Writing

Writing Curriculum Statement

“If you want to change the world, pick up a pen and write.” ~  Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

What does Writing look like at Cubitt Town Primary School? 

Intent

At Cubitt Town, our students are writers, authors, poets, reporters and editors! We believe that writing is a key life skill, which is why it is featured across all subjects taught. This multifaceted approach to writing provides pupils with opportunities to write in a range of writing styles for a variety of purposes. Our aim is to develop competent writers that leave our school with the transferable writing skills needed in the real world, so that they can effectively communicate in the written word and recognise the impact that their writing can have on others. 

A collection of rich core texts have been carefully chosen to reflect the diverse world we live in. An assortment of genres which include a distinct range of authors, heritage literature and curriculum centred topics have been designed to encourage pupils to immerse themselves in many planes. Writing learning journeys are planned to provide pupils with an array of stimulating experiences which demonstrate how writing can be used for thinking, communicating and as a means of expression.

Writing is supported through the development of oracy and reading within the school. Pupils are given an assortment of opportunities to exercise their speaking and listening skills so that they can communicate successfully. Within reading, the opportunity to discuss, predict and question helps promote pupil confidence in their journey towards becoming authors and helps them to develop the skill of reading like a writer. However, experiences are not limited to books and pupils can further explore how meaning is conveyed through illustrations, photographs, advertisements, news reports and performances.

We aim for all pupils to: 

  • develop a love of writing so that they can express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively

  • appreciate our rich and diverse Literacy heritage making connections to their own experiences

  • become confident writers who can write coherently and accurately with a good understanding of grammar conventions 

  • dip into their own creativity so that they can plan, practise and evaluate their written work

  • widen their vocabulary so that they can develop confidence in making selective language choices - this is with the focus on considering the impact on the reader

  • use their reading and oracy experience to enhance their writing expertise  

Implementation

Children receive dedicated English learning focused on writing daily, this is in addition to lessons that integrate writing across the wider curriculum, such as writing a historical response or scientific report.

Within any writing sequence, the following elements will be taught:

  • immersion in the text type

  • an awareness of the audience and purpose

  • creating a knowledge base - eg. What are the features of this text type?

  • grammar 

  • vocabulary and spelling

  • planning

  • writing

  • editing and revising 

Writing sequence 

Units of work at Cubitt Town follow an organised sequence to allow pupils to cumulatively build knowledge and skills. This allows our pupils to follow a learning journey that revisits the aforementioned skills across the year regularly to strengthen their knowledge and application of the written word. Well sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon; teachers use modelled and shared writing opportunities to illustrate a range of skills and techniques which enable the children to have a clear understanding of appropriate grammar, punctuation and  vocabulary choices. Within these demonstrated guidelines pupils are encouraged to develop their own authorial voice through making links, applying the taught skills; all woven together with their own creative ideas. 

Spelling 

A range of strategies are used to support pupils to become competent lifelong spellers and accurate spelling is developed in all writing experiences across the curriculum. Using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme, spelling starts its journey in Early Years. Through the acquisition of phonics, the teaching of spelling moves towards being taught in discrete lessons reinforcing the importance of learning how to spell. To support our teaching of spelling, we use SpellingFrame (online platform) as well as the No Nonsense spelling programme. Additionally, children are provided with opportunities to edit their spellings within extended writing lessons to enable them to become proactive learners. 

Grammar

The teaching of grammar and standard English is an integral part of every writing lesson. Grammar is taught progressively throughout the school, highlighted in our writing curriculum overview for each year group. Lessons are taught within English lessons so that the connection with the text type and genre is clearly expressed and applied through the grammar learning. 

Inclusion

Our writing curriculum supports students with SEND and ensures that all students’ needs are planned for. Those who are not fluent with the foundation skills of a writer take part in an assortment of targeted learning interventions, such as:

  • pre-teaching (including reading and exploration of vocabulary)

  • focus groups within a lesson (supported by resources and adults) 

  • post-teaching activities (editing work or practising specific grammar skills)

  • support through visual widgets that provide key vocabulary, sentence structures and/or questions 

  • talk4writing sessions to help them orally rehearse their writing

  • opportunities for children to record their ideas in videos so they can rewatch for those who struggle with memory retention 

  • specific support: touch typing, text-to-speech/speech-to-text programs

  • handwriting intervention programs: printing like a pro 

Impact

In Class Feedback

Teachers use assessment regularly to provide pupils with feedback so  they can develop conscientiously as writers. Feedback is provided verbally, through written comments and targets in pupils’ books. Teachers assess against the lesson objectives and success criteria identified within each lesson. After extended writing sessions, teachers may take part in additional 1:1 conferencing sessions to provide pupils with more tailored feedback. This may also take the form of next steps. 

Adaptive Teaching

Teachers use formative assessments to inform their planning so they are able to adapt to the needs of their class. Activities in lessons are adjusted to address learning gaps. Additionally, mini-plenaries are used within lessons to take mini pauses to review successes and to present areas for improvement for the whole class. 

Summative Assessment

Assessment is ongoing and teachers carry out summative assessments at the end of each term. Writing is moderated using the support of the National Curriculum teacher assessment exemplification as well as the THEP writing assessment grids. Teachers moderate half-termly within their teaching teams and progress across classes is closely monitored by phase leads and the subject lead. Monitoring cycles include: book looks, lesson observations, pupil voice interviews, analysis of summative data and learning walks. Additionally, Cubitt Town takes part in termly cluster moderations with schools on the Isle of Dogs; judgements are compared to reinforce assessment levels. The findings of each monitoring cycle are used to support teachers so that we can enhance and strengthen the implementation of writing across the school.

Writing overview by year group