Newsome Junior School believe that writing is a key skill for life both inside and out of education and that is why it features across all the subjects taught across our school. Our aim is to provide children with key transferrable writing skills to build on year on year, that can be used throughout each phase of their education and prepare them for secondary school.
Teaching children to write for a range of purposes and audiences can be very exciting, especially here at Newsome where we provide children with a range of engaging hooks to capture their imagination! We aim to provide the children with varied reasons for writing and believe that this not only produces higher quality writing, but allows our learners to apply their skills to a range of different contexts.
Writing across all subject areas will prepare our children for high school and the more in-depth approach to analysing, planning and innovating their writing.
Oracy is prioritised in our writing curriculum in order to build vocabulary for all learners and increase understanding of trickier texts used across our curriculum. Discussion, questioning and learning texts with actions all increase understanding and prepare our children with the tools they need in order to be successful in their writing. Our aim is for ALL learners to achieve their full potential in writing and we are committed to providing the scaffolds and challenge needed in order for our children to achieve this.
Children receive a one hour Literacy lesson daily and are exposed to age-related expectations for writing within a range of texts. Writing and reading are closely linked and we ensure that children are reading daily in order to build on their knowledge of different genres of writing and develop their vocabulary. All classes use a Talk4Writing structure to plan writing units which encourages plenty of oracy – this means discussion, questioning, imitating and learning texts along with actions that are rich with key skills.
A high standard of joined, cursive handwriting is modelled across school and children are encouraged to imitate this. Handwriting is taught and practised regularly in separate books but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced.
Teachers demonstrate high quality modelling within each Literacy lesson and encourage children to include key vocabulary (linked to their Topic), structure their work appropriately into coherent paragraphs and use the grammatical skills and punctuation taught at their year group level.
The use of a WAGOLL is used as an example of how to be successful at the start of each unit of work. This provides children with an end goal. Children are encouraged to use this as a structure but also innovate their writing to make it their own. They do this through the use of a boxing-up sheet (planning proforma) used within each unit. Teachers ensure that the standard of writing in the WAGOLL reflects the age-related outcomes for each specific year group.
Newsome Junior School intends to develop writing as a transferrable skill across all subjects taught in the curriculum. We therefore immerse children in a termly History/Geography themed topic and encourage cross-curricular links. Our aim is to provide engaging writing hooks that are linked to each termly topic to give children an audience and purpose for writing. Children are expected to transfer their key topic knowledge and vocabulary into their writing and vice versa to transfer their spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge into their topic work. We expect the high standards for writing in Literacy lessons to be evident within the work in all books.
Children are encouraged to deconstruct texts and identify key features for specific genres of writing. Teachers model the practising of these skills and children then apply them to their own writing. This ability to identify specific features we believe is a key skill across both reading and writing and will improve comprehension in children. As a school, we ensure that genres of writing studied run alongside the learning taking place in Guided reading so that children are fully immersed in the text type.
Newsome Junior school ensures that children are aware of their strengths and areas for development in writing so that learners can take ownership of their progress. Teachers leave next steps in books when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in their writing and children are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen. We ensure that ALL learners are given next steps and that scaffolds and challenges are put in place for those children working below or above age-related outcomes.
Children who are identified as not achieving age-related outcomes and/or those on the SEN register may be assessed against the outcomes for the year group below. Daily interventions/support may be put in place in order to accelerate writing skills in this case. The nature of the intervention will be decided by the teacher and the SENDCO. Support in class may include small group work with an adult during lessons to model key skills, scaffolds created by the teacher to assist with completion of work and word banks/sentence openers provided to assist the child when writing.
Assessment in writing is ongoing as teachers carry out in-depth assessment of children’s writing at the end of each unit, and highlight the age-related outcomes that have been achieved.
Children are tested termly on spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge (Rising Stars Assessments) and this data is used to inform next steps for writing.
Target Tracker is used to analyse gaps in children’s knowledge and gain an overview of specific groups of children across school.
Progress across classes is closely monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring will include: regular book looks, lesson observations, gathering evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, looking at data on Target Tracker and regular learning walks.
The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.