – Writing Curriculum 2021/2022

Curriculum Intent: ‘To create inspired and happy learners through an ambitious, engaging enquiry-led curriculum’

Intent

At St. Newlyn East Learning Academy, we are PASSIONATE for our children to become clear and effective communicators. Writing is at the heart of this. We aim for children to respond to their audience and the context appropriately; by doing so our pupils can write in a widening variety of forms for different purposes. Ultimately, the PURPOSE of our writing curriculum is to provide our children with a key tool for effective communication as they become …’lifelong learners’.

One key aspect of writing is spelling. At St Newlyn East we develop our pupil's ability to spell correctly, using the Spelling Shed scheme coupled with Get Spelling from the Read, Write Inc phonics programme.  From foundation stage on, the children PERSERVERE with their handwriting, ensuring they join letters correctly and at pace. Adults support children of all abilities through appropriate modelling and scaffolding to enable them to express themselves through writing.

Our writing SEND subject adaptation document illustrates how we support our writers in school who may need additional or different resources to access the learning.

We currently use the Literary Tree Curriculum for writing from EYFS up; this immerses children in a literary world based around high-quality, age-appropriate texts, therefore creating strong levels of engagement to provide meaningful and authentic contexts for primary English.

Children become critical readers and acquire an authorial style, as they encounter a wide range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Our Reading curriculum works alongside our writing curriculum as we believe that children need to have a varied and rich vocabulary base to draw on for their writing ideas.

Implementation 

Foundation

We are passionate about writing in the Foundation stage and allow our children to have the opportunity to write independently on a daily basis. All children complete some adult-led writing at least twice a week. We understand the importance of children being able to compose their own sentences when writing, so we allow this writing to be child-led. Children are encouraged to persevere with their writing from day 1 in Foundation. This begins with handwriting and letter formation and moves towards initial sound writing, simple word writing, simple sentence writing and into more complex sentences and multiple sentences. 

Writing skills are taught through daily RWI sessions and Literacy sessions, as well as through 1-1 top-ups and whole class sessions. Adults model and discuss writing daily, so that children understand what needs to be included. Writing is encouraged and available across the classroom and garden during independent learning sessions. 

We teach writing and spelling that is phonetically plausible. At this early stage, this means we don't teach 'correct' spelling, as such. We ask the children to listen to the sounds they can hear within a word and represent them in some way. We do encourage the children to write down every sound they can hear. It would be entirely acceptable for a child to spell elephant, 'elifunt'. This is to encourage fluency and excitement while writing, initially and to allow for momentum to build; continuous praise helps to reinforce the children’s positive attitudes.

Key Stage 1 and 2.

At St Newlyn East, one of the key PURPOSES of the writing curriculum is to create PASSIONATE authors in the 3 key areas of writing: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We adopt a consistent approach throughout the school; the writing units generally follow the following structure:

Immersion

Children are fully immersed in the genre or text that they are learning and writing skills are taught explicitly. This may include:

  • Text analysis of the writing purpose
  • Reading and identifying text and structural features of the purpose/genre. 
  • Discrete, explicit teaching of grammar/ punctuation features needed for the writing purpose. Each day there is a grammar starter component to each Literacy lesson.

Shared writing

During the second phase of our writing units, the PURPOSE is for the children to begin to use the structural features and the vocabulary and SPAG features from the immersion phase, in pieces of age-appropriate extended writing modelled by the class teacher following class discussion. This generally includes periods of shared writing consisting of:

  • Peer discussion to include structural features
  • Peer discussion to include SPAG and vocabulary features
  • PERSERVERENCE to improve initial ideas – teachers modal sharing the children’s first ideas but not accepting these if they can be improved on.
  • Modelling of mistakes - using the children’s ideas, teachers make mistakes and show the live editing process 

Independent writing

Following on from the second phase the PURPOSE is for the children to demonstrate their understanding of all skills learnt. Regardless of the genre, the children are PASSIONATE about taking on the whole authors process of planning, drafting, proof-reading and editing and then peer-assess using the SURPRISES editing tool from the Literacy Shed and the class marking ladder related to the unit of writing.

No teacher input is given at this stage: all work is completely independent of adult intervention.

Twice a year, the children take part in a whole school write, where each year group has the same stimulus for a piece of writing. Class teachers choose the genre and age appropriate skills that the children must then incorporate. The children can talk PASSIONATELY, across year groups, about the shared stimulus and the piece of writing that they have produced.

WOW Write

Children then complete their final draft in their WOW books and work is marked using the assessment grids for their year group. We value the importance of praising perseverance in school; this has led to a revised KS1 and 2 writing display which focusses on ‘Writing Growth…’ – the children love to see how much they improved in their writing and this is something we want to show our peers and visitors.

Impact

The quality of our children’s writing, including content, range of genres, grammar and handwriting can be seen not just in English books, but also in the wider curriculum. Our recent drive on improving standards in presentation and handwriting is a centred across all books, not just literacy.

The ultimate aim is for our children to leave school with a passion for writing.

We want them to be able to communicate effectively and take the skills they have learnt onto secondary school and beyond. We want all the children to be impacted in a positive way from our writing curriculum design; we want all children to make good progress and to feel confident that by working hard and persevering with their writing that their lives can potentially change for the better.  

Alongside our Voice-21 Oracy project, our consistent, effective reading programme and our engaging writing curriculum, children at St Newlyn East Learning Academy will become excellent communicators for life.