We believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. All pupils will leave St. Cecilia’s having developed a love of writing. We set high expectations for all children and encourage them to write creatively and with flair with the ability to re-read, edit and improve their own work. We enable pupils to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting.
When children begin writing, they are encouraged to write for different purposes that are created in the classroom. This may start with simple lists and labels, developing on to simple recounts of experiences. Early writing quickly develops and through the use of core texts from engaging authors, we gradually broaden and develop the children’s writing skills each year. Our teaching of writing is stemmed from a variety of experiences which we create in class. This could be a wonderful text, a film clip, an object, music or dramatic role play.
We find that it’s best for children to have a purpose and audience for their writing. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, in order to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. (For our non-fiction writing, we follow Alan Peat’s sequencing for a variety of purposes.)
Children learn spellings at home each week and these are tested in school. Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps. Grammar and punctuation are taught explicitly through regular specific lessons as well as through the wider curriculum and the usual process of teaching and learning in class.
From Year 1, children plan and build up a piece of writing to create a significant high quality text every few weeks, we call this their “stepping stone.” This writing allows the children to see how they have progressed in their writing skills. It gives a chance for the teacher and child to assess writing and plan next steps. Each year group has clear writing targets, these targets are shared with the children through “writing stickers,” placed in the children’s books, these are annotated during teacher/self assessment activities. You can find copies of the Year Group writing stickers in the Learning Labs.
The children’s enjoyment of writing will shine in their bold vocabulary choices, careful presentation and clear understanding of what they are writing about. They produce written work across all areas of the curriculum to a high standard. Pupils have a good knowledge of how to adapt their written work based on the context and audience.