Subject Leaders: Nicola Onyett and Terri Ellis
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world” – Malala Yousafzai
Our vision for writing…
At Allanson Street Primary School, we know that writing has an important place in education and in society. It is an essential skill, and the ability to write with confidence and accuracy is a tool which will support a child through life. Our aim is to guide and nurture each individual on their own personal journey to becoming successful writers where children thrive and build on the skills and knowledge they need to make aspirational choices about their futures.
We aim to develop in children a love of writing and a confidence to share and communicate their ideas effectively through the written word. We want to develop proficient and confident writers, so that they can success in all areas of the curriculum. Using high-quality texts and carefully planned learning sequences, we develop confident writers who understand the functions of writing in order to enjoy writing for a range of audiences and purposes across a range of genres, including narrative writing, non-fiction texts, poetry, playscripts and classic texts.
How will we ensure that our children leave us equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to flourish in the next stage of their learning journey and beyond?
To prepare children for writing, oracy is prioritised within lessons to support language acquisition, build vocabulary and develop sentence structure. We focus upon developing children’s speaking and listening skills through drama and debating, as well as supporting the development of children’s handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation proficiency.
We provide a stimulating, differentiated, text-based English curriculum where all children enjoy learning and feel confident and motivated as they become increasingly literate. We support children to develop a wide and rich vocabulary which will ensure that they are able to communicate their ideas, both written and verbal, effectively.
As well as a huge focus on language development, in Nursery, the children are prepared for writing by developing their gross and fine motor skills through lots of activities. As these skills develop, children also have the opportunity to practise mark making throughout provision.
In Reception, children have daily writing sessions during their RWI sessions. Once they are able, the children then progress to the addition of a text-based literacy lesson three times per week.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, writing is taught as a discrete session four times per week. Each year group studies a different high-quality text, lasting from 3 weeks to a whole term depending
on text type, length and year group. We passionately believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked therefore studying the text in both reading and writing sessions encourages children to make links and become empathetic and ambitious writers. We provide our children with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a text, before planning, writing and editing a piece of work, with the purpose and audience at the centre.
Long, medium and short term planning and the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school.
Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons with the use of high quality texts linked to each subject.
How will our English curriculum make a difference for our children?
We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our children develop the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught across the school, children become more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work.
By the end of Key Stage 2, we hope that children will have developed a writer’s craft where they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, we expect that children will also develop their cross curricular writing with skills taught in the English lessons being transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understand of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation. Children achieve well at the end of both Key stages and leave Allanson Street Primary School with a secure understanding of writing and are well prepared to meet the needs of their journey into secondary curriculum and the expectations of writing across all subjects.